Piece of his Mind

It’s that whole “Circle of Life” stuff that’s supposed to make sense, but sometimes doesn’t. Sure people gotta eat, but do they have to eat while watching a movie in a theater? I know theaters make their spending money on the over-priced snacks and watered-down sodas, so it’s a given as long as food is available, people are going to eat.

I don’t even care if they eat. Perhaps they skipped lunch to sneak out to a movie. Fine, grab a hot dog and a pack of Twizzlers. I don’t care. What I do care about is when you eat like a cow. People raised on VCR’s have completely forgotten that they are in public when they insist on talking during the movie, let their kids run free, or eat like a pig.

These people have completely forgotten their manners or theater etiquette. These are the people who show up ten minutes into a film, and then plop their six-foot, six-inch torso right down in front of you with no regard for your view. Or even worse, stand in the aisle, waiting for a light scene to find a perfect seat. Sorry loser, but perfect seats are for those who show up on time. These people have made going to the movies a nightmare.

Some cretin sat in front of me during a matinee of “The Mask of Zorro” and ate a whole bag of sunflower seeds. Was he considerate enough to buy the shelled seeds? No! He bought the ones with the shell, which he proceeded to crack between his teeth all through the movie. Not just one crack, mind you, but two or three per seed. Crack. Crack. Crack.

I sat behind this guy and the noise was intolerable. What about those poor folk sitting in front of this jerk? I kept leaning over and making comments, but he wouldn’t stop. He was bound and determined to eat the industrial size bag come hell or high water.

Since I was by myself at a crowded matinee, I was hesitant to get up to flag down a manager. Who knows, maybe someone who decided to sneak in or come an hour-and-a-half late would snag my seat. I finally got brave enough to find an usher, who turned me over to the manager.

“Do you sell sunflower seeds at the snack bar?” I asked. “No,” she replied.

“Do you allow outside food, especially sunflower seeds, in the theater?” I continued. “No,” she added.

“Then please do something about this jerk in theater 15.” They did, but I had to miss part of the film.

Why can’t people use common sense, and more to the point, why can’t people just behave? Please don’t bring a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken into the theater, and worse, leave the trash and bones on the floor. There are words for people like you, and I’m not afraid to use them to your face.

Please don’t drag your infant to “Saving Private Ryan,” and then refuse to leave when it decides to cry. It wasn’t my decision for you to have sex and pop out a child. Take responsibility. If you can’t find a babysitter, and there’s no drive-in around, and you can’t wait for video, then for God’s sake leave the theater if you must bring an infant.

Popcorn munchers to me are the worst. If I ate with my mouth open like that, my mother would return from the dead and slap my mouth. Is this how these people eat at home? As luck would have it, the louder the muncher, the bigger the bag of popcorn.

People treat movie theaters like their living rooms, and that’s unfortunate. Good luck getting the projectionist to pause the film while you take a leak.

For those of you who saw the film before, I don’t need you to sit behind me and narrate the film. That’s why movies cost so much, because studios pay top talent big bucks to tell the story. If they thought your running commentary was better, then they would pay you the big bucks. They don’t, so shut up, and that includes talking during the trailers.

When I buy my ticket, it’s a contract to see and hear a movie. Not a pass to hear rude people talk and chew their cuds like there’s no tomorrow. It’s not an open invitation to play dodge ball with your kids as they run up and down the aisles.

Audiences weren’t always like this. The problem started about fifteen years ago, and has been getting steadily worse. There’s no respect anymore. Everyone is in it for themselves, and could care less about the people around them.

Well, guess what buddy! I care, and I’m not going to let you, your big mouth, your nasty habits or/and your out-of-control kids ruin the movie-going experience for me. I’m fighting back.

Since theaters are so big today, there are not enough ushers (if any) to patrol them. I remember when I was manager of a movie theater we sent ushers into the auditoriums every fifteen minutes. Their job was to shush talkers, tell people to get their feet off the back of the seats, and look for other annoying violations. We took pride in providing the best experience possible.

Now no one cares today. The only time you see an employee in the theater is during their break. Since they don’t care, they leave it upon me to make sure that I get what I pay for. I’m more than up to the challenge.

I now take a water pistol to the movies. When people chew loudly around me, I water down their popcorn. They can’t figure it out, and usually put the soggy popcorn down.

I carry a personal tape recorder, and when people feel they have to narrate, I tape them and then play it back real loud. That usually shuts them up.

I try to find a seat in the back, so I don’t have to worry about people talking or eating behind me.

If your kids run by me more than twice during the length of a film, don’t be surprised if they mysteriously trip.

I carry a small flashlight that projects the word “Loser” on the back of people who are late and block my view. It always gets a laugh.

As far as screaming babies go, please bring back those wonderful crying booths the old Fox Theaters used to have in the back of the theater.

Better yet, just put me in the booth and let the rest of the noisy, rude, loud and obnoxious people fend for themselves. Sure, they may just be movies, but to me, they’re a way of life. Just a piece of my mind.



MISSED MANNERSOkay, I get it. Birds gotta fly…fish gotta swim…people gotta eat….

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