Whenever I am preparing to go out to the movies, I always have a sick feeling in my stomach. Not that I don't love going, but I never know when the miscreants are going to ruin it for me. You know the type: the idiots who can't seem to keep their mouths shut long enough to watch a movie. The despicable cretins who think they are, with their loud asinine comments, more entertaining than the movie they and others paid to experience.
I used to make a joke about having snipers posted in the upper corners of theaters, but that isn't so funny when one considers recent horrifying news stories.
The incident I am relating occurred a few months ago. I had a rare free afternoon and I wished to spend it at the movie theater. In peace. A simple ambition, you would think.
The movie in question was The Big Sick, which promised to be a welcome return to form for Judd Apatow. I was excited about the prospect of seeing it.
It had been some time since I had been to the movies. I was stoked and looking forward to a special time. I bought popcorn. I bought hot tea. I was ready.
So I enter the auditorium and was making my way to my preselected seat, and there sat some individual right in the area I had chosen. He gave me a hopeful smile, held up his ticket, and said, "Seat G7?"
Already sick at heart, I agreed that I was, indeed, the lucky owner of the G7 ticket. Beaming, he stood up and with a flourish invited me to sit directly next to him.
You see, this kindly soul looked upon the available seat on the online seating chart, and he decided that he would make someone's day brighter by sitting next to him. Because surely anyone who is sitting by his or herself has to be lonely. Right?
It was like being in some wretched comedy where a hapless straight man runs afoul of some buffoon and gets stuck with him. Think a typically repugnant Will Ferrell comedy. And, in fact, this midguided individual did indeed look a little like Ferrell.
I wanted to move, move for my life, but the theater was getting full. Miserable beyond words, I stayed in the seat and tried to ignore this pest. It was like trying to ignore a particularly infuriating horsefly.
He babbled. He asked about movies. A wee part of me felt sorry for this schlub, but mostly I was pissed.
He could barely speak. "You shee Atomick bowm?". "Atomic Bomb?", I coldly replied. No slouch he, the guy broke out his smart phone and conjured up an image of the Atomic Blond poster. "No', I replied.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to roar out, "NO, I HAVE NOT SEEN ATOMIC BLOND. I DON'T WANT TO SEE ATOMIC BLOND. I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT ATOMIC BLOND".
But, nice guy that I am, I remained quiet. Then, sin of sins, the coming attractions ended and the movie began. Surely this creep would keep his trap shut now, wouldn't he?
What do you think?
He began to inform me about details of characters as they appeared onscreen. I probably should have just demanded that he shut the hell up, but I set my popcorn tub down, sadly bid adieu to my tea, and stomped out of the theater and to my car.
He probably hoped that a woman held the seat, and he could sweep her off her feet with his knowledge of mainstream movies. He almost certainly would have settled for a friend. I have a pretty good feeling that this guy doesn't exactly have a stockpile of bros on his side.
This is yet another example of the lie about treating others how you would like to be treated. To hell with that. Leave people the hell alone, or at least pick up on clues and grant them the peace they obviously want.
Other than Stephen King's It, this was the last time I have attempted to see a movie in public. Before that I tried to see the original Halloween and the audience seemed to think they were at a Rocky Horror screening and hooted and catcalled through the whole thing.
There are movies I want to see, but I don't wish to spend thirty bucks on tickets and concessions only to be infuriated by inconsiderate nincompoops. It doesn't help that theaters are increasingly being set up like living rooms, with recliners and all. It makes the idiots feel like they are in their own homes where they can behave as they wish.
It may seem like a little thing in light of the problems we face in America and in the rest of the world. But I work hard all week, and I have a grueling commute. Having my day off ruined is a pretty big deal to me.
So I don't really go to the theater anymore. I hate movies that look like they were made on a computer, so I guess it really isn't much of a loss these days.