I spent my 4th of July holiday weekend doing fun things, like cleaning a disgusting barbecue grill, attempting to repair our evaporative cooler, cleaning a shattered glass patio table-top out of my pool, and endeavoring to resuscitate my cell phone – which also ended up in the pool. My daughter was also having a party, so we cleaned the house, did some shopping, and then I fired up the (now sparkling clean) grill to cook up some burgers and dogs for her guests. The whole weekend was stressful and rather exhausting.
So, when my daughter invited me to go see a movie yesterday afternoon, I jumped at the chance to have some fun and relax! We got there early, found some prime seats, and I settled in for an enjoyable time. Then other moviegoers started to arrive – and I remembered why it is sometimes better just to rent a flick from Redbox and watch it at home. I’m sure you’ve met a few of my cinema favorites:
1) The Hunter-Gatherer: When these people enter the theater, they spend several minutes surveying the seating situation – hunting for the perfect place to park it. Even when the theater is nearly empty, the Hunter-Gatherer will decide that the perfect seat is the one RIGHT NEXT to you! Or worse, they make their way to the seat RIGHT IN FRONT of you! Hunter-Gatherers are nearly always abnormally tall – effectively blocking your view of the show. No one understands why they feel the need to gather with strangers – perhaps Hunter-Gatherers think there is safety in numbers in case the Disney show we are watching takes a scary turn.
2) The Late Comers: These people walk in right after the feature has started – unable to find a seat because the theater is packed and dark. They roam up and down the aisles, peering down each row of seats and calling to each other with possibilities. Inevitably, the seats they choose are in the middle of the row and they sidestep their way in, stepping on toes and dropping popcorn on the heads of unlucky patrons they squeeze past. Often they argue about who should take which seat, so they continue to stand for long moments, making sure no one else can see the screen. Yesterday, Ms. Late Comer was so involved in her debate that she fumbled her extra-large soda, splashing nearby moviegoers when it hit the floor – a wet, sticky surprise for people sitting several rows in front, as the liquid ran down the floor and soaked their shoes.
3) The Glutton: I love movie food as much as anyone – I mean, I can make a meal from buttered movie popcorn, a soda and some smuggled in candy – but I try to eat like a lady, for the most part. The Glutton routinely takes two gigantic handfuls of popcorn and shoves them up to his face, chewing at them as if he is eating out of a trough. Following up with his enormous soda, he slurps and gulps as if he is on the verge of drowning. Then he’ll two-fist his popcorn again, chewing with his mouth open so that everyone nearby can hear every crunch. Invariably, the Glutton has candy that comes in a crinkly wrapper – and he never waits for a particularly loud moment in the movie to mask the sound as he opens it. Instead, he wrestles with the wrappers during the quietest love scene or a tense, silent moment in the plot.
4) The Talker: This one feels the need to LOUDLY explain to their partner everything that is happening during the movie. Although the rest of us can clearly see what is happening on-screen and have the minimum intelligence required to understand it – the Talker believes that he is the only one with the smarts to solve the mystery, get the joke, or explain the action. He routinely says things like, “See, that was FUNNY, because…” or “Can you BELIEVE that he fired ALL of the bullets in his gun and STILL missed?” or “THAT couldn’t have happened in REAL life!” The only way the Talker can be tolerated is when the rest of the audience get so annoyed that they start anticipating his responses – and several of them start to beat him to the punch, in a loud and obvious sarcastic fashion…”You see THAT was funny because….”or “Let me EXPLAIN that to you…” Then the rest of us laugh and laugh – perhaps we should explain why to the Talker so that he understands the joke and can enlighten his seatmate.
5) The Phone Fanatic: In the dark of the theater, usually in the midst of a critical, pivotal scene in the movie, the Phone Fanatic will decide that it is imperative that she check her email or text her friends. Or perhaps she is involved in a heart stopping game of Candy Crush. Either way, when she fires up her phone it is like a million blinding suns – burning out your retinas so completely that, even when she deigns to put the phone away, you’re forced to rely solely on the audio of the movie to follow the action…
…assuming the Talker doesn’t explain things to you first.
Seen any good movies lately? What annoying traits have you seen in fellow moviegoers?