The Reasons I Rarely Go to Movies
I rarely go to movies. I have good reasons. Movie theaters are cathedrals of annoying human behaviors. These behaviors would include, but are not limited to the guy who can’t open a bag but is yet ever so determined to rattle the life out of it, the people of the world who did not heed their momma’s advice to chew with your mouth closed, and the girl who whispers in decibel levels just below waterfall. Movie theaters are built for a primo acoustic experience. The vicious byproduct of this acoustical engineering is that it gives people that chew like a horse, whisper like a waterfall, and rattle bags like a chain gang a Dolby surround sound opportunity to get under my skin. To amplify my frustrations with these patrons of the acoustic dungeon; God has displayed His humor by giving me an acute spinal sensitivity to each and every one of them.
Last night we went to the Alabama Theater’s showing of the Christmas movie Elf. During the Christmas season the folks at Alabama Theater show a series of films that are regarded as seasonal classics. It is an awesome experience. The movies are so well known that you are not simply watching them, but you are participating with them. 2,000 people are laughing, singing, and cheering on cue as if the outcome of each scene depends upon them. That aspect of the experience I love. So the point is well established, for the few thousand people who go to watch Christmas movies at the Alabama Theater, these movies are familiar, well entrenched in their psyche, and highly quotable.
This familiarity the 2 or 3,000 of us shared together last night with Elf gave rise to another annoying human behavior – the movie quoter. In a general admission show, God providentially controlled me to sit just a few feet away from the movie quoter. She did not chew like a horse, whisper like a waterfall, or rattle bags like a chain gang – but I swear she believed she was Elf. I am persuaded that she believed she was every character in Elf. She may have even believed that God sent her to me so that she could improve the movie – just for me. She was .4847923085493245 seconds ahead of every line in the first 1.254544645 hours of Elf. Many sins entered my mind. I tried to calm my spirit by thinking of tranquil things like fish tanks, kites, and fuzzy socks. I tried to go to my happy place. Yet she made me think of boxing, war, sumo wrestling, karate, roller derby, and Lawrence Taylor breaking Joe Theisman’s leg –she made me think of many things designed to bring an end to annoying human behaviors. If she had been talking with a mouth full of popcorn while rattling a bag of candy she may have pushed me over the edge of human insanity. I would probably have stood to my feet, taken off my shirt, drawn a smiley face on my belly with my wife’s lipstick, and sang "Danny Boy" as they loaded me onto a stretcher. God would have laughed.
This is yet another reason why I rarely go to movies.