sticky floors and milk duds
sticky floors and milk duds
I rarely go to the movie theater. The expense is prohibitive; tickets plus food equals the national debt of a small country. Most theaters don't allow you to bring your own food in, and what's a movie without munchies? Add in the fact that I generally have to pee every eight minutes, rude people who won't shut the hell up, uncomfortable seats and sticky floors and you have plenty of reasons to not see a movie in the theater. Oh, and paying eight bucks for a movie that completely sucks. It's depressing.
I used to love to go to the movies in the summer, during the day. Give me a nice air-conditioned theater and a couple of entertaining hours and it was a little slice of heaven. I would come out of the theater when the movie was over and it be blinded by the sunlight and the heat and get that two surreal minutes of displacement.
I saw Purple Rain in the summer. I don't know why I remember that; the movie itself was laughingly forgetable. I saw Friday the 13th - on Friday the 13th - and screamed myself hoarse at the end and even though it was daylight when we came out of the theater and into the parking lot, I was as frightened as if it were midnight in a graveyard. I saw Batman in the summer and stayed in the theater for a second showing of it. Yes, I sat through it twice in one day, eating enough junk food to make me sick that night.
We used to go to the drive-in when I was little, the whole family crowded into dad's brown station wagon, the back piled high with blankets and pillows and snacks. We dressed in our jammies because mom and dad knew we would fall asleep at some point. Except when we went to see Planet of the Apes (that's the original, folks - remember, I'm old). I sat riveted through that movie, unable to take my eyes off those damn dirty apes. I can still remember the dreams I had the few nights after, Charlton Heston and apes and monkeys chasing me through cityscapes.
My mom had a thing for taking us to see horror movies, even when we were probably too young to see such flicks. I blame her for my current DVD collection which includes such gems as Tromeo and Juliet and Meet the Feebles. And it's funny because those horror movies never scared me the way Fantasia did, and Fantasia never opened my imagination the way Phantom Tollbooth did.
So now the only time I go to the movies is when the kids beg me. I have spent hours of my life sitting through insipid dreck like Kazaam and Pokemon 2000 all in the name of parental love. There are places where you have to draw a line, though. When they ask to see movies such as Like Mike or Master of Disguise, I first wonder where they got their taste in entertainment from, and then when I realize it came from their father I tell them to go ask him to take them to the movies.
I tried to get them to watch Lord of the Rings. Natalie wasn't interested and DJ got bored three minutes into it. Where have I gone wrong? Yet DJ will sit in the living room with Justin and stare bug eyed at the tv while they watch some cheesy kung-fu movie or something about Shaolin soccer. I try to get them to watch classics like Goonies or Princess Bride, but no, Natalie would rather see Crossroads and DJ asks about martial arts monkeys. He is his stepfather's kid. Natalie, I don't know where her tastes come from. Maybe Teen People magazine.
Anyhow, I'm seriously digressing here. What I was getting at was movie stealing. Not the kind of movie stealing I did as a teenager when we would sneak in the backdoor of the theater to watch The Song Remains the Same five times in a row, but the kind of stealing done with a computer.
I don't feel bad about this at all. Let's face it, it's not like I was going to pay to see Eight Legged Freaks anyhow, so David Arquette didn't get gipped out of any royalty money by my watching the movie on DiVX. And movies that are really good - Lord of the Rings, for instance - I will not only make the attempt to see in the theater but I will buy evey incarnation of the DVD they ever put out. So everyone wins. I'm doing my part for the good name of entertainment by not paying for David Arquette movies and watching a good stolen movie on my computer only serves to make me want to purchase the movie tie-in products. It's a win-win situation. Plus, I can pause the movie when I have to pee and I don't have to spend half the show telling blue-haired women to shut the fuck up, please.
So it's a bit odd that I woke up today with a desire to spend the afternoon in a movie theater. Just sitting there, eating overpriced nachos and drinking Mountain Dew and pretending that the world outside the doors doesn't exist. Too bad that a) there's nothing I want to see and b) that pesky job of mine keeps getting in the way of my need to enjoy a summer's afternoon. I'm just in the mood for some escapism. Even if I can't find a movie to enjoy, I could do something silly like run through a sprinkler or ride a bike to the beach or play Marco Polo in the pool with a bunch of kids.
I miss that stuff. I miss seeing the ice cream man as a huge treat rather than a huge burden on my wallet. I miss seeing the pool as an escape from the heat rather than a danger to every small child in the yard. I miss the yells of "tag, you're it!" and the days we would spend on our bicycles making lefts and rights and rights and lefts, trying hard to see if we could get lost in our own neighborhood.
I want to regress, just for one day. I want to be a kid again, a kid whose greatest worry has nothing to do with weddings or wars or paying for sports camp, but whose main concern is whether to get the popcorn or the Milk Duds before the movie starts.