Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shouldn't Jews Have Priority?

So, yesterday, I decided to engage in the standard Jewish Christmas Tradition of seeing a movie (followed by eating Chinese food).

That was the plan.

Intended to see Sherlock Holmes.  It had a 2:00 show at the closest theater to me (in a mall), and a 2:30 at a theater about 15 minutes away (in the other direction).  But the mall theater is generally crowded, and the theater in the other direction never sells out.  Considered buying an advance ticket on the web, but the theater that never sells out doesn't have online ticketing.  So, I pile myself in the car and head for the theater that never sells out.

It was not crowded.  

I want to be clear about this.  There is a nearby parking structure I always use.  When I got there, there was one other car in it.  I got the second best parking spot in the whole building.  Strolled on over to the box office where there was a small crowd, but not a huge mob.

Overheard the person in front of me ask for tickets to Sherlock Holmes.  Overhead the lady in the box office tell him that it was front row seating only.  The next show was at 4:20.

OK, sure, not technically sold out, but close enough.

Did not want to wait until 4:20.  Checked on the Droid -- the theater in the mall had their next showing at 4:00.  I could make it to the mall by 3:00, buy a ticket for the 4:00, and maybe grab a bite to eat in the unlikely event the food court was open for movie theatre snacking.

Drove to the mall.  (The mall has a four-story parking structure and a little sign in front of it which tells you exactly how many spots are available on each level.  I, of course, find myself behind the idiot going one quarter mile per hour in the hopes of finding one of the "3" spots it said were available on the second floor, rather than going up a level to the "98" free spots.  Jerk.)  Finally get parked, stroll over to the box office by about 3:05, confirm on the electronic board that they have a 4:00 Sherlock Holmes . . . and notice that the "4:00"  is alternating with "Sold Out."

Crap.  OK, screw it; I'll see Avatar at 3:25.  Sold Out too.  


Fine, fine.  I'll go back to the other theater and see the 4:20.  If they had "front row only" available for the 2:30 show as late as 2:15, surely I could get a good seat for the 4:20 at 3:30.

Haul ass back to the theater which doesn't sell out.  Now there are four cars in the parking structure.  Go back to the box office.  "One for Sherlock Holmes, please."

"That's front row seating only."

The words, "Are you f*cking kidding me?" rushed toward my mouth.  I nearly got whiplash stopping them.


The 3:55 Avatar is also sold out.  Next IMAX 3D showing is at 7:00.

Next Sherlock Holmes is at 4:50.  Well, at this point, what's a half hour?  I buy a ticket to the 4:50.  It is, at this point, about 3:45.  I go in the building and there's a line forming already.  Well, we're a small mob, really, but the helpful theater employee eventually lines us up.  He has to -- there needs to be some way to separate the 4:50 Sherlock Holmes line from the 3:55 Avatar line and the 4:20 Sherlock Holmes line.  Otherwise, chaos would ensue.

(I ask myself where the hell all these people came from.  And, more importantly, where did they park?)

I wait.  Standing there.  Annoyed and hungry.  I realize that my lunch is either going to be a 425 calorie hot dog or a 450 calorie bag of popcorn.  (The popcorn wins, but I decide to wait till the movie.  I know that my movie watching has decreased a lot in the past few years, and I wonder whether the fact that I generally don't want to waste my calories on popcorn has anything to do with it.)  There are two women in line behind me, snacking on candy and ice cream, and debating the merits of the various Twilight novels.  (There's a poster for New Moon around the corner, and one of them snaps a picture of it with her cell phone to show the other so they can both giggle over it.  I glance at them -- gotta be well into their 20s.  Well into.  I very politely look away without rolling my eyes.)

We are eventually let into the theater.  As I was near the front of the line, I get to pretty much sit wherever I want.  I stake out a good place.  Leave my sweater on it to hold it, and ask the person to my left if she would be so kind as to kill anyone who attempts to take my seat.  (She promises strangulation.)  I go off for my lunch popcorn.

I return to the theater.  My seat is still there, but someone has sat down to my right.  She's elderly.  Wearing blue socks with white Mary Jane pumps.  Has brought a blanket to put over her legs.  Has a cup of coffee in the armrest between us, which I am pretty sure she's going to whack into my lap with her shawl.  She comments to the person she's with about every single preview -- generally letting everyone nearby know which movies she intends to see and which ones she doesn't.  (Also telling us in which other movies each of the actors has appeared, and whether she liked their performances.)  I am certain she's going to be trouble during the movie, but the theater is packed and the only place to go is the front row.  Not bloody likely.  Besides, it's just the previews; maybe she'll quiet down during the actual movie.

She starts talking about 40 seconds into the movie.  I lean over to her and softly say, "Can you please keep it down?"

And she says,


Ahh.  This explains much.

I raise my voice a bit and ask again, explaining that we can hear everything she says and could she be a bit quieter?  She quiets, although I have to ask her again about halfway through the movie, and she seems horribly offended that I would interfere with her ability to exclaim to everyone in a ten-yard radius that "Oh!  He doesn't know that guy is Holmes!"

(When she leaves at the end of the film, I am surprised to discover that the person she's with is, in fact, a generation younger than she is -- probably a daughter.  This really annoys.  Two elderly people speaking loudly to each other is one thing, but I expect your kid has some responsibility to tell you when you're being too loud in public.)

Was the movie any good?  Ehh... it wasn't worth an hour and a half of ping-ponging between theaters, standing in line for 45 minutes, having a lunch of stale popcorn, and sitting next to a woman who treated the movie theater like her own private living room.  Then again, I'm not really sure what would be.

The Chinese food was good, though.

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