It isn’t fair when pet peeves pile on. Enduring one in a day is annoying enough. Enduring two in the same day is cruel and unusual punishment.
On a very recent Saturday afternoon, Macho Guy and I decided to see a movie. As it happens, I have a bone to pick with the movie theater experience. There once was a time when people went to the movies and actually saw just that—movies—and a cartoon or two, or even a double feature. Movie theaters hyped the fact that unlike television, when you went to the movies, you didn’t have to watch commercials.
Flash forward to present day. Before you’re allowed to see the feature film you paid to see, you have to sit through advertisement slides on the big screen for local businesses, interspersed with a movie and celebrity trivia quiz, and—wait for it—commercials. That’s right, commercials, just like the ones we see on TV. Is that bogus or what? Then you have to sit through the latest “celebrity news from Hollywood” delivered by perky young talking heads. ::yawn::
Just when you think your movie is about to start, here come the coming attractions. You sit through trailer after trailer after trailer until all your popcorn is gone and the movie still hasn’t begun. [Don’t get me started on how much movie theater concessions charge for popcorn.]
At last, following the theater’s cutesy animated disclaimer and safety instructions, the lights dim and your movie is finally about to begin. Yay! You look at your watch or other time keeping device [probably a smart phone] and discover it is already 20 minutes past the posted show time for the movie. The early show time posted for the movie is a fraud. It’s to get you into the theater early enough to see all the ads. And that’s when you discover that you suddenly need to use the restroom.
My question to movie theater owners is this. Why are prices for tickets and concession items going up when theater owners are making additional money by screening advertisements in their theaters? If they’re going to make us sit through all that Madison Avenue brainwashing, the least they could do is lower the ticket prices. Robber barons. I smuggle my own snacks and drinks into the theater just to spite them.
Macho Guy and I decided to go to evening church services that same Saturday following the movie. The lector welcomed everyone and requested that cell phones be turned off before the service began. Being ardent practitioners of cell phone etiquette, we dutifully turned ours off.
Someone lacking sufficient piety managed not to get the memo. During the sermon, a cell phone began to ring. Not a normal ring tone, mind you. This was one of those specialty ring tones the cool people download to set themselves apart from boring folks like Macho and me. This particular ring tone was loud. Very loud. Extremely loud.
The soulless pew warmer who owned it must have selected “ignore” because the accursed apparatus rang again a few moments later. Good grief. That disrespectful heathen ought to fear God’s wrath and be in mortal terror of being struck dead by a bolt of lightening. Turn the sacrilegious contraption off, you blasphemer, was what I wanted to say aloud. Instead, I prayed for Archangel Michael to come down from Heaven and slay the evil device. Barring that, I was willing to settle for its battery to die.
We returned home and after dinner, Macho Guy turned on the TV while I cleaned up the kitchen mess. He channel surfed and as usual found little to his liking. He cracked open a book and read, and I went to my MacBook Pro and began writing this post.
Writing is so cathartic. I can feel my peevishness melting away . . .