Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saving seats

“Star Wars seat save"

    I’ve always prided myself in being a well-adjusted person. Just look at me. I reek of well adjustment. That’s why it troubles me to say that I absolutely hate to save seats in a theatre… or anywhere else for that matter. I’d rather watch your two-year-old while he’s teething than save your seat.

    “Look, we’re going to be 15 minutes late, so save us some seats.” – I don’t care what time they arrive, they’ll find me sitting in my car, ‘cause I ended up a bit late, too.

     Some people enjoy seat-saving. I’ve got a sister-in-law who thrives on confrontation. If somebody says, “Dardon Ann, we’re going to be about 30minutes late, so don’t worry about us.” She’ll say, “No worry, I’ll save your seats. What are there, 19 of you?”

    I just don’t have the chutzpah to tell people where they can and can’t sit. When I was teaching high school, the principal ordered me to check ticket stubs at the football games. He just walked into my classroom carrying a clipboard and said, “Mark, I’ve got you down for Section D tonight.” – Sick mother, dead uncle, night court jury duty… I couldn’t come up with anything.

    I tell you all of that to tell you this. Kay and I went to see “Star Wars” yesterday. The movie has been out well over a week. It’s been showing at The Grand, The Woodlands Big Cinemark, Market Street and probably even the place where you can get a pizza delivered to your seat.

    Each theatre is showing the movie on multiple screens. Do the math and you’re looking at 27 screens showing the same movie every minute of the day. That’s 17,324 people watching the movie every two-and-half hours. (I’ll check those figures next week. Probably.)

    Kay and I originally wanted to see the movie in 3:D. The giant Woodlands Cinemark has “RealD 3D”, “XD3D”, “D-Box 3-D” and “D-Box Reserved Seating.” They also provide “Digital Cinema” for all the losers. I don’t know what a D-Box is. I imagine you sit in a cubical and wearing a helmet with goggles?

The D-Boxes were all sold out for the entire day, so I’ll likely never know. The price of one D-Box movie viewing with popcorn and a drink would probably make a house payment. So, Kay and I decided to go to The Grand. We bought tickets in the place for losers. Digital Cinema. We entered the auditorium with 15 minutes to spare, yet I still had to ask this guy if the three seats next to him and his daughter were saved. They weren’t. Since there were only two of us, Kay got to sit next to the person on the other side of the gap. She likes doing that.

    All was well until three minutes before the previews started. That’s when the guy and his daughter had to take a break. “Hey, save our seats, would you?” That’s what he said. I don’t know him from Eve, yet he wants me to save two seats in a packed theatre that’s getting more excessively packed by the second.

    Sure I’ll save your seats. Be glad to save your seats. I won’t save a seat for my sister-in-law, but you’re special. When the man and his daughter got up to leave, the daughter wanted to carry her Icee or Slushee with her. I had to put a stop to that. I told the guy to have his daughter put her cup down in the cup holder next to me, so  people would realize someone was sitting there.

The little girl apparently didn’t trust me. She gave me the ol’ stink eye and put her cup a cup-holder two seats away from me. All the while I was thinking of the scripture that tells you not to be mean to kids ‘cause their angels constantly see the face of God. That thought kept me from drinking that girl’s medium Slushee.

The second they left their seats, I moved the girls cup closer to me. Didn’t matter. People started coming up the steps to the three empty seats. I was pretty sure they could see the two cups in the cup holders on the way up, but it didn’t matter. Once the previews started, the lights went low and people still kept coming to scope out the seats. I wanted to trade places with Kay, but she didn’t want to move. All of a sudden she liked where she was sitting.

Let me tell you, I missed some really good previews. This summer there will be another “Independence Day.” The aliens come back. I heard Jeff Goldbloom’s voice, but couldn’t tell if Will Smith was there. – I missed the rest because I was too busy saying, “Yes, they’re saved. Three Sheriff’s deputies.”

The husband-daughter combo made it back just before the start of the movie. At that point I had to go to the restroom. I could’ve gone earlier, but I had to save seats. Remember?

Midway through the movie I had to go get some popcorn and soda ‘cause the concession stand was too crowded when we arrived. There were 9376 people in the theatre, yet only three people manning the concessions. When I left the auditorium there were only two. Neither of ‘em would let a customer leave without asking, “Will that be all?”– A guy is standing with three grandkids and asks, “Do y’all want anything else?” -- Again, I imagined angels.  

Oh, and the movie? It was pretty good. My attitude? Slightly maladjusted. 


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