Adventure in Suburbia (movie theater drama)

I'll talk about Friday in another post. It'll be long, I promise.

Tonight I went to catch a movie and almost witnessed a hate crime. Let me explain:

I have already met my quota for going out this week (Lent: can't drink more than 2 days a week). So I could play DD for drunk friends or I could go catch Black Snake Moan. I chose the latter. I picked the7:30 showing at the Collierville movieplex, because I figured that it wouldn't be too busy on Saturday night. After all, no one goes out or does anything worth mentioning in the suburbs, right. It'll be pretty empty, right? Obviously I was wrong.

I get my ticket for the flick after waiting in line. When I think of the type of people who would move to Collierville, I imagine nice, polite families and retirees. Of course the families might have the rebelling teenager, but so what? It's a suburb of Memphis, and a supposedly nice one at that.

Well imagine my surprise when I arrive in the ticket line and realize that the bowels of Frayser, Byhalia, and Selmer opened up over the Collierville Cinema-Plex to release all of their worst elements. Every demographic's lowest common denominator was present. People were bumping into each other without apologizing and cutting in line. Of course there were a lot of nice folks who wouldn't ever be any trouble. And I'm sure a lot of great people. But apparently everyone there had stolen my idea of an easy night away from drama to catch a movie.

So I get my ticket and head in the front door. There's a guy there with the ticket box to tear my ticket. Apparently he has two responsibilities: model his pimple farm for all to enjoy and direct you to the appropriate next ticket box on the left or right depending on your film's theater location.

Have we as a society become so stupid we can't read a sign that tells you which movies are in which theaters? I know that we have to have the Nutritional Facts on our bottles of water, but are we now that much dumber?

So I get my Cherry Coke and head to my appropriate theater. I pick a seat in the middle of the row. I sit down and start to lean back, only to find that the seats here don't lean back as much as the Paradiso theater in East Memphis. I repeat the promise to myself that I'm going to get a damn good job and move from the vanilla suburbs back into the city, dammit!

The theater's filling up and the previews are starting. I notice in my peripherals a group of four bodies sitting at the end of my row to the right. The preview sucks so I just glance over. It's a family coming to watch Black Snake Moan. I notice that it's a Momma, a Daddy, and two kids. Not necessarily a big deal until I realize that the older of the two kids is shorter than I am...and I'm sitting low in my chair with my feet on the one in front of me. I think these two little girls couldn't have been older than 11 at the most. Probably more like 8 or 9. Still don't think it's a bad thing? Black Snake Moan is about a (basic plot spoiler!) bluesman in a rural town in Tennessee who tries to help this nymphomaniac overcome her sickness. And they provide plenty of examples of her nymphomania.

Just a little inappropriate for little girls. But I'm not their father.

So the movie starts, and I really enjoyed it. But about halfway through it, someone's phone rings. I've had this happen with my friends before at movies. We always feel a little embarassed that we were too stupid to turn off our ringers. But I realize that this ring is coming from the little family group to my right. (Cue bad but now proven stereotype!) That daddy answers the phone: "Hullo? Yea ******, I'm watchin da movie... Naw, it pretty good... Naw, I can taulk... Fo' real? Shiiiiiiiit."

About that moment I (and everyone else around) hear a real loud thud from that direction. Turns out an old man from another demographic kicked the back of Phone Guy's seat. Phone Guy said this before finally hanging up the phone: "...You know what? I'ma halfta call you back. Some dead fool just kicked my m*****-f***ing seat." He hung up the phone and stood up. I finally got a good look at him as well as the guy behind him. Phone Guy was about five foot four and looked like a basketball with arms and legs. He turned to face the guy behind him who was older and grey headed but kinda skinny. Phone Guy said "you gonna kick my seat, huh? You gonna back it up?"

His old lady made him sit down before Seat Kicker could respond. Then she went to get a manager. The whole time she was gone, I could hear Phone Guy: "M*****-f***er kicked my g-d seat. I'ma whoop his ass." She finally came back with a manager and pointed it out. I couldn't hear them, but I imagine that when she said the part about her man being on the phone and the manager noticed the 11 year old girls in the R movie, she probably mentioned that it was in everyone's best interest that they leave. The only evidence that I have to this is that the woman walked back to the seat, grabber her drink, and dragged her family out of there. The whole way out Phone Guy kept saying "I oughta shoot that damn m*****-f***er!"

We were able to watch the rest of Black Snake Moan in peace. It is a pretty damn good film. And Phone Guy never came back with a gun to shoot anyone. I kept waiting to see if I was going to witness to a hate crime or not, but nothing happened. Needless to say no one was quick to be the first out of the theater.

So what did I learn? That most of society's winners do not go to movie theaters in suburbia. And if someone answers their cell phone in front of you, kick their chair if you want to get shot.

Have a good one and don't get none on ya


NICK A. DAVIS said...

why would that be a hate crime? please explain...

Philip said...

Phone Guy and Seat Kicker were of different races. Based on the South Park episode where Cartman goes to jail, that's enough evidence to make it a hate crime. And as bad as this fair county is, that's probably all it would take.

Four D Blues said...

Hey man, glad you survived. Just wanted to let you know I am back and trying to get involved in the blog again. It is slow going, but I am making an effort. Good luck in the job search, I am doing the very same thing so I can empathize. Take it easy.



Philip said...

Glad your back dude.

bogeybill said...

We saw Black Snake Moan Sunday at the Paradiso, absolutely loved it! While we didn't have the bowels of those communities you listed, we did have one dumbass, young mother who brought her small child (probably 3-4 yrs. old) who just had to talk.....frequently! Luckily we learned our lesson sometime ago, we try to stay out of Collierville or Cordova movie theatres, just too much drama.


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