Monday, April 16, 2012

A Night at the Movies

This week I thought we could all do with a bit of merriment; so I would like to relate another story from my college days: a long time ago, in a place far, far away. If you have already heard this story, I apologize; if you have heard it several times before, what can I say? It's a first sign of old age. You will find no moral here beyond the obvious one, so sit back and enjoy.

We went to the movies almost on a weekly basis during our college days back in the seventies. Pretty much the only thing to do in Colorado Springs was eat pizza and go to movies; when we had the green, we did both. We seemed enthralled with many of the productions; although, looking back, I can't tell you why. It is my opinion that films shot in the seventies haven't held up well over time. My friends and I have discussed this curious phenomenon, and can only figure that decade had a mandate to preach, and what it preached is no longer relevant to anyone except maybe Billy Jack and the few remaining burned-out geriatrics of his fan club (actually Billy Jack was the character's name; I don't recall the actor's name). Even iconic films such as Star Wars have grown somewhat long in the tooth. No doubt some movies from that decade might be termed classics, but compared to other decades, I would say they are few and far between.

Another film of great popularity in its time, but probably lost on most people today, was Jaws. I loved it because my girlfriend dug her nails into my thigh and clung to me during the tense parts, which there were many; Jaws was a wonderful date movie. It was also a blockbuster, and as with most all such films, it spawned several sequels--no pun intended (get it? white shark--fish--reproduction). And of course, we were sucker enough to attend those sequels.

As a rule I'm pretty tolerant of people's rudeness--some might say too accommodating--even while watching a movie. We didn't have cellphones back then, of course, but people don't need advanced technology to be obnoxious; all they require is a good set of lungs and a pair of vocal chords.

My friends and I always sought the eighth row center for watching a movie at the theater; this was considered optimum for viewing. It was no different when we sat down for the first sequel of Jaws (I don't recall the title, and I'm too lazy to look it up). My friend Pat got the coveted center seat, that night. I sat to his left, and to my left sat the female half of a thirty-something couple. I don't remember much about them except the woman talked incessantly during the show--and I mean incessantly. The poor dear was probably terrified--I suspect her husband had to drag her there--but instead of clutching her husband to manage her fear, she assailed him--and the rest of us--with an endless litany of questions. In no time, her interminable prattle grew tiresome. I became desperate for a kind way to shut her up. The plot of the movie eventually provided me the answer.

Here's what happened.

Woman: "what's that?"
Husband: "it's a handgun."
Woman: "what kind is it?"
Husband: "I don't know. I think it's a 357."
Woman: "does he think he can kill the shark with that?"
Husband: "I suppose."
Woman: "what's that he's got?"
Husband: "they're bullets."
Woman: "what's he doing?"
Husband: "he's putting something in the hollow-points."
Woman: "what is it?"
Husband: "poison."
Woman: "why is he doing that?"
Husband: "so he can shoot the shark and kill it."
Woman: "what kind of poison is it?"
Husband: "I don't know. Cyanide, I think."
Woman: "what does that do?"

At this point I lost my patience and leaning toward the woman I said, "it ties up cytochrome oxidase A of the electron transport system."

....enter the blissful chorus of chirping crickets. The movie hardly warranted my hard won undivided attention, but, hey, what else is a poor college student to do on a Friday night?

See you all next week. God bless.


sara kokko said...

...too bad i didn't go to college with you is all i can say, smarty pants! thanks for the fun blog brain break this week...i needed it! xoxo WM