I need an attorney reader to check this out for me. I know there’s justifiable homicide, but what about justifiable slapicide, or justifiable duct-tapeacide?
We spent part of the holiday weekend at the movies, taking in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Bonus review: the little soldiers are in it again and not as funny. Ben Stiller is not as charming now that he’s ho-hum about the museum exhibits coming to life. Amy Adams got on my nerves a little. However, because I am unpredictable, I still got a little misty when the Tuskegee Airmen saluted Amelia Earhart. I don’t KNOW why, OK?
But the real show was the people behind us. Family of five including one two-year-old who did not need to be in the 7:40 p.m. showing.
I started to get concerned during the previews, when suddenly a little face appeared right over my shoulder, like a disembodied shrunken head, and started screeching “UP! UP!” about Disney’s upcoming release.
He remained at my shoulder for a while with his insightful screeching commentary about every previewed movie. Until the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen clip reel started running. The cheerful screeching became a caterwauling scream.
“OH NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! TOOOOOOO SCARY!!!!! I DON’T WANT TO SEE MOVIES!!!”
At this point, his mother intervened.
“Shhh, our movie’s about to start,” she said between popcorn crunching.
“NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! TOOOOOOO SCARY!!!!!”
The sobs became more insistent. The gentle maternal comfort continued.
“You need to sit in your frickin’ seat and be quiet.” Chew chew chew.
“NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! I DON’T WANT TO WATCH THE MOVIE. I WANT TO GO!!!!” His displeasure became more insistent, and was now punctuated with kicking the back of my seat.
I contemplated several things. Perhaps I could turn around with a smile and suggest gently that he might enjoy the movie more from the deserted section of the theater up front, where he could move around more. Perhaps I could offer to take him to the lobby if they wanted to pay the $30 I had spent on tickets. Perhaps I could just slap his parents upside the head.
“I AM LEAAAAAVING. NO MOVIES! NO MOVIES!”
Then, his mother said this, “OK, you don’t want to watch the movie?”
“Yes!” I thought. “Parental responsibility kicks in! She realizes he’s out of control, a disruption to others, that this is developmentally inappropriate. Score one for mom!”
“Fine,” she continued. “You just go ahead and go, we’ll be right here. Go on. Go. Just leave.”
Oh hell, no.
Really, you stupid cow? Over a movie tantrum, you’re telling your two-year-old, who shouldn’t be here in the first place, that he should just head out to the lobby? Screw you, sweetie, mommy and daddy want to watch a movie.
I turned around. Looked at her, raised an eyebrow, started to say something. I don’t know what.
But the distraught toddler amped up his scream to a sonic boom level and started sobbing, and before I could say anything, she glared at me, scooped him up, and said “Fine, we’re going outside.”
People all around us started muttering “It’s about time.”
He came back about halfway through the movie. Quiet, settled, exhausted from his earlier tantrum. He stood to watch the movie, once again leaning his little face over the seat and next to mine. He continued his commentary, now in hushed tones.
His little hand patted my shoulder. I patted back, and resisted the urge to just grab him and run out. I also resisted the urge to chase down his parents after the movie, and tell them I understand being frustrated, but their kids are only little once, movies are on DVD forever.
And also, warn them that next time, I *am* going to bitch-slap someone.