Lights, Camera, Morons

27 May

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.


At this point, his mother intervened.

“Shhh, our movie’s about to start,” she said between popcorn crunching.


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.


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.

23 Responses to “Lights, Camera, Morons”

  1. Eeyore May 27, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    “Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?”

  2. Ed May 27, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    YOU GO GIRL!!! There is NOTHING more annoying than what you just described. and it doesn’t just happen in movie theaters either. Oh no,…restaurants and my personal favorite (note sarcasm) WAL-MART! For &^%$#-sake people who’s the freakin boss here!! By the way,..if you do ever commence to a bitch slapping….. get your husband to take picture or video tape it! I’d pay to see it!!

  3. Plato May 27, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    This is why I bring a squirt gun to the movies.

  4. Bethany May 27, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    This is why I rarely go to the movies! You think people can be obnoxious in Texas? Haha… try seeing a movie in NJ!

  5. Sean May 27, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Too many parents don’t want to take the time to be parents if it’s inconvenient for them. I hate that. I’m not a perfect parent, but I think we do a better job that half the people we see out and about. And I know we do better than that cow.

  6. LGV May 27, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Sadly, your experience retells what now passes for accepted public behavior – from both the children & parents; self-esteem above common-sense and decency.

  7. Jack Bauer May 27, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    I would shoot the dad for sitting there like a bump on a log, grab the mom by the collar and scream “I need you to focus! We don’t have much time (before the feature starts) – who is in charge here? You or the kid? ANSWER ME!!!”

  8. @heartmychloe May 27, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Damn right, I would have bitch-slapped the cow too. That kid should have been in bed, or at least seated in his momma’s arms. Poor thing.

  9. mayopie May 27, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Read my latest. We’re on the same page.

  10. RuthWells May 27, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    I like Plato’s solution.

  11. ingrid May 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    I agree with Jack. I sometimes have to wake my honey up (he’s not sleeping) and tell him DO YOU here that? He has an incredible sense of not hearing the kids. For the most part its only at home where he ignores the commotions. 🙂

  12. queenofhaddock May 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    I’m sorry my kid and I got on your nerves. We’ll do better next time. I could just give him some benadryl before we come to the theater. Think that would work?

    (lettergirl, I know *you* know I’m being sarcastic, but my online sarcasm has been misinterpreted lately…so just to be safe: none of you call family services on me, ok? I’m just kidding!)

  13. amy lozano May 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    omg, my number is 210.643.9983. Please call me if you run into these ppl again. I want a stupid cow, *bitch-slappin* front row seat. lol.

  14. ERICKA May 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    I hate people, that is my motto. I hate people that can’t handle their dang kids. Bitch-slap away!

    I went with my bratty little nephew to the movies not to long ago (with his mother as well) and she allowed him to continually lay down in the chair and kick the chair next to him-THE WHOLE TIME! No one was sitting there, but the bam, bam, bam, bam, was extremely annoying.

    And why do parents find it necessary to bring their toddlers and 5 yr old to an R rated movie? Can someone please explain that to me?

  15. Elle May 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    FFS, freaking cow! Jack Bauer is cracking me up, by the way, hehe.

  16. missqokc May 28, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    Unfortunately, most people, including parents, think mostly about themselves. Children do not belong in grown up movies. It is not good for them and it is not good for the other viewers.

    There were young children behind me in Angels and Demons and while they behaved pretty well, I was pretty sure they were going to never, ever, ever, going to go to church again. It was frightening to them but I guess that was what their parents wanted to see and like I said, most people think mostly of themselves.

  17. leah May 28, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    I love plato’s idea! many theaters have a “family” night where everyone brings their kids. do you think you would have liked the movie better if you weren’t irritated?

  18. lettergirl May 28, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Leah, I don’t think so. The first one was pretty cool — because Stiller’s character is coming to grips with the weirdness of the museum stuff coming to life, and that drove the movie. This one, he’s all *yawn* about that (and so is the audience), so it’s just a battle between imaginary characters that fly past the screen without having a chance to develop. I mean, they have every historical figure in here except Hitler and Jesus. It’s gimmick-driven, not story-driven.

  19. lettergirl May 28, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Also, Jack Bauer is totally my date for the movies from now on.

  20. Temperance May 29, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    One Easter while I was working as a waitress I over heard a father tell a little kid he had shot the Easter bunny.

  21. Plato May 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Temperance, my son never got over that night in the restaurant. Now, he works as a professional Easter Bunny in the mall. So sad . . .

  22. lettergirl May 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Plato, you’re so practical for a philosopher.

  23. Kathie September 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    The vision of that little boy patting your shoulder and you patting his hand is one of the sweetest things I have ever heard.

    (Yes, I realize you wrote this months ago and my comment is completely irrelevant now. I just couldn’t help myself.)

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