Thursday, July 06, 2006

Three is Better than Five in This Case

As I mentioned yesterday, last weekend was crammed full of nostalgic get-togethers with friends from OSU. The catalyst for Saturday's activities was Clan Berzerkr's decision to spend a couple of days at The Eskimo's house on their way to visit Wrath's dad in Louisiana. But, since nothing was planned until the evening, Zinger and I decided to take in a matinee: Superman Returns.

Now, Zinger and I are both the sort of people who like to get to movies a long time before the show starts in order to make sure we get good seats, a tendency that drives Pooh crazy on those rare occasions when he and I go to a movie that she wants to see as well. For once, it almost drove us crazy too, since the theater decided to have its pre-movie music stuck on a 5 minute loop, forcing us to hear clips of the same three songs over and over again, which wouldn't have been so bad if it had actually been, y'know, good music. However, as it is, we were constantly bombarded with snippets of a track by J-rap group Teriyaki Boyz*, which made us both briefly contemplate leaving the theater to go drive our cars off cliffs or blow our brains out, but then we realized: that would be stupid**.

Our only respite from Teriyaki Boyz hell was the potential for a fist fight brewing behind us. I'm a little fuzzy on all the details, since my eavesdropping skills are not what they once were, but here the gist of it: two guys came in to the movie early and tried to save a whole bunch of seats; we'll call them The Savers. Two other guys came in and sat down right in front of them; we'll call them The Sitters. Now, as soon as The Sitters sat down, The Savers told them they had to move, because The Savers were saving two whole rows. The Sitters told The Savers that was ridiculous, that they would sit wherever they wanted because it was ludicrous for two people to try to save two whole rows. Apparently many words were exchanged before The Savers decided to move back a row or two. Nonplussed at being thwarted, The Savers kept on mouthing at The Sitters, talking smack about them and their "rude" behavior until finally the more volatile of The Sitters had had enough, got up, exclaimed "I'll just go talk to the manager and see what he has to say about this" and stormed off.

It was The Storming of the Sitter that first alerted me to the fact that something was going on behind us, but had no clue what. After The Volatile Sitter returned he was ranting a little bit about how he works with tons of lawyers and just let The Savers try anything, yadda yadda. At that point, I was prepared to write The Sitters off as troublemakers, but almost immediately the more volatile of The Savers had descended to the row behind The Sitters and began tearing into them about going to the manager. Voices were raised, words became heated, and I prepared myself for a melee to break out one row behind me. Sadly, no mob rule broke out; instead The Volatile Saver decided that The Sitters were harassing him (even though he was the one verbally assaulting and confronting them) and declared that he, too, was going to go talk to the manager, and stormed off.

It was The Storming of the Saver which made me realize that The Volatile Sitter, while still volatile, probably had had justification. A little while later the manager came up to talk to The Sitters, and it was at that point that I was able to finally overhear enough to know just what the row had been about. The manager seemed to side with The Sitters on the whole "two people trying to save two whole rows is moronic" issue, and that was pretty much the end of it. So, no floor show with the movie, dagnabit.

As for the movie itself, well, I’ll get into more spoilery stuff on Monday***, but for now suffice it to say that as an homage that strives to channel the spirit and energy of the old Donner/Reeves films it’s a success. As a well-written film with a strong narrative and the ability to revitalize the franchise? Not so much. I enjoyed it, but the more I think about it afterwards, the less able I am to give it a positive review.

After the movie was over, we headed back to Casa de Stoneheart for a bit and waited for Pooh to return from shopping before we all headed over to The Eskimo’s house for the rest of the evening’s festivities. It was a pretty full house (12 adults and 8 kids) but still not as crazy as the last PFL draft which also threw Clan Flunky and Special K’s family into the mix. It was a pretty standard Parkerite gathering, with bratwursts being cooked, poker being played, and a dash of nostalgic reminiscing here and there. I know that at one point my sides were hurting from all the laughing; honestly not sure the last time I laughed that hard (and yes, that includes the night of mohoohoo). Of course, I can’t recount everything that had me doubled over in laughter because either (a) I don’t recall it or (b) it’s not really appropriate to discuss in a family friendly blog which is regularly read by my Sunday School class.

One thing that stands out in my head though is a familiar pattern with these gatherings where The Eskimo tries to engage me in conversation; it usually goes something like this.

Eskimo: So, Cap’n , what good movies have you seen recently
Me: [mind goes blank, can only emit monosyllabic gibberish]
Eskimo: Okay, so what movies are coming out soon?
Me: [somehow mind goes even more blank, resulting in distant stare and slight drooling]
Eskimo: [clearly getting uncomfortable] Um, er, um . . . DVD?
Me: [my brain has now become a tabula rasa, plunging me into a persistent vegetative state]
Eskimo: [falling back on his default catchphrase for the evening] Drink faster!

Or, at least, that’s how it feels. I swear, next time, I’m doing research beforehand and taking a cheat-sheet.

Side-note: This “deer-in-headlights” thing is a pretty common reaction from me anytime I get put on the spot; my Bible as Literature professor always told me that he knew that if he assigned me a discussion topic at the end of class that I would always have a well-reasoned, articulate response the next day, but that if he just asked me a question at random, I became a gibbering idiot. Cap’n Spontaneous, I am not.

But momentary mental lapses aside, the evening was a lot of fun, and I learned at least one new word: “newbors****,” which was coined by The Eskimo when he was trying to say “new neighbors.” The only downside was the fact that there may be issues with doing a live PFL draft this year, which would stink, since it’s usually the only chance I get to see Clan Flunky or Special K.

Oh, and I lost three bucks at poker. But it could have been worse; I could have lost five bucks.

Right, Zinger?

*As soon as we heard the name, Zinger predicted it would be boys with a z, and he was right; spooky, no?
**Yes, it's an inside joke; no, I'm not explaining it.
***No, really, I mean it this time
****Or possibly “noobers” for the l33t among you


Zinger said...