Monday, January 31, 2011

Requesting an Audience.

Going to the movies is not what it used to be.  And no, I don’t mean because tickets cost infinity and no one can even afford salty snacks or sugary treats any more.  It's not the gigantic overcrowded parking lots and uncomfortable saggy wobbly seats.  It's not the sticky floors and smelly recirculated air.  While all of those factors definitely add to my frustration, what actually sends me over the edge is the movie goer population, made up of horrifyingly annoying people.  If you are in fact one of the cinemorons that I am about to describe, then please do us all a favor and stop going to the movies, forever and ever.  If, like me, you are stuck dealing with these people, hopefully this helps you cope, and realize that you are not alone when facing the human obstacles that stand between you and a pleasurable viewing experience.

A) Talking Heads

I don’t mean a tiny whisper into your neighbour’s ear.  I mean talking or whispering so loud that everyone can hear.  If you have the balls to be a shusher, or call the fuzz (the dreaded pimple-faced teenager with a flashlight), then please do so for the sake of everyone.  You may even get applause upon successfully terminating the talking.  Personally I just like to throw my drink at their head.  Well, I don’t actually do it, except of course in my non erotic fantasies.

The Narrator

This is the person cheerfully sitting with the dumbest person, possibly in the entire world, and decides it is their responsibility to explain everything that is happening throughout the entire movie, so that ol’ half wit can keep up.  Sometimes the half wit is a child, which does not excuse this behaviour.  It is still completely fucking unacceptable.  

Take them to see Justin Bieber and keep them the hell out of my movie theatre (whether we’re talking about a child or not).

The Detective

This is the person whose powers of deduction are so startlingly poor, that they might actually feel that the comments that they are announcing to the crowd have not crossed the mind of every single living thing in nature.

Scene: Bruce Wayne lowers himself into a cave, full of bats.  
The Detective says: “The Batcave!  I think that will become the batcave.

Scene: Bruce Wayne is presented with a prototype armoured vehicle.  
The Detective says: “The Batmobile!  Did you see the Batmobile?

Scene: A new villain leaves behind his calling card, the Joker from a deck of cards.
The Detective says: “The Joker!  Oh I bet it’s the Joker, the new villain is the Joker.

Even half-wit I mentioned before probably figured these ones out.  I can’t even imagine what an actual conversation with one of these people would be like.

Oh wow.  You kicked me square in the nuts.  I bet that means that you have a problem with me.

The Stand-In

This is the person that has already seen the film, and thinks that loudly fucking up lines of dialogue moments before they are actually spoken in the movie will somehow gain them some kind of street cred.  Honestly what’s the thought process here?  That afterwards we’ll all join together and say “Oh, YOU were the guy that knew all the lines, man, you were so cool, even when you messed 95% of them up you totally improved the movie, I preferred your version, and you’re the winner of life”?  

You know what?  Fuck you.

The Too Cool for School

Maybe he’s on his cell phone, maybe he’s with some other asshole and they are talking about the stock market, but the point is, with how expensive the ticket and snacks are, you have to really be ignorant to sit in a movie theatre, think you’re too good to bother paying attention and carelessly ruin everyone else’s fun.  You’ve just paid a bunch of money to promote and showcase just how much of a piece of shit you are.  


The Open Book

This is the person that screams in horror films.  They say “OH MY GOD!” or “DIOS!” or “I CAN’T WATCH!” when there is a tense and suspenseful scene.  They laugh way too hard during funny scenes (they’re all “THAT’S HILARIOUS!”).  They say “YES!” really loud when something triumphant transpires.  They might even say “OH NO!” as something bad is happening or “I DON’T BELIEVE IT!” when a sad scene arises.  The worst ones actually try and talk to the characters on screen, in the hopes that the movie is actually some sort of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure, that the projectionist can and will swap in different rolls of film depending on the reactions of the crowd... “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!”  

Please, hold that shit in, from now on, until the end of time.

B) Make Some Noise


Whether choking on expensive popcorn, loosening up some phlegm from a nasty cold or just the result of an overall shitty airway system, Coughy will gross you out and ruin your movie.


This is the kind of person that gets the stickiest candy and produces wet smack noises in between moo-cow grade mastication noises.  Chewy doesn’t care about you.  Chewy wants you to have an awful time.


My popcorn bag is almost empty, but rather than just put it aside, I will fold it over one million times, quite loudly might I add, so that I can save the rest for later” thought Crumply.  Does anyone EVER eat the popcorn they bring home from the movies?  Answer: no.


MY DRINK’S ALMOST EMPTY. LISTEN TO HOW LOUD I CAN BE!!!!” slurped Slurpy during the film’s climax.  Then he shook the drink to listen to the maraca sound of the ice cubes.


Honestly, my heart goes out to Sobby, it really does.  But if a movie is making you sniffle and moan that loudly in public, maybe you should stick to reality.

Your best bet in these noisemaker situations is to give them one of those double-entendre coughs, It's a cough, but it really means “Ahem… excuse me, but please refrain from further nuisances” (picture that in a snooty euro-trash kind of accent).  Just don’t do it too often, or you might turn into Coughy.  If the shut up cough doesn’t work, you’ll have to upgrade to a full shush and failing that, once again, resort to the ratting the perpetrator out, if you have the balls of course, as mentioned earlier.  You can always mimic what they are doing, but sometimes people don't clue into that very quickly.  Especially not these keen minds. 

C) Let’s Get Physical

High Beams

This is when the dingbat in front of you is texting or browsing the internet on their phone and blinding you with the light, making it somehow impossible for you to see anything else.  The best thing to do is to turn on your phone and hold it in directly against their eyeball.   They won’t always get why, but chances are they will stop shining the light in your direction since most likely their phone will be on their ear as they call the police.  Hopefully the response time around where you live sucks and you’ll get to see most of the movie.  If you don’t have a phone, use a match, lighter, flashlight or shoe.

Decreased Visibility

I have a huge head so I know to sit low.  People with big heads that haven’t figured this out yet should be in prison.  If it’s the hair that’s making the head in front of you so big, just trim some of it off with a pair of scissors.  It’s dark, and they won’t notice what you've done to them until they get home.  By that time, you’re already half-way to Mexico.

Kick It

Sometimes the person behind you kicks the seat accidentally.  Fine.  Sometimes it happens over and over again.  Noticeably less fine.  Next time this happens start swing your arms behind you.  Once you eventually make contact, turn around and confess “oh, I’m sorry, I, like you, totally forgot that there were other people sitting in the chairs around me.”  You can replace arm swings with throwing ice cubes or gummy worms over your shoulder, and generally, it will produce the same results.

Close Encounters

If the theatre is completely packed, and there is not a single empty seat in the house, then, yes, I understand when a complete stranger sits directly next to me.  But when there are ten thousand empty seats, why would you not give me, at least ONE FUCKING SEAT of buffer zone.  Seriously, it’s like when a dude chooses the urinal right beside me, when there are so many other urinal options to choose from.  These people need help.  

And then I end up feeling guilty when I get up and move over, as if I am telling them that they repulse me, or smell bad.  Well, probably they do, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing.  If no one ever tells them, they will never improve.  Or shower, apparently.  It helps if as you move over you casually mention “God something really smells.

Please note that these are usually the same people that get up in the middle of an important scene to go to the washroom and step on your foot while shoving their ass in your face.

Peep Show

Honestly, don’t come to the movie theatre just to make out and touch each other’s peens and vageens.  Just go get a motel room.  It’s probably cheaper and maybe even a little more comfortable.  If it’s the public nature of it all that bakes your beans, then at least find somewhere that the rest of us haven’t paid to be.  If you catch someone in this type of scenario, just shine a flashlight on them and yell “TICKETS PLEASE!”  They’ll probably stop, if not, try hitting them with it, repeatedly.

Maybe I just didn’t notice it as much when I was a kid, but it really feels like it’s getting worse and worse.  The only real way to get around these obstacles is to go to the movies when absolutely no one else is there, in the middle of a weekday, on your half hour lunch break.  I know what you’re thinking, that there would be lots of old people there at that time, and that, certainly old people must fit into many of the above mentioned categories.  Wrong.  And shame on you for stereotyping.  Old people fall asleep when they go to the movies, and don’t bother anyone.  Unless they start snoring, at which point it is best to shove a kernel of popcorn into each of their nostrils.

That’s it.  The best scene is coming up.


  1. You had me at 'peens and vageens'

    I am also showing this list to my husband who fits lots of the descriptions.
    He needs to stop.

  2. Darling husband and I don't get to go to the movies often and when we do it's before lunchtime on a weekday when the kids are at school. We have been fortunate to see the last 2 Harry Potter movies in a mostly empty theater so we haven't had to deal with the annoyers mentioned above. Last time we went and took the fam it was to see Toy Story 3 and that was a nightmare for all the reasons listed above.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with us Americans losing touch with how to behave properly in public in general? Hmmmmmm.....

  3. Oh dear - I'm losing it - I couldn't figure out why everything John Wayne was doing was being likened to Batman! I re read it and felt a bit of an arse if I'm honest!

    you missed ... The Wife: constantly needs someone to explain the plot and tell her who "he" is, even though it is the first time that "he" has been on the screen and finding out exactly who "he" is, is an important part of the plot woman!!

  4. or is it only me who winds up sitting next to her?

  5. Amusing look at the tragedy of the commons in a certain context. Although I guess this means the movie theater industry is not going to let you be their spokesperson anymore.

  6. You could add my least favorite behavior, the preteen/teen girls who shriek because the hot boy came on screen. Maybe I should start reconsidering what movies I go to see...although I love the idea of going when the kids are in school! And I agree with Torystellar, people have forgotten how to behave in public. Look at how many parents just let their kids do and say whatever the hell they want!

  7. This was hilarious to me. Too many jokes here were spot on.

  8. I cannot watch movies with my mother. She cannot stand any sort of suspense, so she'll start asking me what's gonna happen, or she'll start worrying and saying, "I can't take this." It's terrible.

    I also know someone who will watch 10-15 of a movie, or perhaps a certain scene and will correctly and loudly guess the outcome of the movie. "Oh, he's totally gonna use that lawnmower to kill his neighbor. See, that's why they are focusing on it now."



  9. Netflix. Mr. Redenbacher. $1.00 box of Goobers from Walgreens. The Couch. Only way to see a movie anymore!

  10. I laughed my ass off. And I'm at work. I think the people here think I'm special now.

  11. @Katie: Honestly, that's grounds for divorce, I should have included that in my post 'The Last Straw'

    @Semi: Yeah I didn't even get into the nightmare of having children in the crowd.

    @Glen: That would make you The Narrator. For shame.

    @Loach: Forget Spokesperson, I'm hoping they ask me to train an army of super ushers.

    @Hannah: I think I don't go see the same movies as you. If that stuff annoys you, stay FAR AWAY from Bieber in 3D.

    @Oilfield: Thanks... but... jokes? I was just reporting facts, I thought...

    @Lor: Your Mother is The Open Book. Your friend sounds like The Psychic. I didn't touch upon them because they usually come up more often in an at home movie night. I'll have to write about that sometime I suppose.

    @Drinker: Agreed. Except replace Goobers with Pepperoni.

    @Steph: That's what I'm here for, to remind everyone how special they are.

  12. I liked this.
    You must go see a boatload more movies than I do.

    I vote for keeping old people out of movies with questionable moral standards.
    I was sitting next to a really old couple for “Black Swan,” and it made me uncomfortable.
    Not the movie. Just, you know, having people raised in the Victorian Age sitting next to me as Mila Kunis went down on Nathalie Portman…

  13. you know, there are more subtle ways of asking me to stop having sex in the back of the movie theatre, kevie.


  14. I've experienced quite a few of these. Tossing at drink at their heads counts as one of my non-erotic fantasies too.

  15. I can't breath. I have laughing tears streaming down my eyes, and I'm sure my husband, who is working out in the garage, is probably afraid to come in the house now. I have one of each of these people in my family of five, except for the making out part. Of course, that may be when I'm not at the movie with them. I do many movies and wonder if people have just gotten so used to doing whatever they want while watching at home they forget to be on good behavior while in the theater. You did, however, leave out my Mom who is the hitter. She hits me every time something shocks or surprises her and I'm sure you can figure out she is also the not so whispery whisperer.
    Anyway, thanks for the laughs,

  16. I only get to see movies for the under-10 crowd these days ... and those scenes are not much better.

  17. It's so true! It's all so true.

    I do have a funny story about a ballsy film teacher of mine: He was watching Hook in a movie theatre, and there was this guy who kept explaining EVERYTHING that was happening. My teacher finally leaned over and said, "Hey, is she blind or something?" And the guy answered that she was. He felt pretty stupid. In most cases I think something should be said though.

    Also, I must confess that I am a stand-in. I'll try to repent...

  18. I can go way better than close encounter. A number of years back I went to see a movie and I was admittedly a little late which is another knock against me. Anyway, I was a bit stoned and confused looking for four seats where I and my other stoned friends could sit. I saw them, awesome. Wanting the aisle seat I hurry up and snatched it and let my friends walk around me. Somehow, I didn't see a rather tiny lady sitting in that seat and sat right on her lap. Yea, I was the jerk that day.

  19. @Katy: While we're at it, let's start taking away their driver's licenses as well... but that's a whole other thing for a whole other day.

    @Kage: How many times do I need to tell you, OBVIOUSLY I don't mean you. Never change!

    @VinnyC: As long as our erotic fantasies don't overlap, I won't be worried.

    @Kelley: Thank you for the kind review! The Hitter is kind of like the Psychic I mentioned above... tends to be more with people you know, I was going for strangers here :) ... Granted all of this means that YOUR family are some of the people that I am talking about!!!!! Try and keep them in order!!

    @Uncool: Yeah I can't imagine how that must be... one day I will... for now, I'll stick to avoiding ALL that.

    @Paul: Man, that's awful... at that point I would run out of the theater and never come back. As for being a Stand-In, I myself am one too... but ONLY at home, and never out loud in the theater.

    @Cerealist: I wan't talking DIRECTLY to you :)

    @Chris: I guess I completely forgot to cover the whole drunk/stoned crowd in the theater. I suppose they could be lumped in with the Too Cool for School. I think sitting on a lady makes you the Molester. Perhaps Chester the Molester, to make it sound more endearing.

  20. Hilarious just choked on my beloved morning cereal...the person right next to my cube seemed a little concerned.

    What about Burpy or Farty Pants, or Poopy Diaper...the idiots who bring babies/infants to movies, and contribute to a future where we will all be requiring hearing aids. Plus I am sorry to be mean, but a crying kid annoys the heck out of me, especially when you go see a movie like Date Night and parents have the balls to bring their 2 year old...really people!

  21. If Burpy is behind you, it's pretty bad, because they end up blowing that vomit air on you. And I think we all know what Farty Pants can do. If Farty Pants is combined with Close Encounter you might not survive...

    I think I'd have to do a whole other section about people bringing their kids to movies that don't make sense to kids.

    I smell a volume 2 coming... or maybe that's just my Farty Pants.

  22. Man, last movie I went to, I sat next to the Open Book. It was a comedy, and instead of laughing, EVERY time there was a punch line she would just say "that's SOOOO funny." Every little joke. "That's SOOOO funny."

    You know what would have been SOOOO funny? If I had punched her in the vagina and given her an emergency hysterectomy by way of fist.

  23. The batcave is full of bats??
    All that for more than $10 a ticket.

  24. Hey Snowhite. What happened to Sneezy and Snory?

    Waiting for the next in the series where you tell us about The Translator and the desperate and available Cell phone user.

  25. "bakes your beans" = hilarious.
    And another thing...I just returned from the theatre and sadly, someone was nice enough to bring a lady with a walker and then they promptly left her to fend for herself as she repeatedly tried to squeeze her walker down a row. It was like watching a vehicle stall over and over again. I have nothing against this lady but I mean come on, help her get to her seat. I bet those bastards made her pay for the movie too. Forgive me. I'm very bitter because my wife made me go to "Country Strong" which is like the musical version of of the Real Housewives series.

  26. @Beer: The Hysterectomy Punch is actually, I believe, a universally accepted way of dealing with the Open Book, even in the case of a man.

    @Al: I believe tickets cost infinity.

    @Antares: Excellent additions. I'll remember them when I write part 2, or an addendum.

    @dbs: Country Strong is Movie Weak.

  27. I just went with my bestie to see a movie..on 6:30. It was us (two 19 year olds) and 35 other old people. And one had to sit right next to me.
    It shouldve gone down like this:
    Instead it was more like this:
    Me whispering to my bestie: I'm gonna go to the bathroom...move my bag to the other side of you...away from that person!

    Props to your blogpost though. Definitely HILarious

  28. Thanks!

    What's a bestie? Is that some new breed of dog or tiger that I am unaware of? What theater allowed that?

    In any case, that is a great technique to avoid Close Encounters. I commend you on your ingenuity.

  29. Kevin!

    This is EXACTLY why I wait several weeks after a movie comes out before seeing it.

    Usually by then it's hardly crowded.

    Other tricks include going to see the early morning show or holding out for a bad-weather day when most people don't want to venture out.

    I've actually seen movies this way and sometimes I was the only one in the theater!



  30. Good point... I find it's getting harder to wait out the crowds now, since movies go in and out of the theater so much quicker than they used to...

  31. I found you through Tracy @ 'It's An Average Life'. It seems we're paired up on the he said/she said thing. Came by to 'spy' on you, but I really like your blog, and I totally agree with the movie thing. That's why I almost exclusively Netflix it, that way I don't deal with morons.

  32. Trying to size up the competition, eh?

  33. So, um, hi. I'm giving you another award over at my place. Enjoy!

  34. I just love your detail and humor. Spot on.

    Crap, I am one of those snorers. I went to see the King's Speech, nice empty theatre with new cushy, comfortable seats and it was warm....and I went out. Luckily, my husband kept nudging me but a huge snort popped out and I sat up and we stared at each other like owls in the dark, and way down deep inside this little voice of denial, "no one heard". Like hell. Oh, I saw the end, the speech.....signed, an old one.