Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

January 1, 2011 at 10:07am

PETTY QUESTIONS: Out At the Pictures

PETTY QUESTIONS: A weekly local advice column about pet peeves and trivial matters by Owen Bates (not pictured).

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Wow, we made it. Another year. The final Petty Questions until 2012.


Just kidding. 2013.

In the last 24 hours I've seen three movies at The Grand: Black Swan, The King's Speech, and True Grit. Let me explain something – I like movies. Let me explain another thing – movies are sometimes the only things that make me feel whole. Also, my cat marked my laptop bag and I think I'm coming down with a cold, so I feel crummy. For Christmas my parents gave me a one-way ticket to nowhere.

One of these things is completely false. Can you guess the fake? Here's a hint: my parents did not give me a one-way ticket to "nowhere" for Xmas. It is a round-trip ticket, to Boston, and it was booked way before Christmas but not enough before to get a killer deal, just an OK deal with a connection in Chicago that got cancelled due to the snow and it's great to be back in the Emerald side of the Emerald state (you know what I'm talking about, folks.)

Coincidentally today's question is about the movies I heard.

QUESTION: I want to know why movie screenings are not more like catching a train? Because I hate people walking around a theater room when I am trying to get into the fucking zone for the feature presentation during the trailers. And when your ass is late to the station, you may have bought a ticket, but the doors are locked and train's done left without your tardy assed ass. – Cinemas Are Fun!

CAF, I thought I felt bad. You're in a pretty foul mood! (I don't feel that bad yet; it's mostly the anticipation of feeling worse that's like, come on.) Let's see what we can do for you here at the foul mood hospitalhouse. In order to do that I'll have to find the root of the problem, the origin of the trauma. I am going to deconstruct your mind.

"I want to know why movie screenings are not more like catching a train?" Here's what we can discern: you feel that movies are not shown but screened, perhaps because for you the presentation of a movie or a film is a big deal, an event, like the birth of a baby sister that makes all your parents attention go away. Moreover, the image of a train comes to your mind, a confusing symbol of both moving forward – progression – but in old times – regression. Classic Elektra complex. "?" seems to suggest that you don't even have a clue what's up, so that's pretty much what's up.

I'm bored with that so I'll just give you plain straight advice. Until you are allowed to murder and debase people on the basis of vigilante justice, I don't think there's going to be much you or anyone can do to deter people from entering the movie late. It's annoying I know (trust me, I KNOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yes I know what you are talking about CAF and I cannot only sympathize but also empathize for I am angry too I know!!) What are we going to do, not let people in late by even a minute? It's fascistic and bad for business – "Gonna have to go ahead and give that idea two boos down," sign-languaged Roger Ebert, a critic.

What am I going to tell you to do? Here's what I'm going to tell you to do. Either sit all the way up front or all the way up back. I could have thought of that myself.

If you're in the front row those "assclowns," as you didn't call them, won't even be in your line of vision. Plus you'll be up close, in smooching distance of Natalie Portwoman. This may cause your eyes to hurt over time because of extreme light and eventually blindness---but whatever since you're getting into, as you did call it, "the fucking zone."

If you sit in the back then all the tardy boys will be small and look like stupid ants. You can crush them. Ants don't even factor into your existence (vis-à-vis their being stupid). Plus, if you're in the back you can see the whole screen easy! I stole that tip from Pauline Kael who is dead. Another tip of mine/hers: don't let the darkness consume you.

I bet you were expecting a story. Like, "your predicament reminds me of the time a made-up friend of mine went to boarding school with a pirate in the wilds of the Sahara." Well then, I've got news for you buddy: I ran out of stories and this will be a boring no-fantasy no-fun column now hahaha tricked you! Try unsubscribing your RSS feed now! It is very simple to do, try it. See? I'm gone.

(At this point I put a cloth over your head and then escape your bedroom at a normal walking pace.)

Ring ring hey, check out next week's column alright? It's going to be about telephones. Yes way!

Please direct questions to: askpettyquestions@gmail.com.

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