They're like mice. They're nasty little creatures. They eat well-hidden grocery snacks. And they shit everywhere. I've had a rodent infestation problem for quite sometime. Although The Tale of Despereaux glorifies mice as cute and good-natured, Kate DiCamillo's family film has done little to sway my conscience. I've still gone about the house planting peanut butter covered Victor mousetraps in every quiet corner with the hopes of hunting them down and exterminating their entire family. Baby. Mom. Dad. Sis. And fat gray grandpa. All to be slaughtered on my watch. Sad fact is: They're smart. And fast. After a couple of untimely deaths, those mice learned how to sneak the snacks out of my traps. They formed a resistance behind the refrigerator, coming up through the floorboards armed and angry like Tuvia Bielski and his brothers.
One thing's for certain. They're not frightened of me in the least bit. They'll pop out from the cabinet and stare at me while I work. Eat. And Play. They crawl over my feet. They dance around in my chip box, nibbling at Fritos and Doritos like huge bags of freeze dried caviar. One night, I heard scratching. Nails on metal. It was the worst sound. I slumbered out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen. Fat gray grandpa was stuck in the toaster. His hairy body came squishing out of the bread slot, covered in crumbs. It set a mental image in my head. Being that unawake, that early in the morning? The moment felt like pushing yellow bug guts through my teeth. I haven't been able to eat toast since. The next day, I pulled out the sliding crumb trays to find them caked with mouse turds. Some dried, some fresh. They'd been there for quite some time. It made me sick. I had to take a stand.
Those fuckers scurried across my floor without fear. Its my honest belief that the group as a whole had snuck down to the Vista and watched The Tale of Despereaux on their own. The babies learned how to be fearless. And the adults learned how to accept their place in the world. They returned to the house ready for a takeover. But I didn't take it. One of the youngsters flew across the floor, hiding behind a stack of magazines. Off came my shoe. Its underdeveloped brain helped it prance about in plain sight. Wham! Down came the rubber soul of that New Balance. One hit, and it flipped in the air. Landing on its side. No blood. It was easy. And I was a killer. I grabbed a plastic bag and disposed of it in the back yard. I came back in with a vengeance.
I should have known it would be the shoe. The shoe is better than a trap. You can control it. You can administer the pain. It didn't take long for the next little Despereaux to come prancing through my office. That arrogant ninny sipped out of the dog's water dish. It pounced on the exercise ball in the corner. It leaped and danced, ignorant of its impending demise. I stood still, careful not to alert it to my shoe removal. It ran across the plastic underneath the elliptical machine. Dumb fuck. I had it cornered. Thwack! I nailed it. But lifting up my shoe, it continued to run. Thwack! A second time. Harder. It still managed to get to its feet. That MFer wasn't getting away. I came like Peltzer's hammer. Multiple tags of waffled rubber suddenly had the floor looking like a scene out of Pulp Fiction. My mind took an instamatic snapshot of the madness. The mouse twitched. I hit it one last time. And I shit you not. Its brain popped out of its head and landed next to me. Not in a mass of syrup. It wasn't goopy. It was perfectly preserved. And looked like a tiny human brain. One tiny teardrop of blood underneath it. I think the image scared me. I stood back, trembling. I had just killed Despereaux part Duex. And it felt good.
Two days went by without a mouse incident. I thought I'd cured the infestation problem. Maybe they saw I wouldn't take their aggressive behavior. Or maybe I killed them all. Not likely. Before going to bed, I saw one of those mice sitting on top of the vacuum. Starring at me. Challenging me to a fight. Luckily I had kicked off my Ewing Conductor Hi within hand's reach. I grabbed it and jumped to my feet. To my surprise, the mouse just sniffed the air. It then charged me, which threw me off balance. I slammed the blue rubber heel of my hi-top down on his body. The thing didn't die. It kept coming towards me. Like a blind armadillo on a hot Texas lawn. I hit it again, and it let out the loudest scream. The piercing noise was worse then the shrill of a dying rabbit. Then its body went flat. I went to grab its tail. And the thing did this weird high flip off the ground, twisting. As if it had been struck by a jolt of electricity. I hit it in midair, and it fell lifelessly to the ground. Dead; I was afraid to pick it up. Afraid to see it move again. After five minutes of waiting it out, I scooped it up and threw it in the trash. Two days later, fat gray grandpa took a header into a trap. It snapped his neck; peanut butter fresh on his lips. What a tragedy. I guessed him the last to go. His family was dead, and he wanted to die with the taste of Peter Pan on his tongue.
After that, the mice stayed long gone for quite sometime. But then last week, I came home to a family of lice infected rodents doing a jig on the living room rug. Which just goes to prove: No matter how hard you try to get rid of something, it'll always find its way back into your life. Just like a New Year's resolution. You may go weeks and weeks without giving into the temptations that you are striving to remove from your life. But sooner or later, that diet will take a nosedive. That cigarette will find its way back to your lips. That fat chick's greasy schmoove will once again be writhing around on your hips. And those mice will be back screaming, "You can't touch this!" As they scamper across a fresh loaf of Wonder Bread doing their best M.C. Hammer dance. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to kill whatever ails you.
And that's what we are going to do, folks. Try. It's all we've got. Here are 2009's Cineplex resolutions. Though you might slip and fall at some point, this year at the movies will be a better place if you stick to this list of self-imposed rules. Sure, these resolutions should be quite obvious. But I've been to the movie theater six times this week. And it's gotten worse than ever. Try them out. Utilize them. You'll love your self. And others will love you back.
Resolution #1: I will not bring any animals into the theater with me! You saw how the mice reacted after watching The Tale of Despereaux. They became cocky. And unprepared for their ultimate demise. Lately, I've seen a lot of teens and twenty-something post-Goths bringing their rodents into the theater with them. This is not necessary. Ferrets can't follow the deft plotting of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When one gets loose, all Hell breaks out. And no one gets to enjoy their movie. That goes for dogs, too. I don't care how cute that little Chihuahua is, sticking out of your purse. The thing's brain is the size of a pea. No matter how simplistic the jokes found in Hotel for Dogs may be, they aren't going to understand them. Or derive any sort of joy out of the experience. Crazy cat lady? Keep your tabby at home. Pets don't belong in the movie theater. It's that simple.
Resolution #2: I will only bring my baby to special nursing matinees! Trust me. No one likes a screaming baby in a movie theater. Trying to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop while some drooling infant shits itself doesn't necessarily make the bad jokes seen on screen seem any better. Most major cities have implemented special "mother-friendly" screenings for those women and men dying to take their tyke to see My Bloody Valentine 3-D. Look it up on-line. And keep your crybaby pisser out of our Cineplex. It's easy enough to do. And with the state of Blu-Ray, you're better off watching your movies at home. So stay there. Enough is enough.
Resolution #3: I will not talk out loud during the film at any point! This one is a no brainer. No one else in the theater thinks you are funny. No one else cares what you think about the film at any given time. If you want to express your opinion, then contact your local movie blog and see if they will post your reviews. Or better yet, start your own critical website. Talking is annoying. It always has been. It always will be. And to all you white girls dating black men, stop it already. Just because you have entered into a biracial relationship doesn't give you the right to be the loudest, most obnoxious jerk in the theater. Shut the fuck up! Especially those of you that have already seen the movie, and want to prove it to everyone else by describing every moment as it happens. You are not the director, and the theater is not the place for your own live DVD commentary. Will you never learn?
Resolution #4: I will not read aloud from the screen for any reason! Why do you feel the need to do this? A cereal box appears on screen and you read it out loud. The subtitles appear on screen and you read them out loud. For some reason, when you see the English language written out in any form, you feel the need to exemplify it for the rest of the crowd. Stop it! We can all read. We just keep it inside. No one needs your help. Trust me, you might think you are helping but you are not. You are making the film less enjoyable for everyone else.
Resolution #5: I will not ask questions from the audience that only those who have already seen the film can answer! It's inevitable. Sooner than later, someone will quite loudly ask the rest of the theater, "What the heck is going on?" If you can't keep up, or you don't know the meaning of suspense, maybe you shouldn't be sitting in this particular theater in the first place. Asking questions about plot points or character motivations that haven't become clear to anyone else sitting around you only makes you look like a douche bag. Seriously, it does.
Resolution #6: I will not kick, punch, or tug the back of the seat in front of me! My seat is my seat. And it is quite annoying when you decide to make it your footrest. Especially irksome is when you decide to tap or jostle the plastic part of the seat in front of you. Why would you even think that this was okay? Do you think the person sitting in front of you enjoys being bucked around. This isn't Star Tours, and you're not Rex the Robot. And another thing: Don't stick your feet through the armrest. No one wants to look at your size nines out of their peripheral for the entire duration of Bride Wars. And hey, you don't need to put your entire weight on the back of my chair when you go to stand up. Do really think I enjoy being shot forward and out of my seat like a rock in a slingshot? No. I don't. I'll go to an amusement park for that type of abusive entertainment. I don't need it at the movies.
Resolution #7: I will not text, tweet, or talk on my cell phone during any part of the movie! People, this is what you fail to understand. When you pull out your phone and start texting, it's like shinning a flashlight directly into the face of the person sitting in back of you. Maybe you're not talking. But that luminous blue light is a blinding distraction. And the sound of your fingers hitting the touchpad or screen is incredioulus. It's like cockroaches tap dancing in the midst of a downpour. And you tweeters? No one really needs to hear your up to the minute thoughts on the film you are watching while you are watching it. Save that shit for after the movie. Your tweet followers aren't going anywhere. Not to mention the fact that most of your followers are part of Big Brother. Why do you want anyone knowing where you are every given moment of the day? Fucking narcissists, one and all.
Resolution #8: I will not shoot any one for any reason during the film. People talk and it is annoying. But you don't need to shoot them. That will bring you a whole lot of legal trouble that you don't need. And like James Joseph Cialella, you will be pulled out of the theater before you get to see the end of the film. A nice, loud shut up should suffice. And if that doesn't work: Tell someone working in the theater! Here's a little known fact. If you get up and leave your seat due to the baboonish behavior emitting from a fellow audience member, the theater absolutely has to give you free tickets. This also goes for any problems that may arise during the screening itself. If they don't give you free tickets, tell them you know its theater policy. They won't argue. At all. And they will more than likely take care of any and all problems. Unless you are watching a film at any one of the beautiful Magic Johnson theaters around the country. In that case, its fend for yourself time. As a precaution, you might just want to bring a gun.
The face of a true cinema lover? Whoop-doo!
Resolution #9: I will not buy or bring any food into the theater that stinks or comes in a hard to open cellophane package! Even worse than the resident talker is the jerk that brings a bunch of tightly wrapped candy sours into the theater with him. He sits through the entire movie, unwrapping each individual piece. What? Can't he hear the noise he is making? Is he deaf? Does the candy taste that good? Fuck no. There are plenty of tasty noise free alternatives. Besides, you don't really need all that sugar. Do you, fatty? I didn't think so. And that Chinese food that taste so good? It's making the rest of the theater want to throw up. Save dinner for later. You'll enjoy it more. I promise.
Of course these Resolutions aren't directed at you, my loyal Whoop-doo! Nation. You've got your film going etiquette down. But you do know people that should read this. Print it up and leave it in the theater on the floor. Do your country a service. Maybe, just maybe, one inconsiderate bastard will rethink his behavior and learn to act like a civilized human being. Maybe just for a moment. One film without incident could change the world. Though, those annoying traits will slowly seep back into the prone personality. Just like the mouse finds its way back to a warm bag of chips on top of the refrigerator. What you shouldn't do at the movies is so simple and obvious. It's sad that almost 80% of those that buy tickets will indulge in one of the anti-social behaviors above.
Until next time, Whoop-doo! Eat food! Kill Grandma! Remain a considerate theater patron!