Here's the Scoop: October 24, 2012

Any minute now...
I did something last week that’s not common for me — went to see a newly released movie. A hit movie, even. In a mall, of all places.

Recovery is not quite complete.
There are many reasons why I don’t usually participate in the activities just mentioned. I don’t care much for crowds. I’m not a “blockbuster” kind of guy (I am clinging to my status as one of only three people in the U.S. who has never seen “Titanic”). My bank hates it when I skip a mortgage payment to purchase movie theater popcorn. And, well, I don’t get out much. I like that.

But, last weekend there wasn’t anything on the schedule and off we zipped to the mall for a movie. Because the film we were about to see was new and popular, we arrived about 20 minutes before the scheduled starting time to secure good seats.

Oddly enough, for a top-grossing movie, there were very few folks in the theater. We centered ourselves nicely and waited for the show to begin. But, first, a few words from….pretty much everyone.

All within reason
I actually like watching some movie previews — a short teaser can make pretty much any movie seem entertaining. Or not.

Something was different about these previews, though. They included TV show highlights. I don’t really watch that much TV when I’m at home, I certainly don’t want to watch it at the movies — of all places! But, there they were, up on the Big Screen, pitches for a couple of TV shows. Promos for a bunch of other crap (can we say that in a family newspaper?) followed.

The endless stream of sales pitches made me start to wish I had cast an absentee ballot, because getting out of the theater before Election Day didn’t seem like a sure thing.

Finally, the First View (or something like that), as it was touted in a commercial to itself, ended. Now, we could get down to the Featured Attraction. Well, not quite yet, as it turned out.

After being reminded (threatened?) to turn off cell phones and refrain from texting during the movie, we were treated to a fast-paced animated roller-coaster ride reminding us: You are hungry. You must snack. Head to the lobby. Bring your debit card.

I thought this was an odd time to push overpriced, unhealthy snacks because it had to be time for the Featured Attraction.

Pretty stuffed
The good news was that we had made a stop at Five Guys Burgers and Fries before hitting the mall. My stomach didn’t have space for even a single Raisinet or Jujube.

On the bad news front, it seems like the 20 minutes of ads we had just experienced was more of a Pre-Preview. Now it was time for the Real Previews. And lots of them.
The Real Previews seemed to go on longer than a parental lecture. Not only were there many of these mini-commercials, they failed to make any of the movies seem terribly appealing.

My wife and I both were becoming agitated with this situation.
“If we hadn’t been warned about this, I’d text the projection booth and tell them to get on with it!” I grumbled.

Then, the strangest thing happened — we’d been sitting around for so long, I began to feel slightly hungry.

“I’m going to get some food,” I announced.
My wife was speechless, knowing my long history of refusing to fork over huge sums of money for theater refreshments.

I returned about three Real Previews later with the remaining Five Guys Fries and and a bottle of water from the car.

“I’ve got an appetite for the Feature Attraction,” I explained. “If I can stay awake that long.”
— Brian Sweeney