How To Go To The Movies And Not Piss Me Off

picard-movies
All right. So, it’s been a while since we’ve talked. I’ve been all busy with life, working two full time jobs, full time school, raising a hellion, and all the other shit that goes hand-in-hand with getting old, boring, and armed with the excuse “I’ve been busy” for anyone that dare question why I haven’t done more of this, that, and the other thing.

Well, leave it to one of my great passions in life to drive me to unleash the wild ranting maniac that lives inside my bones: The Movies. Now, it’s not what you’re thinking here folks, it’s what you’re not thinking. I’m talking about the show, the theater, the muthafuckin’ movies. Y’know, that place you hardly go because you can’t stand people, lines, overpriced, shitty concessions, uncomfortable seats, and shitty projection? Yeah, that place.

The place done pissed me the fuck off, but here’s the catch: It’s not their fault. Nope, it’s yours. Allow me to explain.

I bought a ticket to see Iron Man 3 for the first IMAX screening available on the day it premiered. I’m a comic book movie junkie, because not only am I a bonafide comic nerd, but during my childhood such magnificent movies never existed and were a pipe dream. Then, along came computers and big budgets and viola! Comic Book movies are now king.

The irony is that I was a big, fat comic nerd in high school and was shunned for it. Now, girls talk about Captain America in the hallways. Captain America! My dick would’ve remained in hibernation forever had I uttered those two words in front of a girl back then. Now, you say Steve Rogers and your weiner is roasting over the proverbial female fireplace. But, I digress…

Let me explain to you HOW I bought my ticket to Iron Man 3. The first thing I did was go to fandango.com. Then, I clicked on the theater where I wanted to see the movie and checked the showtimes for the day I wanted to go. I then selected that time via a hyperlink and was transported to the magical world of online payments. My credit card information was already stored, so it was as easy as hitting the PURCHASE FUCKING TICKET NOW, PLEASE button and that was all she wrote. I could print at home or pick it up at the box office.

Technology is magic.

But, then tragedy struck and my wife reminded me that she had to work that night, during that time, so fuck you and your tickets, nerd boy. I have a four year old who is a regimented little son of a bitch and since we have him trained to shut his eyes and enter the dreamworld thunderdome by 8 pm, my 9 pm showing simply would not fly. I’d have a sleeping and/or cranky child in a packed theater of comic nerds, which would equate to a Weekend At Bernie’s scenario real quick. Not fun.

So, fuck me, I have no choice but to drive to the theater and walk inside and talk to a human to exchange my ticket. This is what we used to call simply “going to the movies” back in olden times (aka the ‘90’s). But now, these magical life-sucking light boxes of information that we are plugged into like the Matrix for hours on end per day offer a new, strikingly more effective means to going to the movies.

And here is where my problem begins and blood vessels burst in my forehead like that Engineer’s head in Prometheus.

I drive to the theater with the hopes of a brief exchange with a teenage girl (whoa, calm down) behind a ticket booth, who will hopefully understand English and help make the transaction of exchanging one ticket for another. I arrived at the theater mid-afternoon and saw a line of about 8 people. Not bad. Really, it shouldn’t take more than 30 – 60 seconds per transaction right? I go ahead and go to the service desk anyway, in the hopes that it will be faster. But, there’s already four, really perturbed looking individuals already waiting and no associate in sight. Fuck it, I’ll get back in the line. Should move faster, right?

I walk back out to the lobby and get in line. There, standing in line is a middle-aged man, turned sideways so that he can yell into the small opening of the booth, yelling to the teenage girl inside. But, this isn’t a ticket purchase. No, this is a fucking hostage negotiation for tickets.

“Okay, so tell me the Iron Man 3 times.”
“We have 3D showings at 2, 5, 8…”
“No, no, you can skip those, what are the other ones?”
“There is a regular showing at 4, 7, 10…”
“What? Those are the only times? You don’t have an 8 or 9?”
“Um, no sir, we have-“
“Okay, let’s go with the 7”
“Okay, how many?”
“Let me get three…hold on, what’s the cutoff age for kids?”
“For children?”
“Yeah. I’ve got a thirteen year old, is that considered a kid?”
“……No, sir.”
“Okay, so three for the 7 pm show.”

Now, during this hostage negotiation for tickets, there was an old woman standing next to this man, a stranger, who, after the man receives his ticket, places her hand on his shoulder and says, “Thanks for letting me listen. It was helpful.”

What the what? This granny is taking a fucking class on how to buy tickets from this schmuck? Are You. Fucking Kidding. Me? It’s like asking O.J. Simpson how to stage a getaway from the cops on the freeway. At this point, I’m beyond annoyed. I’m looking at the other people in front of me. One of them is, surprise, an old couple (more from them in a sec). I’ve already lost five minutes.
The old lady moves in and buys a ticket to Olympus Has Fallen, because, fucking Gerard Butler saving the White House is what’s hot at Bridge Club. She then moves in for the kill. She needs an Iron Man 3 ticket for tomorrow as well. Thankfully, she’s armed with a time to see it and doesn’t need the rundown like Captain Winky did before her. She settles in for noon showing of Iron Man afternoon delight, but not before a fuss begins over getting the senior rate.old-lady-butler

Finally, granny moves out to get her Butler on and the old couple in front of me moves in, who I overhead whine about missing the movie start. The gentleman in this party animal duo just hung back while granny #2 bought tickets to Oblivion in IMAX “which started two minutes ago” she rudely informed the booth girl. As if it’s her fault that the people before her were retarded.

We get it. You’re peeved. We’re all fucking peeved. Nobody likes waiting, especially when waiting on incompetence. And this lady, along with the other two in front of her are incompetent. And you know why? Because there was no need for them to be late for the movie because A) There are kiosks ten feet away that forego waiting in a line, B) The Internet, and C) Get your ass to the theater early.

By the time I got up to the counter, the teenage girl informed me that she couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to customer service. I didn’t argue or drag it out, even though nobody was there earlier. I just chalked it up to bad luck. It was written in the stars that I was going to experience this bullshit, so I let it wash over me like a crashing wave.

I went inside, and finally met face-to-face with a real person, who I quickly explained my situation. Thankfully, she did this for a living and recognized my common dilemma. I made it easy by having three things ready: 1) my debit card used to purchase my initial ticket 2) I knew exactly what showtime I wanted to exchange for and 3) a coherent description of my issue and a solution for it. Too fucking easy.

In less than 60 seconds I had solved my problem, had new tickets for the show, and was on my way out. The only problem I suffered after that was when I realized the associate didn’t give me back my debit card, which I found out at Subway when I tried to pay for my turkey bacon on flatbread with my Regal Crown Club card. Oh, the motherfucking irony.

(Subway note: This is a side rant for Subway frequenters. You order the size, then bread type, then sandwich type, then cheese, then yes or no to toasted and warmed up. All of this should be in your brain, ready to shoot out like a spring loaded canon when the inevitable question of: What can I get you comes your way. It’s simple shit, people.)

So, here’s the problem and the solution for those of you that have made it this far. Hopefully, those of you that REALLY FUCKING NEED TO HEAR THIS are still here and I can save you the humiliation and ignorance of looking like a complete dipshit in a movie line for the rest of your foreseeable future. And before you tell me that you don’t give two shits what people think and how your skin is impervious to all forms of scrutiny and disdain, let me assure you that you are wrong and that a thousand eyeballs shooting invisible lasers of hatred at you is not the place you want to be in this world, especially when the shit goes down. What shit? I don’t know, the proverbial shit. Stay focused.

Now, settle in and get ready, because I’m about to unleash the new rules for going to the movies. That’s right, some of you (probably most) need a fucking lesson on how to navigate this difficult terrain of celluloid goodness. Never fear, though, because I’m going to help you. Uncle Paul is here for you. Let’s get started:

1) LOOK UP YOUR SHOWTIMES IN ADVANCE…TWICE
It’s not hard people. You have the internet. You have a computer. If not, you know someone who does. Granny’s are not exempt. Or middle-aged men. You don’t have to have a smartphone (well, yeah you do, get a fucking phone goddamnit…and one that connects to the internet. Your anti-technology kick is no longer cute, it’s a fucking annoyance) to get showtimes, but it sure does make life easier. You go to fandango.com, look up your local theater (just type in your zip code) and check the showtimes for the day you want to go.
Then it’s on to step 2.

2) BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE
Oh, what, standing in line is some kind of fucking right of passage? Really? Fuck that. Save those “I used to” stories for your kids and grandkids. Now is not the time. Now, it’s time for you to be a man/woman and act like you live in the 21st Century. You buy your tickets in advance and either print them at home (the easiest way) or go stand in that line you love so much and hand them your card. Even if you opt for standing in line, you’ve already accomplished a major feat in that you don’t have to have someone lay out the showtimes for you. You just hand them your card and they hand you the tickets. Real damn simple. (Some theaters are now allowing app tickets that are on your phone, just like boarding passes for airlines…but let’s not go there. Baby steps).

3) BUY YOUR TICKETS AT THE KIOSK
No, those aren’t arcade games in the front of the lobby. They’re called Kiosks (KEY-OSKS) and they are there to make life easier. This isn’t Skynet taking over humanity, this is Skynet working goddamned miracles. If you’ve seen the first Die Hard then you should know how to work a touchscreen. You hit a bunch of buttons that navigate you to what you want, swipe your card, pick up your tickets from the dispenser and you are home free. It’s like self checkout at the grocery store, which I used to think was the epitome of human laziness, but have come to realize that it’s the pinnacle of human innovation. I challenge any and all cashiers to a “scan off” to see who’s faster. I guarantee you I’ll win.



4) GET TO THE THEATER EARLY

At least a half hour. What, that’s too early? Then, don’t fucking come! Stay the fuck home where you can sit happily in your fat pants and take bathroom breaks and drink your own shitty drinks and eat your own crappy food and talk during the boring parts. Don’t bring your bitchy, whiny, lazy, inconsiderate ways to the movies for the rest of us to endure. Fuck that. Those who arrive late and act all up in arms when they get into a darkened theater with the movie playing have no one but themselves to blame. Unless it’s your first rodeo, don’t complain about getting bucked by the bull.

5) STAY OUT OF MY BUBBLE (my unrelated bonus topic)
I’m all about hugs and peace and shit (can’t you tell?), but seriously, if I don’t fucking know you and there’s any way we can NOT sit on top of each other that would be fucking great. Case in point: I went to a movie with my wife a few weeks ago and the theater was relatively empty. Seats abound. The perfect situation. And what happens? Well, an older couple walk in and decide to set up right next to us. I mean, they could’ve sat anywhere…ANYWHERE, but no, they chose us. We were the chosen ones. Maybe they were afraid, maybe they thought we’d protect them, maybe they were lonely, maybe they just love humans and need that interaction to prove that the world is beautiful and rosy, but probably they were just movie-theater retarded. If this affects you and you’re still reading, I need you to give your life some serious introspection.

It’s not hard, people. It’s really not. Some days I think, “Man, I just have no patience for morons,” and then I think further, “Maybe I’m just an asshole and should be more tolerable of people,” and then I think “I’m probably just as annoying in other situations and just don’t know it,” which is probably true. However, if I am in the annoying zone, I hope some hot-head asshole will write a blog post to set me straight, just as I’ve done for you here. This is a service, people! I’m fucking here for you!

Also, this entire post was written by a Maryland University Sorority Member.

You’re welcome.

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