Monday, March 26, 2012

Susan Van Pelt

Once upon a time, we were movie fools! If one week there were five new movies out, we would see a movie every night! There was no stopping us.

Movies tell stories. They take you places, light up your imagination and fire up your emotions. At one radio station where I worked, I got a card that allowed me to see movies at one of the big theatre chains, free of charge! Front of the line, please.

Pretty soon, there was a baby stopping us. For several years after Tristan was born, we stopped seeing movies altogether. I’d occasionally and defiantly rent movies, fall asleep and remember nothing about the movie plot or actors. Years later, I’d see movies I’d rented in those first months of fatherhood and it was like I’d never seen them at all!

When Tristan was a little older, we might weasel our way into seeing one or two films a year, strictly family fare. We brought him to see “Stuart Little” and the first time one of the nasty cats appeared on-screen, he let it be known he wanted out of that theatre! My wife and nephew stayed in the theatre to watch the rest of the movie, while I wandered the lobby with Tristan. We visited a few lobbies in our time. Noisy football games where they set-off fireworks for touchdowns and Japanese restaurants with flaming tables were all fine reasons to frequent lobbies.

In an effort to see a movie on a big screen, we’d try to bribe Tristan; actually, I’d try to bribe Tristan. “Psst, son, if you agree to go see the digitally restored ‘Jungle Book”, I’ll buy you a new car.”

He’s older now, but can’t be bothered to see a movie. He’s too cool as a rule. He may sometimes plop down on a couch to watch part of a movie we’ve rented. When that happens, we hold our breath for fear of upsetting the balance of nature and, above all else, we try never to look directly at his person.

I’m way off-track now. This is not about Tristan, this is about Susan! Actually, I guess it’s about me being deprived of the big screen movie experience. Susan is by far the worst offender. She’s a carrot-dangler. Over and over, she would emphatically claim to want to see a certain new movie. Finally, the movie would be released and her tune would change, “I’m too tired. I’m too lazy.” I’d hop and down, pound my chest, grumble, burst into tears, all to no avail. I’d inevitably have to wait for it to come out on video.

This form of torment has been going on for decades! I, like Charlie Brown aching to kick the football Lucy’s holding, still fall for her clearly stated intentions to see new movies. For a solid two weeks, she has been stating she wants to see “The Hunger Games” as soon as it comes out. Do not try to stand in her way!

I’d test her conviction by telling her she was going to change her mind. Somehow she always manages to convince me this time it’s different. All week, she insisted she was eager and intent on seeing the movie as soon as it hit theatres! I was sure I was seeing “The Hunger Games” as soon as it hit theatres this weekend. I told people I was seeing the movie this weekend; that’s how sure I was that we were going to see the film. Big crowds do not slow us down; they never have.

On Friday night when I called home from work, I asked, “Are you going to go on-line and order tickets in advance?” Just as I started my kicking motion, she yanked the football from my path.“I dunno,” came the shocking reply, "It’s going to be too busy and too crowded.” Bewildered, I pulled the phone away from my head and stared at the receiver.

Gullible, much?

I did not see “The Hunger Games” this weekend, even though I was one thousand per cent sure I would be seeing it. Instead, we rented “Tintin” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo”, two movies she once told me she wanted to see as soon as they opened in theatres.

I kid you not.

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