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A friend of mine’s family owns an interest in a theater chain out East, so he hands out free movie tickets like abortions at Planned Parenthood. Anyway, Thursday night I’m settling in for Ben Affleck playing the Christian Bale, playing the Michael Keaton, playing the George Clooney character in a packed theater with the leather reclining seats individually assigned by pre-selection.
A couple walks in, chooses the two seats directly in front of me, and sits down. They’ve brought enough candy and popcorn to survive the 72 hour Shia LaBeouf film festival, though their immense girth gives me hope of a third act foot rest when their diabetic shock kicks in. Their conversation is painstakingly awkward. Shallow and needlessly fake, like the first night of rush when everyone tells you “we don’t haze – pledge semester seriously wasn’t bad,” our portly patrons discuss parental retirements, sibling accomplishments, and their love of all things Christopher Nolan.
Meanwhile, I’m about four Makers and Cokes deep, scrolling this knock off iPad wondering if my “free popcorn and small soft drink” coupon can be traded for a margarita when our fat friends begin to unravel. “I’m sorry,” he says, “but do you have the M&Ms?” She rifles through her candy-covered rolls, then the floor. “No, I’m sorry did we get M&Ms?” The man is now trying to compose himself, sweating like Sean Miller during another early tourney exit. “Yes, I always get M&Ms. They’re my favorite. I handed them to you while I carried your popcorn and the rest of your candy. All I wanted you to do was carry one thing. Can you please check your purse?”
She’s, rightfully, somewhat annoyed at this point as her first or second date apparently views his need for chocolate as if it was his insulin. “I didn’t put them in my purse. Do you want me to go get some, though? I don’t mind.” A perfectly reasonable and actually nice response. He pauses. “No, I know they’re in there. Just please check your purse.” “They’re not, though, really.” “Please.” He is growing visibly upset. “Just check your fucking purse.” Shocked at how quickly this real life Mike & Molly episode is darkening, the heffer opens it; there’s no chocolate. Angry Kevin James is unfazed: “You must’ve left them on the counter. I bet they’ll make me pay another $5.50,” he waddles out as those around her remain stunned. Swearing at a woman? Bad move. Swearing at a woman over chocolate on a first date? Insanity.
This is actually the high water mark of their interaction, though. At this point, the woman is completely disinterested, rightly so, but is glued to her phone and paying the man, who has returned with not one but two bags of M&Ms in some sort of pathetic peace offering. The previews are about to start when another couple walks in, staring at their tickets with the sort of befuddled look usually reserved for fanny pack wearing Asian tourists. “I’m so sorry, but I think these are our seats.” The man holds out his ticket, our Hindenburg (literal and figurative) of a couple exams this new evidence, prompting the man to stand and apologize. It turns out they have these two particular seats in the theater across the hall, as Batman v Superman is playing every 20 minutes across four screens. Honest mistake.
“Come on, honey,” he says. “I’m so sorry I misread the ticket.” He holds his hand out but she’s ignoring him like Intern Sydney does my emails (still waiting here). “We really need to go. Our showing starts in 10 minutes. These aren’t our seats.” She finally lifts her head from her phone. “I don’t fucking care; I’m staying here.” Our row reacted like the Clipper’s bench after a Chris Paul dunk. “You have no right to make me leave. You two go take our seats, I don’t fucking care. I’m staying.”
Clearly this woman is not a lawyer, fuck, I doubt she’d watched an episode of Judge Judy, but you’ve got to admire the conviction. The new couple immediately gets security, who begins a barrage of unnecessary bribes, hoping to tempt the trespassing walrus into moving. No such luck. Her date tries one more time, and at this point, most of the theater are actually on the side of the semi-abusive chocolate enthusiast. “Look, I’m really sorry I offended you. Let’s start over. I really want to see this movie with you and we have great seats just across the hall.” He reaches his hand out one last time. She declines. “Okay, well I’ll be over there waiting. I really hope you come, too.”
He leaves and security has grown increasingly annoyed, as has the packed crowd now experiencing a showtime delay because Shamu won’t leave her seat. Hecklers start raining down weight and race-based attacks, some of which I really wish I could put in this without almost assuring my own firing. “Ma’am, if you do not leave now we are calling the police.” She raises her head again. “I don’t give a fuck. Call them.”
The police arrive in what seems like seconds as now the crowd has morphed into a mob, throwing candy and popcorn, most of which is hitting me in the row behind. The police approach her and again ask her to leave. “I’ve got a forklift license if that helps,” a patron yells to howls of laughter. She again refuses. Two officers are now standing in front of her. “Would you like for us to have to cuff and remove you forcibly?” he says. “Fuck you.” Simple response.
The cops cuff her but she refuses to stand, falling back into the seat repeatedly as they attempt to lift her. “Hogtie that pig!” another frustrated moviegoer joins the echoes of boos and insults. Finally, they’re carrying her out like a Lincoln log over their shoulders when she sways violently to the right, knocks the front cop over, inadvertently pulling down her own parachute sized leggings. There, in the aisle of Batman v Superman, was the world’s largest g-string, revealing a cottage cheese covered mass of humanity she probably takes shits out of. The entire theater gasped in horror. The policeman quickly went to pull her pants up, but they had ripped. Cuffed, covered in sweat, candy and popcorn, with her ass nearly dragging to the floor. Our pudgy protestor had finally been removed to a bevy of cheers.
The kid who rips the tickets walks to the front of the theater: “If you’re not in the right seats, you can be removed.” The entire crowd bursts out laughing. Movie was fine, but I’m feeling a hell of a lot better about my dating history these days..
Image via YouTube