At the movie theatre I wish they had glass cups so you could watch the soda stratify into sugar and ice. But you merely have to imagine it taking place inside your ginormous big-ass cup they give you that if you stick it between your legs leaves a giant wet spot on your tight jeans and makes you really, really have to go the bathroom.
Actually, I hate movies, but I was only waiting outside the movie theatre because I got a twenty-buck gift card for volunteering at the library and my friend Lindsay said, “let’s go!” and I agreed because I was trying to be less nerdy, even though volunteering at a library wasn’t accomplishing that at all. Of course, I wanted to see the indie smash hit “Su Marido La Cucaracha” with subtitles and all. I’ve always aspired to see a movie with subtitles. But no, Lindsay wanted to see “A Day In The Love”, which was some sort of really romantic documentary about this couple who are Beatles fans and the girl is dying of a brain tumor. I was like, um, hasn’t this been done before, in both Love Story (okay, fine, she had leukemia, but she still was a Beatles fan), and Across the Universe (okay, fine, no one dies, but Beatles songs?). And I love the Beatles, but I love them too much to be subjected to cheesy tearjerking romance. It makes me want to sic John Lennon on someone.
“Bring money for popcorn.” Lindsay reminded me about three days before we went. I guess she was still in shock that I was actually going. So was I.
Can I admit something to you? Something that I’ve never told anyone else? Okay. Part of the reason I don’t like going to the movies is not just because I don’t like movies, but because movie theatre popcorn makes me want to hurl. Some people swear by movie theatre popcorn. Some people, if on death row, would request that their last meal was movie theater popcorn. I think one tub of movie theatre popcorn has more oil spilled on it than the Exxon Valdez released—and I’m an environmentalist. It just leaves this giant unpleasant grease slick on the back of your throat that watery Coke does nothing to ameliorate besides make you really have to pee when the Acromulantas are dropping down on Harry and Ron. Plus, it’s a nasty urine yellow. But that’s not the worst thing about movie theatre popcorn. The last time I went on a date the guy I was with (blind date) hurled scrambled eggs all over the backseat of my car. I think he was drunk, because when we went to IHOP (at 5 pm, mind you) he drank a whole pot of coffee, burped several times, and ordered a double order of scrambled eggs because he said his mom always used to make him 6 scrambled eggs for breakfast. I could believe that. He looked like he was about to lay 6 dozen. Why do I always get stuck going out with fat guys? Aggh! But anyway, while we were going twenty through his subdivision (he didn’t drive) he turned green, turned around, and puked all over my newly air-freshened cloth back seats. And…it sort of looked like movie theatre popcorn, even if it was a bit brown. And then there was the time my little brother stuck movie theatre popcorn up his nose during The Lion King, but we won’t get into that.
You know what though, I like popcorn. Really. Not so much the microwaveable kind, but the kind that comes in a big black bag from Trader Joe’s, isn’t urine colored/scrambled egg vomit yellow, and is only lightly salted and oiled. I just feel so…clean while eating it. Scrubbed. Cleansed. It is Snow White. I think I would request it for my last meal on Death Row: it may absolve me from my sins. And though movies aren’t on my top ten list of favorite things to do, eating popcorn with movies is. The last time I went to the movies with Lindsay she broke my heart…no, I’m not gay, I already told you a dating story. So anyway, we went to go see Harry Potter, and she bought this mongo tub of popcorn and offered me some. I was like, eew, but I didn’t say that since no one aside from you and me knows that I don’t like movie theatre popcorn, so I took a piece or two to be polite, felt the grease slick, slurped half my coke and let her have the rest. “Maybe later,” I said.
I don’t know about you but when they show the feast scenes in Harry Potter I always get really, really hungry, and we were at the matinee, I hadn’t eaten breakfast and we hadn’t had lunch, and Ron was eating two turkey legs at once, and I just knew at that moment, I could eat anything, including my empty Coke cup, my chair stuffing…and movie theatre popcorn. “Lindsay, can you pass the popcorn?” Mggmgf…yeah.” She shoved it in my lap, I reached my hand in, and it practically freefell only to reach a very greasy paper bottom with THREE popcorn kernels rolling around like ball bearings. And this was the feast scene in the beginning of the movie! My empty Coke cup was a little dry to the tongue.
So after that very sad experience, I decided to come up with a plan. I would bring my own damn popcorn. Popcorn that I actually liked. And Lindsay, the pig, wouldn’t have any. I forgot to mention that the guy who puked all over my car also ate the remains of my salad and as much as I love Lindsay, she’s about three hundred pounds. I have got to stop hanging out with fat people. Maybe they feel sorry for me. I’m actually a bit underweight for my age, but it’s because I’m tall and don’t like ice cream, French fries, McDonalds, or movie theater popcorn. Coke cups provide a lot of fiber. I went to Trader Joe’s and bought myself my very own bag of MY popcorn two days in advance. I brought it in, stuck in the pantry, and when the day arrived, went to grab it…and found it open. My little brother had gotten into it yesterday while I was at the library. Sigh…drive to TJ’s, buy ANOTHER bag of popcorn (the air had sort of gotten to the original bag because my brother’s a slob), and then onto the movie theater, speeding so I wouldn’t be late.
I parked my car very badly in the furthest row from the door so no one would hit me or I them and because I am a very bad parker, checked to make sure I had the gift card (I did), grabbed my popcorn, and locked my car. The chill wind hit me immediately as I bent over to make sure my door was locked, so I UNLOCKED my car, setting the alarm off in the process, and grabbed my Brookfield Zoo sweatshirt that I always keep in the back seat for situations like this. Setting the bag of popcorn and my purse down, I pulled it over my head, nearly strangling myself, and thus warmed, grabbed everything and headed toward the neon lights. We had arranged to meet in front of the doors.
Lindsay, of course, was late. The standing agreement was that you had to tell her an hour and a half before the real time you wanted her there. I had remembered to do that, but she still wasn’t in sight, and on the horizon, I love her dearly, but she’s hard to miss. So there I stood like an idiot in my Brookfield Zoo sweatshirt with a bag of organic unbuttered popcorn, checking my cell phone and coming up with creative swears under my breath while these totally hip and muscular guys joked and smoked in front of a movie poster for the Incredible Ganga Man or something.
After about 15 minutes it occurred to me that standing in front of the movie theatre with a bag of popcorn waiting for Lindsay was a bad idea. Lindsay was the kid in 3rd grade who if you didn’t like your peanut butter and relish sandwich, you’d give it to her and nibble on your Chips Ahoy while she inhaled it. Even though she would probably complain that my beloved TJ’s popcorn tasted like paper, she would eat it for lack of anything better to munch on. Once inside the show, though, it would be dark. The bag was black, she’d never notice it…and she’d have her own disgusting popcorn. Aha! A plan! I really am smart sometimes. Quickly I looked around for a hiding place. Purse too small, pink, and fashionable to fit popcorn bag three times its size without compressing popcorn in a trash compactor. Jeans pocket same problem. Sweatshirt big and baggy. Without hesitation I stuffed the bag up my sweatshirt, thus increasing my total girth 100%. Hopefully the hip boys didn’t notice. Perfect timing, as it turned out. Lindsay’s bright orange beater pulled up five minutes later.
“Sam! You gained weight? Am I late?”
“Um, no and yes….”
“Are you PREGNANT?” Lindsay has a really loud voice, and it carries, and the hip guys looked over, eager for a dirty topic of conversation.
“’Nuff said. Let’s go get tickets.”
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Laura, Toucan Editrice
Enjoy, and Viva La Toucan
Laura, Toucan Editrice