Tag Archives: movies

Cosmic Slurpy

Sitting in the dark, shoes stuck to the floor by decades of residue from spilled soft drinks, eardrums vibrating to booming decibels, inhaling the aroma of popcorn, savoring the anticipation of a whole box of Good and Plenty with a large Dr. Pepper in the cup holder at her side while coming attractions are flashing across a giant screen–this is as close to Bliss as Birdie can imagine. Sort of a Nirvana Slurpy.

Since Gerald doesn’t share Birdie’s excitement, they don’t go to the movies very often. Consequently, Birdie spends her coins of opportunity judiciously, not squandering her movie experiences willy- nilly. She plans carefully. Executes precisely. Ultimately, though, the end result is up to those double crossing stars, the somewhat misaligned planets–the Cosmos. And unfortunately, the Cosmos often leans over and sucks up Birdie’s Nirvana Slurpy.

There are two movie theatres in Birdie’s small town. One of them is a stadium type complex where each theater is designed so that every seat is a good seat unless a giant wearing a 10 gallon Stetson happens to sit directly in front of you. Any movie that requires 3D glasses, relies on bathroom humor, is animated, appeals to 13 year-olds, or has at least one comic book super-hero is shown at the stadium complex. On the other hand, if a movie employs character development, or has a story line that would interest grown-ups, it is shown at the “No Seat is a Good Seat Theater”. This theater has a barely sloping floor guaranteeing that each row of seats is approximately 1/4 inch higher than the one in front of it. Can you hear that sucking noise?

Gerald had agreed to go to a matinee. They had two choices. An animated feature at the Every Seat is a Good Seat Theater or a grown-up movie at the No Seat is a Good Seat Theater. As Gerald put it, “We can always rent the animated movie and watch it at home with the grandkids.”

Birdie knew it was necessary to get there early in order to buy their tickets and queue up at the entrance to the theater so that as soon as they were allowed admittance, she and Gerald could rush in and grab Birdie’s two favorite seats. These are far enough back to accommodate Birdie’s far sighted-ness and since there are only three seats in the row, it discourages having anyone sit next to them.

Birdie and Gerald established their beachhead, and Birdie began to savor her Slurpy.

The theater started to fill at an alarming rate. The row in front of Gerald and Birdie was quickly being claimed, but the two seats directly in front of them were still empty. Birdie decided to stack the deck against the Cosmos. She put her jacket on the empty seat in front of her. Blonde Page Boy walked down the aisle, looked straight at Birdie and asked, “Is this your jacket?” Birdie retrieved her jacket and offered a drink of her Slurpy to the Cosmos. Blonde Page Boy sat down and deposited her stuff in the adjoining seat. Shortly after, Blonde Page Boy’s husband came in and sat next to her. To top it off, that rare species, the Solitary Movie Goer sat in the third seat in Birdie’s row during the Coming Attractions. Three big gulps for the Cosmos.

Birdie believes it’s only fair that if you arrive late to the movies, you should have to sit wherever seats are available. It’s the price you pay for being late. The Cosmos doesn’t agree. Someone actually came in after the previews started rolling, asked a whole row of people to “Please scoot down so that me and my friend can sit together.” Birdie thought, “Why didn’t she just go ahead and say- Even though you all came early enough to choose the seats you wanted, you’ll have to sit somewhere else in order to accommodate me and my friend who came late, and one of us is still out at the concession stand buying Raisinettes-?” The Cosmos is so rude. “Suck.”

Oh, and what about Oblivious Woman who walked up to the front of the line while Birdie and Gerald were waiting in the lobby to enter the theater? Oblivious Woman asked, “Is this where we go in?” making a motion to open the door. Someone politely informed Oblivious Woman that the theater was still being cleaned. Someone else said, “Why do you think we’re all standing outside the door?” That’s exactly what Birdie was thinking, except she added, “IDIOT!”

It makes Birdie want to accidentally spill what little is left of her Slurpy down the back of someone’s neck. See if the Cosmos can suck that up!

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Birdie and the Golden Arches

Bringing a hidden candy bar to the movies didn’t ruffle Birdie’s conscience at all. Technically, she knew it was against the rules, but she felt justified in doing it when admission was so pricey, and the cost of candy at the concession stand would have paid for a Caribbean cruise for Gerald and herself. It gave her a bit of “civil disobedience”/”free the masses” sort of feeling when she sneaked candy into the movies. And besides, once she had seen a guy bring in a full meal from Taco Bell and eat it while waiting for the previews. She would never do anything like that. Of course, she wouldn’t.

Then came breakfast at McDonald’s on Sundays. Gerald and Birdie hadn’t started out wrong. They would both order sausage McMuffin meals and eat them while sitting in their favorite booth, enjoying the the sun that came through the only window on the east side of the restaurant. However, one Sunday, Gerald mentioned that he really liked having a pastry with his coffee, so they started trying other places like the bakery, the French cafe, and finally the college-student pizza hangout where, surprisingly, they made the most delectable sticky buns and fresh fruit croissants. Birdie and Gerald tried eating at the pizza place, but it was dark and cold, and they missed their sunny booth and cheap senior drinks with refills. So, Gerald came up with a plan. He would carry the pastries into McDonald’s and secure the sunny booth, while Birdie would order the McMuffins and senior drinks, being careful not to confess to the 16 year old taking her order, that they had brought in contraband food and were intending to eat it while enjoying discount beverages courtesy of McDonald’s. It made Birdie a little uncomfortable at first, but it all went so smoothly week after week, and whenever her conscience tried to speak up, Birdie would just give it a bite of her McMuffin.

This Sunday, after they had made their pastry run, Gerald suggested they get a burrito at Sonic. When Birdie realized that Gerald intended to continue on to McDonald’s with the pastries AND the burrito, her discomfort quotient rose to the alarm level. She was sure that her aura looked like a flashing neon sign that said, “Food Smuggler and Sneak”.

As she walked to the counter to order the drinks, she had trouble maintaining eye contact with the young order taker. She brought the drinks to their booth, grabbed a discarded Sunday newspaper, and sat across from Gerald as he began digging into his burrito. Birdie ate her croissant without looking up from the useless news articles and ads before her. The pastry lost its sweetness. She didn’t want a refill. There was no sunshine.