The Dark Side

Editor’s note: This column was originally published in June 1997.

This multiplex movie theater thing is getting out of hand. Where else would a bunch of strangers want to practically kill a guy just for getting some mochi crunch?

During the Star Wars movie revival, my wife and I decided to take our son to see it at a local multiplex theater. Needless to say the theater was packed to the point where they opened the adjoining theater to show the same movie.

Because we were in a rush to get good seats, we decided to forgo refreshments until after the movie started.

Returning with both hands full of concession booty, I approximated the row in which my family was sitting and had to squeeze past 12 really irritated people before I realized that my wife and son were nowhere in sight.

After several shouts of “Hey, Jabba, sit down!” I figured out that I inadvertently walked back into the wrong theater. To go back through the gauntlet right at that moment would have meant certain harassment, so I sat down in an empty seat and pretended like I was supposed to be there.

After 15 minutes, it dawned on me my that my wife must be wondering where the heck I was. I figured the only way out of that row without looking like a total weenie would be to act like a raving lunatic.

I stood up and started complaining that I had seen this movie 20 years ago and that this theater is ripping us off by trying to pass it off as new. I muscled my way past everybody who now seemed to have no problem with letting me out.

When I got back to my wife and son, I tried to cover my absence by saying I was stuck in the long lines at the concession stand.

Without taking her eyes off the screen, my wife quipped, “You got lost, didn’t you?”

I hate it when she does that.