So, among the many blessings of my life, I have a very cool brother, Josh. He's six years younger than me, but since we've stayed in the same city as each other in our adulthood, we've been able to develop a peer relationship over the last few years.
Which is not to say that we can't be kind of juvenile sometimes.
Anyway, there's a dollar theater in my city, and my brother and I hatched a plan. We decided to go and see a certain popular movie aimed mostly at tween-teen girls (I won't name it here, because I don't want its fans discovering my blog via Google alerts and hating on me, but this particular installment rhymes with Why Fight: Glue Soon) solely for the purpose of laughing at it.
We weren't planning on being jerks; we knew some folks take this thing very seriously. But our honest emotional reaction to the franchise has largely been laughter, and so we thought if we kept our snickers very quiet and waited to see it till it was at the second-run, cheap theater, we wouldn't really ruin any fan's experience of it.
Though we did joke about how annoyed the fangirls might be at us.
Anyway, it eventually did come to the dollar theater, and my brother and I kissed our respective indulgent spouses goodbye and bought our tickets and settled in for a (quiet) laugh-fest.
It was pretty clear from the start that we weren't the only people in the theater that thought there was more humor than pathos in the story. The guy behind us was snickering too. Sadly, our muffled laughs seemed to encourage him. It didn't take long for our side of the theater to be shushed.
So we shushed. We nudged each other occasionally, when the melodrama got just too soaring to resist, but we were pretty quiet.
Then it happened. During the most (intended-to-be) harrowing part in the drama - when the hero is telling the heroine that he's leaving, like, 4-EVARS - my brother reached for some candy from his bag and . . . the bag spilled.
This wouldn't be so bad, except that he was eating Gobstoppers. And we were sitting towards the back of the theater. So they had a loooooooong way to roll. And they hit every seat post on the way down. Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk. Over and over and over. Think of marbles rolling downhill through obstacles over a concrete flooor. It was very noisy.
We froze. Goodness. Not a happy accident. Okay. It'll be okay. They've almost stopped rolling. They have to reach the bottom soon.
And then, into the shocked silence, comes the voice of the fellow behind us. Loudly, irrepressibly, and with great glee, he declares: "That was AWESOME!"
And the sore oppressed teen in front of us stood up, turned around and said, "Can we WATCH the movie, PLEASE?"
It didn't help matters that his voice cracked. (His. I know. What was he doing there? Hopefully trying to impress a girl.)
Josh and I sunk down into our seats, abashed.
And a few moments later, after a whispered conference, that whole group of people left. Obviously, they wanted to see the movie with a crowd that took Ella and Bedward's pain seriously, as it should be taken.
It sort of ruined it for us. We felt badly for them. But the candy wasn't our fault. Nor was the guy behind us. We really had intended to have our honest emotional reactions without being jerks. But it didn't work out that way.
Still, it was a very, very funny movie. And we did laugh long, loud and hard . . . AFTER we left the theater.
I love my brother.
And, sadly, I'm not sure we've learned our lesson. I, at least, am looking forward to going with my brother to WHY FIGHT: EAT CHIPS.
But only once it's been out long enough to only cost me a buck.
And this time, we'll eat gummy worms.