My wife and I decided to go to the movies the other night, and right away she started whining about seeing something we both could enjoy.
Well, "Patton" wasn't playing anywhere and the new "Rocky" movie isn't out yet, so we ended up at a sneak preview of "Dave," starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver.
The plot revolves around a presidential look-alike who becomes Leader of the Free World after the real president suffers a stroke in a hotel room while in bed with his secretary.
I know, I know . . . why would a real president be in bed with his secretary at a hotel? Why wouldn't he just fool around with her in the White House like every other president has done?
Look, this is Hollywood, OK? You're supposed to use your imagination.
Anyway, we arrived at the theater and . . . here's something I could never understand.
You go to the ticket window, right? You plunk down your seven bucks or whatever. The machine spits out your ticket. Then you take that ticket, walk about 15 steps and give it to some old guy dressed in a bellhop uniform who rips it in half!
Look, I'm not trying to put anybody out of work here. But why don't they just rip the ticket in half when you buy it? Then maybe we could put the old guy in charge of the metal detector, which is what these theaters need more than a ticket-ripper, it seems to me.
Once inside the theater, we were faced with the decision that terrifies every movie-goer: Did we want the tub of popcorn that's the size of a grain silo, or the tub of popcorn that's only as big as an oil drum?
And did we want the water tower-sized Pepsi or the Pepsi that's big enough to let you bob for apples?
After that, the Megadeth disciple behind the candy counter was kind enough to show us the theater's extensive collection of Ju-Jubees, Pom Poms, Spearmint Leaves, etc., all gleaming under the track lighting like the necklace counter at Zales.
I selected a nice box of peanut M&M's that cost, oh, $14.50.
This pushed our total snack bill to the point where my next question was: "And who do I make the check out to?"
"Dude!" said the kid behind the counter. "A check?! Outstanding!"
I don't know . . . they say young people don't have a lot going for them these days. But you couldn't prove it by me.
The movie itself was pretty good, at least those parts we were able to hear.
I say this because there was a guy sitting behind us who had apparently suffered a nervous breakdown recently and now thought he was Steven Spielberg.
All throughout the movie he kept up a running commentary to his girlfriend about how each scene was filmed, how the special effects were done, etc.
Judging by his other comments, the guy was also an expert on presidential security, martial arts and small arms fire.
You wonder why the Secret Service doesn't snap up a bright guy like this, instead of allowing all that talent to go to waste working an air gun at Mr. Tire.
Several times I considered turning around and telling young Mr. Spielberg to pipe down.
Then I thought: a guy with all those delusions, the strain he must be under . . . there's no telling how he'd react.
He might walk out to his car, pop the trunk and start slipping into combat fatigues and smearing bootblack under his eyes. Next thing you know, he's back in his seat, slamming a full clip into the M-16 and spraying the aisles and the place is looking like Omaha Beach on D-Day.
I don't know . . . it just didn't seem worth it to me.
Finally, after 45 minutes or so, even his girlfriend was telling him to shut up.
That probably wasn't a wise move on her part -- I could see this guy pulling the pin on a grenade and holding her hostage in a tense standoff with the police later that evening.
But that's the price you pay sometimes when you date a psycho.
I mean, you couldn't go out with this guy and then, when he starts barricading the doorway and holding a dagger to your throat, think: "Gee, I never knew Floyd was like that . . ."
Anyway, maybe next weekend my wife and I will stay home and rent "Lethal Weapon III," which sounds like something we both would enjoy.
To simulate the movie theater experience, we could invite some people over and have them talk loudly for two hours. At some point, I'll stand up, fish $27 out of my pocket and throw it out the window.
Then all we'd need is some vacant-eyed kid with green hair and a nose ring to serve popcorn.