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Last night we went to watch the new Transformers movie on the big iMax screen. As we got out of the car in the theater parking lot, in a rush to get good seats, a young man approached and asked if we had jumper cables.

Luckily I did not have jumper cables, because if I did, I knew we would be late for the movie. I did my best to make a face that said, "I sure wish I could help," while being secretly gleeful that this was officially not my problem.

I wondered if the young man thought I was lying about not having jumper cables. My fake sincerity face looks like a mime with an intestinal infection. I felt I needed to sell my concern just a bit more, but without making us late for the movie. So I asked, "Do you have a cell phone?"

Now keep in mind that 110% of all young men his age group, at least around here, have cell phones. The figure is higher than 100% because some people carry two, in case one has a low battery. So there was no real risk of him asking to use my phone. And besides, who goes to the movies alone at that age? Surely his pack of friends was nearby, all with cell phones if not jumper cables.

But no. This was the one young man in the solar system who had no phone, no friends, and a dead battery. So I handed him my beloved BlackBerry and hoped he wouldn't start running in the other direction. He looked fast. But he was legit, and dialed his mom.

If you want to imagine how his end of the conversation went, recall George Costanza from Seinfeld talking to his mother. It went something like this:

Guy: "Can you tell Dad to come get me? My battery is dead."

Guy: "Why does it matter?? I was listening to the radio. Just tell Dad..."

Guy: "Just tell Dad..."

Guy: "Mom, can you just tell Dad to..."

Guy: "MOM!!!! CAN YOU PLEASE PUT DAD ON THE PHONE!!!!"

Meanwhile, I'm tapping my feet, looking around, trying to look impatient without crossing the line into full jerk mode. I don't want to get the worst seat in the iMax theater. That's not a good one.

Now the young man's conversation turns to describing where he will be standing when his father arrives.

Guy: "I don't know, maybe near Fudruckers."

Guy: "FUDRUCKERS! FUDRUCKERS!"

Guy: "Or maybe by Game Stop. Near Fudruckers. Or I could just walk over and stand by the Game Stop. It's by Fudruckers. Fudruckers. Fudruckers."

Surely this conversation was coming to an end, I assumed. I imagined only one seat left in the theater. My heart was pumping and my palms were sweaty. We already had our tickets. I sent my best ESP messages to him: Please hang up. Please hang up. But things only got worse.

Guy: "I think it's in the dryer."

Guy: "Yes, in the dryer. Because it was wet."

Guy: "I know you think it was on the couch but it's in the dryer."

Guy: "Yes, I'm sure it's in the dryer. JUST LOOK IN THE DRYER!!!"

At that point I reached my limit. I started giving the slice-my-own-neck signal to him to cut the call short. I mouthed "We're late for the movie." He got the hint.

Guy: "Mom, I have to go."

Guy: "Look in the dryer."

Guy: "Because I have a borrowed phone."

Guy: "Just look in the dryer. And tell Dad I'll be by the Game Stop."

Guy: "Not Fudruckers, but next to it. By the Game Stop."

Guy: "JUST LOOK IN THE DRYER!!! MOM! I GOTTA GO!"

Phone retrieved, we raced to the theater. There were exactly two seats left, on the far end, in the front. If you haven't been to an iMax theater, the screen is the size of a three story building. From my vantage point up close I could tell that motion was happening on the screen, but I couldn't discern what it was. I think the movie was about robots that fight, but I can't be sure.

I spent the next two and a half hours wishing I could meet the a-hole who decided to squeeze a few more seats into the iMax theater by putting them where no human being could enjoy the show. I'm peaceful by nature, but I'd make an exception for that guy.

Attempting to look at the screen was a losing strategy because it was just headache inducing. Luckily I can nap literally anywhere. I even fall asleep when I'm having my teeth cleaned (true). So I had a nice snooze through most of the movie, and I needed it. I guess it all worked out.

 
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-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
I agree with pas. Definitely a laugh-worthy post.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
I'm just posting to see if this thing works better with Firefox 3.5 than it did before.

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

My enter key is sticky.

I must have spilled some sweet and sour sauce, or possibly the plum sauce.

Cellphones are nearly as pointless as Twitter.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
The bit about two phones reminds me of a woman at work. She has two cell phones -- one for each boyfriend. Apparently one boyfriend kept checking her call and text messages, so she just got a new phone he doesn't know about.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
This kid wasn't going to the movies.

His battery went dead because he was avoiding the stimulating conversation at home by sitting in his car in front of Fudruckers listening to music on the radio.

Think of it. Not only does the kid not have friends or a cell, he doesn't even have his own MP3 player.

I spent over an hour on the phone yesterday with someone else's teen (I have three of my own - which one would think would be sufficient). I had more important things to do - but his family life has always been bad and is worse now that his dad got laid off. He needed help getting ready for camp - so he called me. This sort of thing happens all the time. If you slow down around teenagers - you get pulled into a lot of drama.



 
 
Jul 1, 2009
The kid shouldn't have borrowed his mom's underwear-- then it wouldn't be in the dryer.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
Megan Fox is hot. I've seen her at David Letterman, I bet those ten minutes were more worthwile then the whole movie. I'm still drooling.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 1, 2009
Minute counts and make it short, and be the evil who grab the phone and hang it up right before first minute and rush into the theater. LOL or simply point him to those security guys, they got golf carts!
 
 
Jul 1, 2009
Yes, I can understand the IMAX far away seat. You can even see each point on it, but not the whole one......
BTW,is the seat in your theater has no number for ticket?
 
 
Jul 1, 2009
From what I've heard about that movie, you didn't miss out on much. Even the reviewers who liked the first one hated it.

And by the way, it's written IMAX. It's not an Apple product. ;^)
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
When i was a manager of one of the local movie theatres, nobody would bother asking a random person out in the parking lot for help, they would walk through the snow/sleet/rain back into the building to ask me for help. Granted we weren't allowed to help on the clock for insurance reasons, but the phone is always free and usually made them quite happy.
 
 
Jun 30, 2009
This one is easy: you stay with the kid and your phone while the rest of your party goes in to save your seats.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
ROFL !!! Scott, this is one of your best posts ever... I keep re-reading it and laughing....

I disagree with Dilgal, I believe your wife was going to see the movie with you... You're just lucky she loves you so much... Of course when you saw that kid coming, you immediately saw the potential for an hilarious blog post, and she knew, just as you, that she had to stand by you all the way to make it an even funnier story.

You're one lucky man...
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
If it makes you feel any better, I was sitting square and center when I saw Transformers and I still couldn't tell what I was seeing on the screen.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
Scott, just say no next time. But this one better make it into a Dilbert strip.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
And here I thought it was only in the third world countries where you don't book tickets _and_ seats at the same time. Well, I guess the US will eventually enter the 18th century...
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
I've heard the opening scene with Megan Fox is the only redeeming part of the movie...something about it being !$%*!$%*!$%* with the right imagination....You did the right thing by helping the kid out, karma or not.
 
 
Jun 30, 2009
This could have all been avoided by pre-empting the borrowing of the phone with: "Please make this quick because I'm late for a movie." Or you could have sent someone ahead of you to hold seats in the theater. Often when my wife and I go and we are running late one of us will go straight into the theater to grab seats while the other gets any concessions we may want.
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
"If you are that much in a hurry, why didn't you come yesterday?"
- Sami proverb
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
The kid gifted you with a nice little story that has amused hundreds of people -- an incident that may well inspire a strip one day. You owe this kid -- big time. You should hang out in parking lots without a set of jumper cables more often.

But I am left wondering why anyone would wash and dry jumper cables. It can't be good for them. Would you mind hitting redial and find out the answer for us?

Thanks for cheering my day.

Webster
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 30, 2009
"No good deed goes unpunished."
 
 
 
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