Stealing Views

Nine dollars is too much to spend on one movie. But on three, or four, and you’ve got yourself a deal.

The trick, of course, as with all things, is in being prepared.

You must be pocket-stocked with edibles. You must try to go Number One and Number Two before embarking upon your first feature. Another good idea: before departing for the cinema, perform a few full-body stretches.

When you’ve got hang time between flicks, hide out in a bathroom stall. Have with you a paperback or magazine. Otherwise, if ushers aren’t around, or clearly they’re not paying attention (which is very often the case), pass from one auditorium to the next as quickly as possible. When you do this, look like you know where you’re going.

Between features, you are not (although, of course you are) looking for what’s playing soonest; you are, instead, looking for a restroom. Or, you are, instead, meeting a friend who is seeing another movie. This is what to say in case any of the “show breakers” ask how they can help you. Though, they never do.

The more auditoriums there are in your chosen cineplex, the fewer people there are paying any attention to you.

Still, if you enter Feature One wearing your coat, after stopping in the bathroom, it’s a good idea to have it folded over your arms as you enter Feature Two. Enter Feature Three, wearing a baseball cap; Feature Four, wearing a baseball cap of a different color — if not a different sort of cap altogether. You get the point.

Whatever you choose as your second thru however-many-you-can-sit-through feature, make sure there are people already seated in the auditorium. At the box office, they know how many are supposed to be in there. So, the more already seated, the merrier for you.

These are things to do when you have no social life. When you are stranded out where there is no one your age and/or single to hang out with. When you are the kind of person that’ll choose the chocolate milkshake over the beer every time; or, every time, the glazed doughnut over the joint. When staying home on a Friday or Saturday night means looking for the best place to string up a noose. For yourself.

Ushers, upon the conclusion of a showing, are supposed to “break the show.” They pickup all the left half-filled popcorn bags and buckets, all the half straw-sucked-up cola cups, the empty candy boxes, etc. — they pickup all the shit your fellow moviegoers are too good to pickup for themselves. Only, ushers are often high school geeks (as once was yours truly), or societal screw-ups (as, at present, yours truly is) who don’t care enough because they’re not getting paid enough.

If no one buys a ticket, this is called a “no-show,” and, thus, the projectionist will not show the movie. Ushers love “no-shows” because it means they can go home early.

Only, yours truly, that geek evermore, he loved his theaters (granted, the relationship was an abusive one). And, any time one of you jocks with your cheerleader dates tried to pull something, tried to sneak or steal something, yours truly would be lock-step behind you, ready to ram his beloved roller-sweeper right up your candy ass.

(Assuming yours truly wasn’t distracted with some scam of his own invention.)

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