I Hate Kids and Old People
Wow! Two weeks for my first update! Don't expect me to be this prolific going forward. According to legend, the Sphinx of Egypt would ask a riddle to all who passed. If they answered wrong, they would die. The question asked of Oedipus was "what animal walks on four feet in the morning, two feet in the afternoon, and three feet in the evening?" The answer is man. I'm Gerf, and I'm a man. And I hate kids in the morning, and old people in the evening. Okay, that's kind of rude. I mean to say, I hate your kids and old people that go to movies.
In terms of children, there are two cases; infants and children. Each bugs me for different reasons. The main issue is that they disrupt the movie going experience of others in the theater. Parents, stop thinking about yourself and think about the others around you. You may be used to a baby crying or a kid talking during a television show in your home, but you are in a public place with other people. Let me caveat this by saying this applies only to PG-13 and R rated movies. If I go to a G rated movie, I fully expect there to be a lot of children, and I fully expect them to make noise. However, R and PG-13 are a different story. The MPAA made ratings for a reason, and even though they seem pretty arbitrary, it's a good sign that R and PG-13 movies are not appropriate for small children.

Moreover, your baby is not cute. Your baby is loud. He/she/it is crying, and it is ruining the movie. Even a few seconds of crying is enough to make anybody lose their focus on the movie. When your baby starts crying, please leave the theater immediately. Do not sit there and console your child, hoping that the crying will stop. Stand up and leave the theater. Even better, keep your kid at home. He/she cannot understand what is happening on screen. Some parents say that it's cheaper to bring their children to the movies than to hire a babysitter. If you cannot afford a babysitter, skip the movie until you can. Harsh? Yes, but it's happened too many times.

True story - when I went to see American Pie, there was a five-year-old sitting next to me. What the hell is that? That is NOT an appropriate movie for a child. I don't mean to insult anybody's parenting skills, but if they bring their child to a movie like that, they have issues. If you decide to go to the movies as a family, please see a family-appropriate film.
Old people are a completely different story. And they are typically problems at art theaters like the Regal South Coast Plaza and the Regal UCI theaters. These are older theaters with no stadium seating, and because they tend to play fare that attracts an older audience (how many teens do you know who went to see Being Julia?). Because of this, screenings tend to be pretty empty. And herein lies the problem. I believe in this little thing called personal space.
On more than one occasion, an old person has sat next to Mongoose or me. Directly next to me, with no empty seat in between. This may not seem weird, until you notice that there are perhaps 15 people in the theater. WTF? Why the hell are you sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME? Possibly more annoying, and yes this has also happened numerous times, is when, with the same amount of people in the theater, an old person/couple sits directly in front of me. Not one or two seats to the side, as not to obstruct my view, but directly in front. In my unscientific survey (consisting of observations by Mongoose and myself), younger people will overwhelmingly notice if somebody is in front of them, and sit to the side. Not old people. And old women tend to have big hair. And smelly perfume.
They also tend to bring flashlights so they can find their way to an empty seat. I have no problem with this. Just keep the light on the floor and stop shining it in my face. Amazingly, there is a way to shine a light up and down an aisle without blinding everybody in the process. If they don't bring lights, they tend to creep slowly forward, hunched over, hands outstretched, opening and closing their fingers like some wrinkly demon from hell. . I've had this happen to me twice. They stop after they grab my arms and go "sorry." Apparently, this works like a cat's whiskers. Once it touches something, they realize they cannot go further.
What I'm basically trying to point out that you need to be aware of the people around you. Movies work best when you can lose yourself in the experience. Listening to a baby cry takes you back into reality. And I'm sure you'd be pissed if there was an empty theater and I sat directly in front of you, so remember the Golden Rule. Merry Christmas everybody and have fun at the movies.

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