Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Film Quotes


And I don't mean from the movies. 
I mean at the movies.

I have to start with a shocking observation: Dunes looks like a nursery. An overcrowded playground at best. Indoors. With echo. Lots and lots of echo. ow. oww. owwwwww.

It's always scary being surrounded by an army of 15 year olds. They are loud. They push. And worst of all, they giggle. All the time. Oh Lord, the giggling. It can scare the fiercest of us. 

At first I was shocked. Where did all these kids come from? I'm never surprised meeting them at Concorde, but I always remembered Dunes as being for "the grown ups". Then it hit me: I too was 15 when I first started to hang there! 

As you can imagine, the scariest reality bite (even more frightening than a 15 year old giggling) took over: They are not too young to be there, I AM FREAKING OLD. 

To be completely fair, the indoors pony rides might not have helped the whole situation. Yes, they have ponies indoors now. 

Rest assured, they are mechanical ponies and not intended for the cool 15 year olds. But it means that now, Dunes is also a fav' hang out for those 3 year olds and up! 

They even have a specialized one-stop-shop that creates activities, birthdays and whatnot just for them! I must mention the teddy bears horror show which they also provide. You start by searching three huge bins for your favorite "empty" shell of a teddy bear which looks, well, dead. Skinned to be precise. Then, a nice man will fill it up with... filling stuff. And here you go, your brand new resuscitated BFF. Stuffed. In front of you. Gives a whole new meaning to the words "stuffed toys". Enough to give those kids a lifetime of nightmares and provide a sustainable market for all those shrinks out there, for an entire century!

But I digress, so let's leave the youngest and their dead toys alone and go back to the subject of this post: Quotes, Or The Amazing Movie Theaters Things.

Story 1:

Unlike common practices in other countries, in Lebanon you have the opportunity to select the seats of your preference as you buy your tickets. It's not on a first come first seated basis and it can be nice considering how close the screen is to those first 10 rows! So we arrived 45 minutes early to purchase our tickets and ended up finding a full house (very happy to see that considering I am a fan of the movie, but that's for another post). Seeing as there was only two of us, we could manage to find a couple of seats on a decent row, somewhere in the middle of the theater. And luckily enough, they were the first two seats.

Then the waiting began. We killed our pop corn way before we made it to the movie, and just walked around the (really tiny) place watching little kids in cow boys hats, riding teeny weeny ponies on wheels. Cute, I must admit. I immediately jumped to imagining Mia on one of those. Priceless!

About 20 minutes before the show, we got in front of the theater door and decided to wait there so we could enter immediately as my pregnant back was starting to kill me. I was really itching to ask the ushers to let me in so I could rest but I refrained. After all, everybody had to wait and a few minutes weren't going to change the course of my world. And anyway, we all know no one's allowed in while the cleaning crew's at work.

Slowly, more people started to gather around us, and these days, I'm becoming a little claustrophobic, especially with all the winter germs and people coughing and sneezing. Make it a crowd of 15 year olds coughing and sneezing and you have the perfect recipe for a panic attack. 

But I kept my cool somehow (surprisingly). 

Then, super hunky boys dying to impress sexy girlfriends started to go in the theater, one after the next. And one after the next, they were asked to get out. 

But we weren't really surprised. We were actually waiting to see when the dance would start. Because it's a rule. It's absolutely not possible in this country to go to the movies and not find at least one or two smart asses trying to sneak in before the opening time.

About 5 minutes before the doors opened, the head of ushers came to me and said "You look exhausted. We have a special case here, Ali, take the lady to her seat". 

I was shocked. So kind and helpful! 

Of course, one of the 15 year old cool boys didn't like it and made a smart comment. I didn't hear what exactly but I know the usher looked at him and said "What? You too? Not comfortable enough? Do you also need to rest?" Needless to say he didn't impress his girlfriend much, trying to compete with an old pregnant lady!

Story 2:

Two women got in and the usher directed them to their seats. We didn't really notice where but we know they decided to ignore him and sit on the row right in front of ours:
Woman 1: Let's sit here. 
Woman 2: These are not our seats.
Woman 1: It's OK, we'll pretend we didn't know and if someone comes and requests these seats, we'll go back to ours .
Hmmm.... No comment.

The usher who came back was not as comment-free: 
Usher: "These are not your seats. 
Woman 1: We'll sit here for now. If someone comes and requests the seats, we'll move. 
Usher: Someone will come. 
Woman 1: Are you certain? 
Usher: Yes, someone will come. Return to your seats.
(No please, no thank you. Made my day!)

And as they walked to their assigned seats, 
Woman 1: Julie made the reservations. She chose those seats.
I was waiting for Julie to come and get an earful from that charming lady but it appears poor Julie is some kind of personal assistant or something because she never made it to the theater.

Those two sophisticated film lovers on the other hand, did make it to the seats... right next to ours! 

I could not believe my eyes. Why make all this fuss if it is to sit in the immediate next row?! I thought they were somewhere down the theater, stuck in front of the screen! Well, no.

Now brace yourself for what's coming next. 

Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Because it's going to hit you like a bomb. 

Wait for it. 

Here it comes:
Woman 1: Pfff. We're used to VIP seats in Dubai, now we have to settle for these?
Ok bitch! You no likey? You leave. God knows I could have made it without your stinky perfume that got me sneezing the second you passed in front of me!

Ahhh, the movies right before the actual movie: always the best shows ;)

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