Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shut that kid up!

You know the annoying kid that won't stop running his mouth during the movie? He's a real nuisance–and he's learned from the best.
"Why are they kissing?! Ewww–! Gross!"

WARNING! This rant is focused on the inexcusable behavior of parents who bring toddlers and preschoolers to movies that are inappropriate for their age group. If you are one of these parents and you don't want to hear what a crappy parent you are–please avoid this rant.

By show of hands, who here has been in a movie theater in the last six months to see a movie–meant for adults!–where some toddler is running his or her mouth asking "who's she?" or "Why did he do that?!" or laughs inappropriately too loud at events they don't even understand? If you raised your hand, then you have been the victim of social troglodytes who think none of us will notice a two-year old is watching a Rated PG13 or Rated R movie.

And they need to stand trial for their crimes against humanity.

Yes it is a free country and yes there is NOTHING keeping me in my seat when there is an annoying audience member who somehow has missed the general cues of  common behavioral etiquette. But I did not pay a $8-to-$11 single ticket price to hear your kid's inquisition of why each person on-screen is "not being nice" as they shotgun their way through a horde of zombies and/or aliens. 

"I don't like Emma Thompson–!"
Recently, a 21-year-old man was put up on felony charges for smacking the ever-loving popcorn out of the mouth of an obnoxious kid (age not disclosed) who was running his mouth, throwing popcorn and being generally unruly. You can read more here. Now I am NOT condoning hauling off and whacking some random pre-teen blabbermouth. That's not cool on every level. But deep down... way deep... we can all relate to how that guy felt.

As a parent, I'm compelled to offer three notable points to qualify my thoughts here. First, I disqualify any PG or made-for-kids flick. Anything with brightly colored characters, talking animals or inanimate objects–like cars or teapots–that have faces, are exempt. These movies are made for them. Second, while my children are all adolescents or teenagers now, I know kids can get chatty during a movie. Lastly, I fully understand that this is NOT the child's fault. Their dim-witted genetic sires thought none of us would mind if little Susie or tiny Timmy would share their thoughts on the film's finer points throughout the entire show.

"Why do they charge so much
for popcorn momma?!"
Be advised it does NO GOOD to confront these sub-human ingrates directly. They will argue with you, often right in the theater, and further disrupt the experience. You can opt to go tell one of the pimply-faced future brain-surgeons who are masquerading as ushers, but they tend to only grunt and point  toward the manager's station anyway.

The only way to get really back at these noise-makers is to hold the theater accountable, and that means putting on an unhappy face and marching ourselves, en mass, to the supervisor or manager's station and demanding a refund for the unacceptable environment created by these little prepubescent chatterboxes. It sucks of course, because the movie theater folks had nothing to do with it. But it is their job to police the audience  and keep the experiential damage caused by mouthy people to a minimum.

When we make the experience unpleasant for the movie workers, they will in-turn, make the prattling tyke in row six button his lip or even inspire their brain-deadened parents to re-consider being there in the first place. After all, there is always NetFlix

Let's face it, your three year old doesn't need to see a guy unload a full-Uzi clip into a crowded street trying to nail a bad guy and have 6,000 bullets miraculously miss every bystander for four blocks. Isn't it bad enough your kid's being read stories about bears eating porridge and dishes and spoons eloping?

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