Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bizarre Rudeness

Yesterday, my wife and I had the unexpected opportunity to go see "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets", without the kids. It was a wonderful movie, and I'm glad we went. However, when we went to the theater, it was a complete zoo. It seems a lot more people than usual had Friday off because of the holiday than we normally encounter on a weekday.

The theater had two screens showing the movie at 4:30, and we showed up at about 4:00. One of the theaters was completely sold out, with the other filling up quickly. We were afraid that we wouldn't get tickets in time, but we did. However, when we went into the theater, it seemed as if they'd oversold.

There was not a single pair of seats available except on the very front row. Since we'd end up both blind and crippled (with a broken neck) if we sat on the front row, we decided to investigate the other theater to see if it was a little less crowded. Sure enough it was, and there were individual seats scattered here and there.

We looked around and found a few seats right up towards the middle of the theater that were empty. A guy was sitting between two empty seats, so I asked him and the people on each side of him if anybody was sitting there. The man in the center indicated he was alone, so I asked if he'd move to one side or the other so I could sit with my wife.

He said no! I was flabbergasted. The theater was totally full of people, he had empty seats on both sides of him, and he wouldn't move. I asked him why and he said he had the center seat and wasn't going to move. He was totally rude about it. The people all around him were looking at him and he was unwilling to accommodate even in the least.

After a few moments of exasperation, I shook my head and looked at my wife for ideas. She said very loudly, "Well, we'll just sit on both sides of him." She was hoping he would feel somewhat awkward by the situation he'd created and would yield, but no go. She even sat on my lap briefly just to be funny about it. Didn't work.

So, I took a look down the row and found what seemed to be yet another seat on the same row that was empty. I left my wife there and walked up the row to ask if the seat was indeed empty. It was, so I asked the seven pre-teenage kids between the empty seat next to the rude man and the other empty seat down the row if they'd mind shifting one seat down so we could have two seats together. Without even hesitating, they said they would and did.

So my wife and I had two seats together, next to what this rude man said was the center seat in the middle of the theater. Sitting next to him shaking our heads, we looked around at where we were. From our perspective, it seemed that both my wife and I were actually in the center seats of the theater! We giggled over that little bit of irony and settled in to enjoy the show.

It was great. The second the credits began to roll, the rude man immediately stood up and made a bee-line for the door. Clearly, he didn't want to even look at us, let alone face the possibility of actually carrying on a discussion with us -- not that we actually wanted to talk to him. Once he was gone, some women sitting behind us, who had watched the whole thing go down, leaned forward and said, "What an a--!" We laughed together about how unbelievable this guy was. They said I handled the situation well, which I guess I did.

It was just really weird.

Regardless of the very rude man, the show was well worth seeing. I give it three and a half stars! Even worth the encounter with the rude man.

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