Monday, 22 November 2010

Now showing in glorious Vomi-color!

Our local cinema, on a Sunday morning. They run a special offer every weekend, whereby fairly recent children's films, which are no longer on general release, are shown for £1 a seat - presumably as a way of milking out those last ticket sales before the DVD is released. On the premise that it is (a) raining and (b) cheap, we thought it might be a nice idea to bring our two to see 'How to train your dragon', which the promotional leaflet tells us is showing in 'mind-melting 3D'. Unfortunately, when we arrive we quickly realise that everybody else with a child under seven living in a ten-mile radius has had the same idea. The place is packed, full of willing punters all happy to have their minds melted by however many dimensions it takes, as long as it shuts the children up and gets them 90 minutes of relative peace.The queue is colossal.
"Did you book the tickets?" I ask The Wife.
"No. Why would I book? It's only a pound each. The price would double with credit card fees. And it won't help, the queue for ticket pickup is just as long as the box office."
I look at the ticket pickup queue. She is right, it is enormous. A confused-looking woman at the front seems to be trying an endless succession of different credit cards in and out of the machine, while her children swing off her arms and the people behind her 'tut' with impatience. She look harassed, and the queue looks angry.
"What shall we do?" I ask, fully expecting The Wife to say 'bugger this, let's go somewhere else'.
"I'll queue up for tickets," she says. "You go over there and get sweets or something." She points me to the queue for the popcorn counter. It is longer than all the other queues combined. They should take a photograph of it, and print it in the dictionary next to the entry for 'despair', for illustrative purposes.
"I am not spectacularly happy with that outcome," I announce, though perhaps not in those precise words.
"Get queueing" she says, waving me imperiously away.
Eldest elects to come with me, presumably not so much because she prefers my company over her mother's, but more because of my increased proximity to sweets. She has already put her 3D glasses on, saved from the last time we visited, and is gazing about her in puzzlement.
"What are you doing?" I ask.
"Nothing looks different," she says. "Except that it's all darker."
It take me a second to realise what she means. "No," I say, "You don't need those glasses to see 3D in the real world. It's 3D already."
She moves a hand back and forth in front of her face while pulling the glasses up and down, to see if my theory stands up to scientific scrutiny. A woman ahead of us smiles at her indulgently, as if she can't decide if Eldest is being cute or is just simple.
A man and woman come up to join the queue behind us. He looks at it carefully, and then turns to her and says "I just don't like popcorn enough to go through all that." They walk away.
I have to agree with them. I don't like popcorn that much either: I even think the three minutes it takes to make it from scratch at home in a saucepan is too high a price to pay for the end result. But at this point I notice the Häagen-Dazs concession stand. There is no queue for that - I don't want ice cream at 10:30 in the morning on a Sunday, and it appears that nobody else does either. But it looks like they also sell the same bags of sweets as the main cinema shop. Perfect.
I march Eldest over to to the stand. "Hello," I begin. "Do you sell sweets?"
"Yeah, we do" says the deeply interested man behind the counter.
At this point, I hear hurried footsteps heading in my direction. I turn round to see Youngest, hurtling towards me, her face grey and with panic in her eyes.
"Daddy! she cries, "Daddy! Quick! I think I'm going to be...Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerugh..."
And then she throws up, all over the front of the Häagen-Dazs stand.
The people standing in the queue for the main shop, watching this little drama unfold, all make a disgusted 'urgh' noise, and the whole line seems to shimmy as it takes a collective step back from us.
"Ah..." I say, for wont of anything else.
"More coming!" shrieks Youngest, bracing herself against the side of the concession stand."Daddy, more sick is coming! Dadddeeee....Bleeeeeeuugh"
A second, larger dollop of foul-smelling white poultice is deposited on the floor.
"Wow. Cool." say Eldest, who is studying the scene with interest from behind her glasses, and is presumably thinking that the whole incident been arranged for her benefit, in order to demonstrate the immersive power that 3D imagery can bring to the vomiting experience.
"It smells of lemons," she observes, with detached scientific precision. "And you can see where she was eating pickled onion Space Raiders...." A woman in the queue gags audibly at this.
"Did you want some sweets?" asks the man behind the counter, with some impatience. I realise that the entire incident has taken place at knee-height, out of his field of vision, and he has thus seen nothing. I turn back to him and smile brightly.
"Could I have some of these paper napkins?" I ask, helping myself to a large stack before he can answer.
"Yes..." he says. Then, slightly aggrieved: "I thought you wanted sweets?"
"Personally, not quite so much now, no..." I say, judging the puddle on the floor below and helping myself to more napkins
"I want sweets" says Eldest, automatically.
"Me too..." says Youngest, who has straightened up and seems almost cheerful now her stomach is empty.
"Fine," I say, deciding that the path of least resistance is probably easiest here. "A family bag of Malteasers, please. And more napkins. And could you point me at your nearest rubbish bin?"
Later, with the floor mopped up and the dirty napkins disposed of, I discuss the incident with my wife.
"It smelled of lemons..." I say, wrinkling my nose.
"Well, yes," she says. "It would. I gave her a lemon to eat in the car."
I find this statement so outlandish that I feel I have to challenge each element of it individually: "You gave her a lemon? To eat? In the car?" I say, each question increasing in pitch to denote my rising tide of incredulity.
"Yes," she says, clearly annoyed, and then mimics my voice in her reply: "Yes, I did. Because she asked for a lemon. To eat. For breakfast. In the ca-aar..."
"A lemon?" I repeat.
"Oh, don't keep saying it. She likes lemon."
"Yeah, but didn't you think it would make her sick?"
"That wasn't the lemon. That was because of your driving. You were swinging the car about too much..."
"We were late..." I interject.
"...so when she told me she was going to be sick, I said, 'Go and tell Daddy'..."
"Wait a minute, she told you she felt ill? And so you sent her over to me to throw up on?"
She looks defensive. "Well, I wasn't giving up my place in the queue..." she says.

6 comments:

Gerry Snape said...

Aw....anyway thanks for the hint. Shall remove 3D glasses. Oh that's what it looks like, is it?

Pat said...

"...so when she told me she was going to be sick, I said, 'Go and tell Daddy'..."

Classy.

Severus said...

lmao! classic! xxx <3 xxx <3 xxx

Jon B said...

The problem for me with this blog is the fact that I know you so it seems a bit disingenuous (I have been dying to drop that word in my sad digital world for ages), if I say "I love this blog."

So, momentarily, let's pretend I don't know you...I love this blog.

Right pretending over...good luck with the writing.

Jon B

Muhammad Ali Khatri said...

Lovely.. :)

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