The League and Mrs. League toddled off to the local theater to check out sci-fi extravaganza, Serenity.
Jim D. had recommended the movie, Steanso and The Admiral had given the flick a thumbs-up, and the League's brother-in-law, Sneaky Frog, is a big "Firefly" nerd, and had thrown his support behind the movie.
For some reason, mid-summer, my theater quit carrying Hot Tamales. The League is a simple League with simple League wishes. When we go to the theater, we want a medium Diet Coke and we want a box of Hot Tamales. We’ve complained loudly to the people behind the counter that Hot Tamales are no longer to be had, but we’re coming to peace with the fact that Hot Tamales are gone, and, most, likely, will never return.
Today we decided we wanted Sweet Tarts, truly a staple of the movie candy industry, and we noticed that there were no Sweet Tarts as well.
“Well, what do you want?” asked Mrs. League.
“I want Sweet Tarts,” we replied.
“They don’t have them.”
“What? Everyone has Sweet Tarts.”
“Well, they don’t. Do you want Sour Patch Kids? Or Sour Wiggly Worms? Or Sour Straws?”
“My GOD!!! They’re all the same damn candy! Why do they have three kinds of sour candies and no Sweet Tarts?”
The kid behind the counter was starting to look a little concerned.
“They sort of are. Well…” Mrs. League tried.
“This is absurd! I don’t want anything sour and I don’t want chocolate,” I went on. “I want Sweet Tarts and Hot Tamales. Every other theater has these, but here I have to have Sour Wiggly Worms. It’s the Bizarro Theater. Nothing here is right!”
The kid behind the counter just sort of stood there, blinking.
When we went to see “Roll Bounce” at this same theater a week ago, I’d confronted the grouchy alt-rock girl behind the counter regarding the lack of Hot Tamales. “Nobody wanted them,” she explained. “Bullshit!” I’d declared. “I want them. I can’t be the only one!”
The League understands the laws of supply and demand, but believes that Hot Tamales fall safely within the Laffer Curve on this one. And who cares if they don’t move as fast as Wiggly Sour Worms? You know who eats those? Stupid little kids. Stupid little kids who don’t know that for fifty cents less they could get the exact same thing under the name “Sour Punch Straws”, but they’re too wrapped up in having the stupid worm on the package that they can’t see in the dark that they’ve bumped the Hot Tamales off of the shelf.
“It’s an outrage,” The League continued. “And when the hell is Zorro coming out? That poster has been up since May. I don’t even know if I want to see it anymore.”
“What do you want?” asked Mrs. League.
“I want Sweet Tarts.”
“They don’t have those.”
“Fine. I’ll have a Diet Coke.”
How hard is it to have Hot Tamales in stock? They’re not even food. They keep forever and a day. A man seeking non-Chocolate at a theater shouldn’t have to resort to eating sour candies or Skittles (which are gross and taste like fake fun).
You know how movie theaters make money? It’s not off of ticket sales, Leaguers. It’s by selling candy. They buy candy for the same prices you’d pay at the grocery and then mark it up 400%. You accept that the inflated price is part of the deal, pay $3.75 for a pack of M&M’s, and move on with life.
I COULD buy a box of Hot Tamales at the Walgreen’s or AM/PM on the way to the theater, but I don’t. I want my theater to stay in business. But I also have deep pockets. Not financially, but as a big man, I wear some big pants, and I can get a pack of Hot Tamales in the pocket with a minimum of fuss.
I don’t want to become the lady who turned around to me in the 10:00 show of Dennis the Menance I went to in 1993 who turned around mid-screening and said, “Do ya’ll want a plum?”
“Do ya’ll want a plum?”
"Like... a plum?"
"Uh-huh. I don't need it."
Plums aren’t movie food. I don’t know if she’d brought in a small lunch, or a bag of plums, or just found a plum in the bottom of her purse. But she wasn’t a Hot Tamale lady, she was a plum lady, and the Greens Crossing AMC had failed to meet her half-way. Thus, she was bringing in her plum. Which, it turned out, she didn’t want anyway.
Only plum I ever ate in a movie.
In the end I got up before the trailers started and got a box of Milk Duds, because, honestly, I’m a bitch for sugar. But should I ever learn to show some foresight, the Gilbert WTC Theater is going to start losing my $3.75 every week.
And as I stood there at the counter, begrudgingly handing over my money, the little kid behind me was turning to his dad and saying, “Where are the Hot Tamales?”
So, how was Serenity? Pretty darn good. Now I need to seek out the Firefly DVDs.
I was a little skeptical for the first few scenes, but the movie did win me over. For those of you who have seen the commercial and think the movie looks sort of lame? The commercials pretty much show the first scene of the movie. It gets a lot more interesting from there.
Former Buffy-verse mastermind Joss Whedon is responsible for this movie, and that’s good news. He’s signed to write and direct an upcoming Wonder Woman feature. If this movie is any indication, Wonder Woman will probably be a pretty darn good flick, too.