Ten things I hate about you (when I am watching a movie)

 I have developed this habit of watching movies alone because it simplifies my life.  It means I can watch whatever movie I choose to see at whatever time it is convenient for me. I do not have to worry that a companion will enjoy the same kind of entertainment or screw things up by coming late or canceling the last minute.  More so, it saves on the cost of movie tickets, soda and popcorn.

But that does not necessarily mean that it spares me of all the hassles of having to deal with various creatures you have to live with in the two hours of so that the Universe puts you together inside a movie house.  Thus I have finally come up with a shortlist of ten most hateful creatures and habits you can chance while trying to enjoy your two hundred pesos worth of escape.

1)    The Spoiler Alert: Oh, we all know this kind of audience member who has apparently seen the movie ahead of everybody else and is pre-empting every scene by describing what is going to happen next. Whether this is a display of superiority or simply uncontrolled eloquence, such creatures are not usually tamed by gentle warnings or threats of having their mouths bashed in.

2)    The Commentator: Despite the darkening of the theater lights, this sort of specimen just goes on and on about everything that he sees or hears onscreen and beyond. This includes comments about his private life as well as his assessment of the present appearance of performers of the movie he is watching. ("Ay, si Ano?!", "Ang taba ni Ano ngayon, ha?", "Di ba yan yung kabit ni …?")

3)    The Interpreter: Although proficiency in a foreign language is not a pre-requisite for acquiring a movie ticket, having someone literally translate every English/French/Spanish/Ukranian word to the vernacular to facilitate the comprehension of his companion … is like undergoing a Chinese water torture.

4)    The Communicator: Despite announcements, warnings and eventual death threats before the screenings begin, this homo sapien is incapable of unhinging himself from the trappings of technology by either putting his cell phone on silent mode or refraining from accepting/giving calls while the movie is ongoing. Hearing "You Belong With Me" as a ringtone in the middle of an action scene is what can be considered a real downer.

5)    The Textaholic: Truth be told --- it is spooky to see a strange flow of white light amidst all the darkness of a screening room only to find out that it is the person seated right beside you relentlessly sending text messages as if it were the end of the world.

6)   The Pig: There is absolutely nothing wrong munching on popcorn, nachos, chocolates, hotdogs and even burgers while watching a movie. But then there is also the art of fine manners that include not spilling your drink, throwing your discarded wrappers or even sprinkling your popcorn on other audience members, especially when they are not watching the movie with you.

7)    The Pig Part 2: Burgers and hotdogs involve catsup. Cheese flavored popcorn leaves a sediment on your fingers after consumption. Civilized Behavior Lesson #1: You do not wipe catsup or remnants of cheese on the armrest or upholstery of your cinema seat because somebody else who does not know you or is not aware that you area pig will eventually freak out.

8)   The Restroom Junkie: Not unless an individual is afflicted with an enlarged prostate, under the medication of diuretics, or is in dire need of Imodium, there is absolutely no reason why somebody healthy enough to see a movie will need to go to a bathroom and disturb everyone seated along his way to the aisle more than two times in a span of 90 minutes.

9)   The Quarreling Lovebirds: Nothing is more infuriating than to be seated beside a pair of lovers undergoing a major crisis in their relationship and trying to settle what they will do for the rest of their lives in the middle of a movie screening.  You are never sure what is more interesting: what is happening onscreen or what is transpiring right beside you.

10)   The Passionate Lovebirds: Now here is the rub.  What is more disturbing: a pair of lovers in the middle of a dramatic highlight or at the height of passion? How do you react when the persons seated beside you cannot temper their emotions and desires regardless of the prying eyes of others who are simply amazed at the brazenness (or lasciviousness ) of their public display of affection? It is disturbing enough if it were a boy and a girl … now imagine the other possible combinations and permutations!

I am sure there are other irksome if not heinous creatures out there that come into our lives and spoil our need for cinematic escape. But again, as my father used to say, it takes all kinds to make a world … even those who make your life a bit more challenging.


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