Finding Nemo New Ways to Annoy Me
June 4th, 2003

   I made a big mistake this weekend. I saw Finding Nemo. In a gigantic theater. With hundreds of tiny children. Do you realize how many more miniature humans you can fit into a theater than normal sized people? Well, it’s the same, but they’re all 10 times louder. If you’re seeing this movie on a Sunday afternoon, you bring certain expectations of who will be sitting around you. You just don’t expect the horror I had to endure.

   Five minutes into the previews, I knew I was in trouble. The swelling mass of fidgeting bodies around me said I should have just walked. Forget that 7 bucks, buddy. Get the hell out of there! Unfortunately, I already settled in with some corn and an Icee. I was stuck. Just before the movie started, the crowd began to settle. This was going to be a pleasant experience after all... Until they showed up.
Fumbling behind me, I could hear a family of three struggling to get to their seats. Immediately I know the parents can’t control their child. Any parent who can’t get their kid ready for a movie in time is foolish. Those kids need adjustment time when they step into that theater! Immediately he’s restless, and I am made to suffer.

Opening credits, I hear an abundance of rustling behind me. It’s the son, who could be between 7 and 10. He can’t sit still, shuffling all over the place, jumping on the floor, then back to his seat. Then, the explosions begin.

  “AHHHHHHHHHHH!” This kid must have caught a glimpse of the screen and realized cartoons are wacky! He let out a scream that sounded eerily similar to my sound byte. Right into my ear. And the father did nothing. At first I tried not to be angry, I thought there was something wrong with him. Then I realized he wasn’t the problem. It was his parents. The kid jumped out in the aisle, got on the floor and started sliding down the stairs, right on past me. He wandered up and down the steps, blocking other children’s views. Then he would pretend he was gagging and make noises like he was throwing up. Time to take a stand, daddy!

    When his father did step in, he looked in the aisle and said, “Josh. Come back. Josh.” It sounded like THIS. Wow, nice work, pops. Your son is so loud that other children are actually saying, ‘Jesus, kids are annoying,’ and all you can do is whisper?

   The kid eventually crawled his way back to his seat and continued his unexpected screams. While his parents were paying particular attention to nothing at all, young Joshua positioned himself so he could get as much flailing out of his outbursts as possible. That’s when it happened. A shuddering thud to the back of my skull followed by an agonizing war cry. I had just been kicked in the head by a 7-year-old.

   As soon as the blow was dealt, soft apologies came from the parents, but I didn’t want an apology. I wanted punishment. Maybe his dad would grab him by the arm and explain that he is being a rude little snot. Maybe his mom would decide to take him out of the theater altogether. Does this happen? You already know the answer.

   The movie went on, and so did Josh. Mommy and daddy sporadically said, ‘Josh, shh,’ but that’s all. At the end, I received another weak apology from the dad. I shrugged it off. These are people who think having a kid is an excuse to be blameless, but just because their child is blameless doesn’t mean they are. I guarantee Josh does this all the time, and is never disciplined for it, hence the Ked to the head. Telling a child, “Josh, shhh,” is like telling a smoker, ‘Those things’ll kill ya!’ He will only respond to action. So I tracked them down in the parking lot, took off my size 11, and smacked Josh in the head with it. You know, just hard enough that he knew I meant business. I did my part to save that young boy from becoming a spoiled high school jock. His parents stood there. Doing nothing.

I’m beginning to think I’m subconsciously seeking out things that will anger me.

© 2003 The Decking Crew