I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate children’s movies. Okay, fine, “hate” might be too strong a word. I really, really don’t like childre—nope. I just remembered that shitstorm Space Chimps. I think we’re good with “hate.”
But because I have two sons and I’m a very nice mother, I wind up seeing almost every children’s movie that comes out. The only way I’ve managed to survive them at all is to sit in the top row of the theater and watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show on my iPhone during the film. It’s a trick that usually works like a charm, however I’ve learned that I still have to pay attention to at least one scene so I can later cite it when my kids ask me which part was my favorite. Once I responded with, “The part where Mary and Rhoda ate the cake!” and my jig was almost up. I must protect my jig.
Then a couple of weeks ago my genius system was put to the test again when I found myself walking into the movie theater with five kids. FIVE. I’m still not sure how that happened. I’m assuming either someone slipped a roofie into my box of wine or I went into a fugue state after Spin class and one of my devious friends took advantage of me. Who knows. At any rate, I was like a f***ing Duggar at the multiplex that day. (Albeit a Duggar with incredible hair and the ability to pronounce the word “Icee” in less than six syllables.)
I had four boys with me, all easily controlled with buttloads of popcorn and the threat of kissing them in public, and one girl, Allie. Allie is pretty much my favorite 11-year-old girl in the world because she’s basically a middle-aged curmudgeon in pink sparkly tennis shoes. I always have to stop myself from gossiping about who’s getting divorced and why with her because I forget she’s only in the fifth grade.
Last summer we had a party at our house and all of the kids were outside throwing rocks at each other while the moms drank wine and told funny stories in the living room. Guess where Allie was? Right next to me listening to every word. Seriously, if she started shopping at Chico’s and getting hormone replacement therapy, nobody would blink an eye. She’s like my four-foot-high, less wrinkly twin. (Lucky Allie!)
The movie we were there to see that day was some stupid animated thing involving aliens, and we quickly realized that the rest of the neighborhood had had the same idea as us because the screening room was packed. So packed, in fact, that we couldn’t sit in my usual back row and had to take seats somewhere in the middle. AKA the worst possible place to use your iPhone without someone complaining. I immediately began to panic that I’d actually have to watch the alien crapfest, or try to sleep, but then I remembered that Allie was next to me. And here’s how Allie saved me that day in the movie theater:
During the trailer for a movie starring The Rock:
Me: Every graduate of the Yale School of Drama is now slowly killing themselves with a garden tool.
Allie: I know, right? Take me outta my misery, rake!
During the trailer for an animated movie about cave people:
Allie: How many fart jokes do you think that masterpiece will have?
Me: At least 100. Maybe 102 but the director probably can’t count that high.
(low chuckles, high fives)
During the alien movie’s first act when one alien burps on another:
Me: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeBUUUURRPPPP.”
Allie: Wow, talk about pandering.
Boys: HAHAHAHAHAHA! BURP!
During the sudden outburst from the toddler behind us:
Allie: It’s called Benadryl. Look into it.
During the scene where two alien sidekicks show up:
Me: Oh, a wacky character voiced by George Lopez. How original.
Allie: What, was Tracy Morgan busy? LAME.
During the end credits when some of the audience started to applaud:
Me: Dear God.
Allie: I wish my parents let me carry a taser.
And so on. You get the idea. The entire movie just flew by that day with Allie’s help and for that, I’m forever in her debt. Now if I can only convince her parents to let me take her with me to Oliver Stone’s next movie. I hear it has some burping in it.