Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The IMAX Adventure

About a week or so ago, GSD (The Good Step Daughter) asked if I'd come up to her place and spend the night so she and her husband could go to a Zack Brown concert.  Being the fabulously wonderful step mother that I am, I said sure.  Okay, I'm not always wonderful...but I mean to be...it just doesn't always work out that way.

GSD's house is about a hundred miles from me so it takes a little while to drive.  I take the truck because it has satellite radio.  Because satellite radio has good reception and it has a bunch of oldies stations and those are the only songs I know the lyrics to.  At least in my mind I know the lyrics.  As it turns out, the "real" lyrics are way different from what I'm actually singing. It was only recently I found out that Van Halen didn't sing Cannon Ball...it's Panama.  All these years I've been singing Cannon Ball.  Every time you find out something like that you wonder how many times you sang it wrong in front of someone else.  Fortunately for me, unless I'm alone in my car, I pretty much sing under my breath when anyone else is around.  Unlike my friend, Smelly, who at any given moment will burst into song...loudly...and out of tune...and she doesn't care.  Sadly, I can only admire that kind of self confidence knowing full well that I'll never in a million years be able to do anything like that.

It just occurred to me that maybe Smelly doesn't really know how she sounds.  Do you think she thinks she sounds good?  Or at least not terrible?  What if she's completely tone deaf and thinks she's singing in tune? I hope that's not the case.  And if it is, I hope she never in a million years reads this and discovers the truth.  I'd really miss those random bursts of song...they're really entertaining.

The drive is pretty uneventful.  Otis Redding keeps me company along with Dusty Springfield and Smokey Robinson.  About half way there I switch to classic rock and sing along with the likes of Led Zepplin, The Doors, Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Aerosmith.  I'm rockin' out...

Oddly, the booberdoobers are at a minimum and I only experience a brief moment of road rage when a little SUV pulling a travel trailer clogs up a two lane section of road.  The fucker refuses to use the turn outs so the hundred  cars piled up behind him can go the speed limit and not TWENTY MILES BELOW like he's forcing us to do.  And yes, I'm exaggerating...there weren't a hundred cars backed up...but it seemed like it.  I briefly wonder if he can see me in his rear view mirror and read my lips.  Nah, I decide, he probably just thinks I'm singing along with the radio. Unless of course, he can see my face has gone beet red with rage and there really is smoke coming out of my ears.  After screaming at him and calling him every horrible name I can think of he finally pulls over.  "About time mother fucker" I shout...to myself... as I waive politely when I drive by. I'm such a fucking hypocrite.  Why can't I just flip him off like I really want to do?  At this point in my life, I'm probably never going to grow a set of balls.

After fuckhead lets us by, the drive's pretty much smooth sailin'.

When I finally get there, GSD & her husband are already gone and the three boys are home alone. You'd think that three boys being home alone would be chaotic, wouldn't you?  Not with these three.  Talk about rule followin' little tykes. These guys go out of their way to follow "the rules".  You can't even get them to do anything wrong.  Believe me, I've tried.  Plus, they're polite.

It's kinda refreshing and frustrating at the same time.  I don't know how they did it. GSD was never a big "rule follower" when she was younger but maybe her husband was.  That must be where they get it.  They should write a book about how to raise polite, well behaved children.  It would probably be a waste of time though because the parents with bratty fuckin' rugrats wouldn't take the time to read it. Why?  Because, parents with bratty children never recognize said bratty-ness in their kids.  That's the problem.  They think their kids are fabulous little specimens of humanity and make every excuse imaginable for misbehavior.  Those parents should have their asses kicked...regularly...preferably by someone with more balls than me of course.

C, the oldest boy, actually asked me if I wanted him to get my bag out of the car.  I almost fainted.

M, the middle child, is now taller than I am.  T, the baby, showed me his two silver teeth, acquired on a recent trip to the dentist.  He's now on a sugar restricted diet...THAT HE FOLLOWS WILLINGLY...WTF?

Eventually, we decide to go see a movie. Transformers 4...at the IMAX.  I didn't know what an IMAX was.  A luxury IMAX no less.

After C figures out how to lock the house door, which he apparently has never had to do before, and after I put said key safely on my key rings so we can actually get back into the house later, we all load into the truck and I find that there's not room enough to turn around. So now I have to back down their long drive way. Yikes! It's narrow and winding and really, really steep. I feel foolishly proud that I managed without incident.  A little bump here and there, but the driveway is bumpy...we made it...alive and uninjured...and that's all that really matters, isn't it? And, more importantly, no dings on the truck for The Husband to bitch about. Although if we're counting dings on vehicles, he's put way more in them than I have.

Since C is the oldest, and recently got his learners permit to drive, he's designated as navigator. Fortunately, I had the foresight to ask him to print a Google map with directions to the theater.  As it turns out, he's never really paid attention to directions anywhere in his travels with his parents. Hopefully his attention to direction improves when he starts driving by himself.  Otherwise he's gonna spend a lot of time getting lost.

After an incident free trip, we get to the theater...thanks to Google.  When we go to buy our tickets, only the front row seats were left.  I didn't think much of it at the time. Then on to the snack bar. This is where I really start wondering if these are real kids or some kind of new alien species.  I could tell C & M were worried that I was going to have to spend too much money.  They actually suggested SHARING bags of popcorn.  Can you believe that?  When I said everyone should have their own bag, M said maybe we should get the SMALL bags.  Where did these kids come from?  I want to turn them around and see if they have those things in the back of their necks like the aliens from the old Invaders TV series.  We compromise on medium bags...along with bottled water insisted on by the little rule followers, and diet Coke for me.  As it turns out, M was right. The medium bags were giant and none of us finished our popcorn.  (A note for the frugally inclined...snack bar munchies cost way, way more than the movie tickets.)

On to the darkened theater... where I found out why the front row had the only seats available.  You end up looking straight up at a ginormous curved IMAX screen. You can't even really focus on the whole screen, just the middle section.  The curved sides end up looking totally fucking distorted.  I mean, Mark Wahlberg isn't hard on they eyes, but I didn't really expect to be staring up at his giant nose holes for the entire show.

The seats were comfortable though...cushy recliners with side tables for drinks.  It took a little while to figure out the actual reclining process when T, who was sitting next to me, accidentally pushed a button and his chair moved.  We both looked at each other with that raised eyebrow, big eyed, "O" shaped mouth surprised look.  Kinda like those adult store blow up dolls, only human.  I did find out, albeit over halfway through the movie, that if you go fully reclined, it's easier to look at the screen straight up.  Then you don't get a crick in you neck.  Although if you're old and inclined to doze off, reclining may not be your best option.  Not that I dozed.  I started to a couple of times but all the fucking explosions in the movie kept waking me up.  Note to self...never sit in the front row of an IMAX theater if you're over the age of 16.  Seriously... if you ever find yourself contemplating this...walk away.

After the movie, we stopped at Subway where, by their choice, the boys SHARED SODAS.  OMFG! Then off to Walmart for Hershey's syrup because the ice cream flavors they had at home were Vanilla and Cookie Dough.  I don't like Cookie Dough, and the only way to eat Vanilla is with Hershey's, and being the healthy life style family they are, unlike me, they don't have bottles of Hershey Syrup lining the shelves in their refrigerator.  No, their refrigerator if filled with things like fresh fruit, organic vegetables, you know, weird stuff.  No Cheese Wiz in that Frigidaire, no sir.  I did manage to convince the rule followers that yes, butterscotch syrup, would be okay, and wouldn't put me in the poor house if they wanted to try it. Which they did.  I was secretly overjoyed by this.  They really are little human boys!

When we left Walmart, M, the middle rule follower who happens to be a wee bit of a worry wort, carefully monitored my driving speed from the back seat... pointing out that the speed limit was 50 and I was going too fast.  Silence little rule follower in the back seat (I said to myself)...to him I said..."It doesn't get down to 50 until further up the road."  (Just for the record, I really do try to drive the speed limit when I have kids in the car or when I'm hauling horses...you know...the whole precious cargo shit...I can't believe I even thought that let alone actually wrote it out...gag me with a spoon.)

When we got back home M carefully inspected my key ring to see if their house key was still on it.  I think he was really afraid I was going to steal their house key. Chill out child.  What would I do? Make off with all their organic fruits and veggies when they were gone? Yeah, right.

Out came the ice cream as soon as we got home by their choice, not mine, convincing me a little more that yes, these were really human children.  They all ate the ice cream with butterscotch syrup...and liked it.  I think if I hadn't been there, they might have eaten more.

I make fun of GSD's kids and how they follow rules, and call them aliens, and act like they're not "normal" kids.  But really, they're not.  Most kids these days don't have parents who give a shit and insist that they follow rules.  Insist that they eat stuff that's good for them instead of junk food (like me) all the time.  Insist that they be polite and respectful instead of being obnoxious little shitheads.

It takes a lot of time and effort to raise kids to be productive members of society these days.  My hat's off to GSD & her hubby.  Well, it would be if I were ever to wear hats...which I don't...but if I did I'd take it off to them.  Because even though I might make fun of them, they're doing a bang up job of parenting.  Their kids are definitely not the "norm"...but they should be...it's the stoopidist thing.

P.S.  The vanilla ice cream they had wasn't really ice cream...it was frozen yogurt. I have to admit, it wasn't bad...who knew????  But then if there's Hersheys on top, how could anything be bad?