“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Who can give me a good reason why you would buy a movie ticket and go into the theater before the previous showing is finished? Why would you want to spoil the ending?
It was the Spring of 2005. Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith had been released, and fanboys of all ages had come together in a sign of geek solidarity. Though I had already seen the movie, my 10-year-old brother had not, and he wanted to see it with his big bro. How could I resist?
Everything was going swimmingly until the last 15 minutes when a group of teenagers waltzed into the theater and proceeded to act like it was their own private showing. Right smack dab in the middle of the climactic battles between Obi Wan and Anakin and Yoda and the Emperor. The kids announced their arrival with quite the ruckus. Never before have I heard people sit in theater seats quite so noisily. It was annoying, but I kept my cool.
But as the seconds ticked away, it became blatantly obvious that these little rapscallions weren’t going to change their behavior. To my absolute astonishment they began talking and laughing in regular voices, as if they were carrying on a jovial conversation at an Abercrombie and Fitch party, or whatever it was that entitled teens did in 2005. Then the only guy in the group started what appeared to be a tickle fight with his girlfriend, and everybody started moving to different seats, seemingly playing a game of musical chairs that was designed solely for the purpose of driving me to the brink of insanity.
A handful of evil glares did not solve the problem; a problem that was exacerbated when one of the girls called someone on her cell phone and participated in dueling giggles. That was it. I’d had enough.
I have learned a lot of patience over the years, but this was easily the most astounding display of inconsideration that I have experienced at the theater. I stood up, marched over to where these scamps were having their little tea party, and I sat in the row behind them and just glared.
Not surprisingly, their gab fest came to an immediate end, and every single one of them nervously and sheepishly looked at me, obviously wondering what my next move would be. A few seconds later, to my shock, I heard an adult voice a couple of rows behind me call out, “Tisha! Tisha! Come on, let’s go.”
I looked back and saw an older woman in a row by herself. The kids stood up and walked out with this wildly irresponsible adult, who one can only assume was in charge. So not only were these kids complete cads, but they were accompanied by an adult who saw nothing wrong in what they were doing.
After the movie we strolled out of the theater, and who did I see standing outside the theater door? Yep, to my great satisfaction it was the group of kids. I walked over to the only guy in the group, looked him dead in the eye, made it obvious I was addressing the entire group, and with controlled righteous anger I stated, “Please learn some consideration. And learn to keep quiet when you’re in the theater. My brother and I were trying to pay attention to the last 15 minutes of the movie, but it’s hard to do so when someone rudely walks in and acts like they own the place. I kindly ask that you use some manners and consider other peoples’ feelings in the future. Next time, somebody might not be as polite as I am.”
I was stern, yet polite.
If you have ever wondered what the face of someone struck with the fear of God looks like, well, the look on their faces was it. Every single one of them stood frozen. The once talkative group now had nary a word to utter. I’m a 6’2″, 215 lb. lean and mean fighting machine with long hair and an awesome beard, so I’m sure that contributed to their intimidation.
I let my glare linger for a few seconds, gave them what the Rock would call the “pec pop of love” for good measure, and then turned around and walked away.
Unfortunately, their guardian wasn’t around. There’s no doubt she could have used a lesson in civility as well. A group of teenagers acting like a herd of undisciplined brats is uncalled for, but it’s not totally surprising. An adult letting the kids run amok, however, is unacceptable irresponsibility. Society has a long way to go, and we have the duty to politely speak up when we witness people acting like the heathens we all once were.
I’m not asking anybody to be perfect, but it isn’t too much to ask you to learn some consideration for others. Please.
What movie horror stories do you have to share? This is your chance to vent.