Thursday, July 16, 2009


Popcorn for breakfast. That's our catch-phrase for "Wanna go see a movie?" We go seldom, and always to the early weekend matinee---we can go WAY up to the back row against the wall, pick the three aisle seats (one each, and one for his hat and any other items).

And I HATE purses. Haven't carried one since about 1986. I just stick a lipstick in my left pocket, money and ID in the right (in a handy little plastic Ziploc), hang my reading glasses in the neck of my shirt, and I'm good to go.

And we almost always get what the kids call "nine-dollar popcorn." But occasionally I'll pocket a baggie of M&M's from home---heavenly sprinkled into the bag, then unearthed warm and melty with a handful of buttery corn. We've even been known to hit the McDonald's drive-through for a double-cheese and try to waft them past the ticket-folks before the scent gives us away.

My best smuggle was a couple of years ago. We had stopped at a fast-food place for a bite of lunch, then headed off to the movie. We always hit the drink dispenser for a little topoff before leaving those places, and so we had two nice medium Dr. Peppers in the cupholder in the car. As we got out of the car to go buy our tickets, I said to heck with it---why buy their pricey sugarwater when these perfectly good drinks will be melted and practically boiling when we come back to this hot car.

So I stood between the car and a van and carefully inserted one drink into each side pocket. The chilly cups alongst my thighsides felt kind of nice on the hot trip to the door, as I walked casually past ticket-stand, ticket ripper and concession.

Then, came a wee problem. How to extract those two flimsy cups from my pants without catching the straws, popping off the tops, or anointing myself embarrassingly from hip to toe in sticky drink. I walked carefully into the ladies' room, past the big wall of mirrors, catching sight of my streetcar-wide hips and thinking that I could have taken my place in Marie Antoinette's entourage with those huge side-panniers I was sporting---all I needed was the birdnest in the big hair.

I closed myself into a stall, reached to the right, painfully extracted one cup with my fingertips. Then, where to set it, cause I needed both hands. The little metal box on the wall had a sloping top, so I had to set it there, sort of back my bottom up to it and hold it in place whilst I tried to get that other cup (now chillingly becoming painful) off my left hip. I reached gingerly into the pocket, and felt the "pop" of the lid as it disengaged from the cup.

Now trying to play a bizarre game of Twister in a stall too small to turn around successfully, I managed to get top and straw out, stick the straw between my teeth, and waiting every moment for that chill flood of Pepper down my leg, I stood in a sidewise Mummenschantz posture, gently held the rim of the cup, and pulled upward with the care of a member of the bomb squad watching that blue-number countdown.

It slid free, I managed to snap lid on cup, rotate myself toward the hip-held drink, retrieve it, and exit the stall. To the fascinated stares of two elderly ladies who were obviously in great wonderment of how I managed to tend to the order of bathroom things whilst holding two full cups.

Or the chilling thought of what might be in them.


Anonymous said...

Am very happy to know that I'm not the only smuggler at the movies!

Southern Lady said...

Oh, how funny, Rachel. I can just imagine the look on those ladies' faces.

Emily said...

I am in wonderment as well. Wow. I took my girls to see a movie yesterday and spent $50 on movie snacks. Couldn't believe it.

Thank you for your kind words on my post in the Sanctuary over at the Women's Colony. They warmed my heart. :)

Emily B.

racheld said...

The thought of that smuggling is shameful indeed.

And Emily: Kind words are not nearly enough for such evocative lines as these:

"There are moments in life when time stops moving. Lying in the dark on the pew, my heartbeat was the second hand and all of time belonged to me."

I DO hope you'll drop in again.

Alice said...

I'm sure you're performance was worth an Academy Award and funnier than the movie you went to see.

Bet those other ladies thought you were off to the doctor with TWO