The Oatmeal on movie theaters
As I approach my dotage and death, I get less and less tolerant of ignorant fuckwits who think it’s acceptable to talk loudly during films. I agree with the Soundproof Glass Dome but would make one minor alteration - I’d wire the seats up to the National Grid and electrocute the noisy fuckers as soon as they talk over the volume of a proper whisper, as opposed to the ear-bleedingly loud whisper that most people use as if they’re in an old English farce at The National Theatre.
I once had a quiet word at a person two rows behind me in an adjacent block of seats. It was during The Return of the King, which remains one of the loudest films I have ever seen, but all I could hear was this girl whispering to her mate at 400 decibels. Why pay ten quid to go and talk? Go to the bloody pub or stay at home. I more or less conveyed this sentiment to her by leaping from my seat and pinning her to hers with my Icy Glare © and my unequivocally menacing demand that she be quiet. Poor thing looked terrified. She didn’t say another word, mind you, so mission accomplished.
It has also been known for me to stand up and yell in the direction of some noisy bugger in the darkness behind me, ‘Would you be so kind as to please SHUT UP!’. That worked too and has even elicited some English grunts of approval from other people in the audience. Those of you who are from Americania, where whooping, hollering, rounds of applause, sexual intercourse, popcorn-throwing, coke guzzling, screaming, shouting ‘Hell, YEAH!’, and dancing in the aisles are positively de rigeur in movie theatres*, will not realise just how remarkable and unusual it is for anyone in an English social situation to be supportive in this way. Most people stare at the ground and look cringingly embarrassed. These people are most definitely not the ones who talk through films and I like them for that. Goodness, if they so much as cough in an Edwardian way, they look around in horror and obsequious apology for fear of having disturbed someone.
*Correct spelling, obviously. Or ‘Picture Houses’, to give them their proper term.
My voice must be filled with menace because I am not physically intimidating in any way, being a shortarse of only 5’6”. Indeed, if anyone stood up and yelled back to my ‘Shut up!’, ‘Or what?!’ I would run away. Proof that all mouth and no trousers works again and again.
I shall campaign for my local Picture House to install a Soundproof Glass Dome. I’d even pay for the thing as long as I could have the button that administered electric shocks.