Garrett Harris 6 p.m., April 20
4th row center: Fruitvale Station
What kind of mother takes a 3-year-old to see Fruitvale Station, the R-rated true story of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident gunned down by police on New Year's Eve? The kind of mother who, when politely asked to put an end to her child's 5 minute screaming jag, says, "GO FUCK YOURSELF!"
Looking for a couple of hours to kill, and desperately in need of air conditioning, I decide to pay a visit to Reading Cinemas Town Square for a Saturday matinee. There couldn't have been more that 10 paying customers and, per usual, the trouble-makers find me faster than Filner can pat a rump.
What's worse, a talker or the jadrool behind you who uses the back of your seat as a footstool? Halfway through the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street and my chair begins to quake. A turn of my head reveals a pair of filthy Converse sneakers dangling over the seat to my right. Don't these feet-hanging cretins realize that the slightest movement of their fetid gunboats can be felt by everyone seated in the row before them?
An over-the-shoulder look of profound disapproval proves fruitless. Nothing was going to stop this toe-tapping dolt. We briefly make eye contact as I stand to move up a row. Instead of a zoned-out teenager, I'm greeted by a guy in his '60's. In my best under-your-breath Popeye-speak I mutter "inconsiderate asshole" and move on to darker pastures.
With the junior Rockette taken care of, it's time to tackle the screaming child at the end of row 4. Not a peep came out of the 3-year-old during the trailers. She was saving it up for the feature. The first 5 minutes of the picture were backed by a wall of sound. Her mom sat unfazed.
That's alls I can stand, I can't stands no more.
A lull in the roar provides a window of opportunity. "Excuse me," I say, in a hushed movie theatre tone. "Would you please take the kid out until she settles down."
You would have thought that I had called Joe Pesci a clown.
In all my years as a moviegoer, never has an initial request for decorum been met with this type of brazen response. The way she punched the word "fuck" was priceless. Brando couldn't have done it better. Part of me wanted to walk over and give her a hug in gratitude for the eternal memory she was rude enough to supply me with.
Mom's wild retort scared her daughter silent. The kid hit the self-mute button and didn't utter another peep.
Life offers parents ample opportunity to make assholes out of themselves in front of their children. Don't do it while I'm trying to watch a movie.