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An 11:30 screening of an art house picture on a Tuesday morning in Clairemont; I thought it would be just me and the screen.

What’s worse: the six boisterous future jailbirds who smuggled Arrowhead water bottles filled with beer into last week’s screening of This is the End or the two clucking senior hens who refused to zip their beaks during yesterday morning’s presentation of Mud?

Not to sound too prejudicial, but what good can come from combining six drunk gang-bangers and a Seth Rogen comedy? Rude behavior goes with the territory. At least drunk teens have an excuse. What's a senior going to say? "It was the Dulcolax doing the talking."

You can’t win ‘em all, and I gave up on shushing people during the trailers ages ago. But, when the first logo hits the screen, that sounds an immediate call for silence to be maintained until the closing credits crawl.

There was a noticeable shift in tone, their loud trailer-voices dropped to hushed feature-whispers. The sibilant sounds emanating from the one in the pink sweater felt like needles in my ear. “He’sss ssso handsssome,” she spritzed when Matthew McConaughy first hit the screen. One row closer and I’d have been wiping her spittle off the screen.

It always starts with a “Ssshh” followed, when needed, by an “I’m here for the screenwriters words, not yours. Please be quiet.” Wit did not prevail. Gray sweater leaned forward and let out a, “Huh?”

Old people hate digital sound. That’s a fact. At one particularly clamorous point, Pinky cupped her palms to her ears and asked Gray, “Why is it always so loud?” I couldn’t resist: “The better to drown you out with, my dear. Would you please shut your mouths!?”

It finally took hold and I was able to enjoy the silence -- if not the movie.

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