Your Huddled Masses


So the parent-teacher organization at the local elementary school holds “movie night” every couple of months.  They sell pizza and beverages for a fundraiser, and candy, and project a movie on a big screen in the cafetorium/gymnasium.  My kid doesn’t attend this school anymore but she did last year, and The Lovely Rhonda’s girls still go there, so we are obligated to attend.

Tonight they showed “The Lorax,” which I had not seen, so I actually did watch parts of it between playing games on my phone and blowing my nose.  These are currently my two favorite pastimes when away from home.  When I am home my favorite pastimes are complaining and blowing my nose but this doesn’t go over so well out among strangers.

I like to torment the children at these movie nights by purchasing delicious candy and declining to pass it out until they have asked when they can have it a minimum of fifty bajillion times.  Tonight I was so skilled at this that some of the candy actually went unconsumed.  It is still in the back of the van sending off little chocolatey radiation waves.  I doubt it will survive until morning, by which time they will hopefully have forgotten all about it, and if they haven’t there is a licorice rope with which to placate them.  I do not care for licorice.

The turnout at these events is frequently very good and tonight was no different; in fact TLR estimated it to be the largest turnout yet.  For those who have not had the pleasure, watching a movie at a PTO fundraiser movie night is not like watching a movie in a theater at all, unless your theater allows you to attend in pajamas carrying a sleeping bag, pillow, and favorite stuffed animal.  Also it would have to allow running, pillow-fighting, screaming, wriggling, talking, wrestling, crying and whining.  And that’s just our kids.  I’m not sure what the other kids did because I was too busy threatening The Collective Spawn with the Wrath of Doom if they didn’t Knock It Off Right This Minute And I Am Not Kidding, We Can Just Go Straight Home You Know.

Okay, I jest.  The kids were actually pretty mellow and the only tears occurred at the end of the movie when they held a drawing.  Each child had been issued a raffle ticket, free of charge, and the winner received the DVD of “The Lorax” that we had just watched.  It was a large crowd consisting mainly of teeming, orbiting children so it took several minutes and three different tickets had to be read before someone claimed the prize.  It was at this point that TLR’s youngest burst into tears because she didn’t win.  TLR had already told me that she liked the movie so much that she’d decided to buy it if we didn’t win it, and we told the youngest this, but she still completely lost her shit and wailed long and hard.  But to be fair she is only five years old and it’s only been a few weeks of full-day kindergarten.  By Friday she’s pretty exhausted and everything makes her cry.  Also?  She had immunizations yesterday and probably doesn’t feel all that hot to begin with.  I can relate.

My kid is having a sleepover tonight, just to add a soupçon of ennui to the mix.  The visiting girl is really sweet and no trouble at all, but TLR’s kids are both so envious and tired (a bad combination) that I think this might be the only time we do a sleepover on a movie night.  It’s just too much.

The funniest part of the evening?  Again with the youngest.  She wanted a drink of water, for which one needed to cross under the movie screen in front of the crowd.   TLR had tried to get her to go on her own but she just wouldn’t.  A little while later she wanted another drink of water and again TLR told her she could go get it on her own, she had taken her once so she knew where to go (it was easily visible from where we sat).  We watched in stunned silence as this kid proceeded cautiously to the front of the gym, laid flat on her back beneath the screen, and attempted to wiggle  feet-first from the near end to the far end.  The bottom edge of the movie screen was fully six feet off the ground but she was convinced that she would throw a shadow across the movie.  Finally TLR heaved a mighty sigh and went and collected her before she brought more awkwardness to the family name.  Because willing yourself across the gym floor on your back in slow motion would be so much less embarrassing than potentially throwing a shadow across the movie for two seconds.  Of course.


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