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  • So a week or two ago (the days all blur now) I talked my teen son into going to a movie with me. It was one of those movies TCM (Turner Classic Movies) releases at the big theatre.

    My son, Eli, was sort of humoring me. Sometimes these days, as a teen, he is very snarky and rude, and other times he is very sweet. This was one of those sweet days.

    As we were driving to the theatre the thought occurred to me that we might be the only ones there. I actually wondered if they would cancel a show if only two people showed up. That would be awkward.

    I had gone awhile back by myself to see "Double Indemnity" with Barbara Stanwyk and Fred McMurray. There was a decent crowd. My husband just shook his head when I left the house. He didn't understand why I would pay money to watch something I had seen on TV a million times for free.

    "Are you kidding me?" I thought. Noir is my heart! "Double Indemnity" on the big screen? That's like winning the lottery!" Love!

    Anyway...I managed to drag my son to, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." I explained to him it is a classic slapstick comedy of immense proportions.

    I see that look on his face like, "Sure mom, I'll humor you. It may come in handy the next time I need some tech thing."
  • The cast featured, besides Spencer Tracey; Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, and Jonathan Winters. Also, there were brilliant cameos of folks like Jerry Lewis and Don Knotts. I mean - this movie is like the gold standard of comedy. Of course my son hadn't heard of any of these comedians with the exception of Don Knotts, as he had seen a few old Andy Griffiths on TV.

    As I said ... my son was humoring me.

    Well, we got to the theatre and collected our popcorn, drinks, and candies for about $50 (the movie was $5 each). We walked into the theatre and it was packed! For the most part it was an all 'over fifty' crowd. I saw Eli breathe a sigh of relief as a man with a teen boy walked in. Probably another parent (or grandparent?) inducting their son into the comedy hall of fame.

    The movie had some old fashioned features such as the introduction to the movie where they role the credits with clever animated cartoon artwork in the fashion similar to pink panther cartoons.

    Some guy sitting behind us started laughing at the credits and didn't stop the whole movie. He had a very loud laugh and guffaw and Eli kept turning and frowning at him.

    Then there was the lady sitting next to me who knew most of the lines of the movie and would say them before the actors did. Yah, ...annoying. Several favorite lines she would repeat out loud a few times.

    Another would make comments like, "You idiot, don't do that!"
    Like he thought the movie characters would hear him and heed his warning.

    I could just feel my son's thoughts, "OK mom, you owe me big time for this one!" I imagined a big hit on my pocketbook. But, out of the corner of my eye, I did catch him laughing a few times.

    Then we got to the middle of the movie and the word "INTERMISSION" flashed on the screen. I whispered to Eli that they used to do this with movies and you'd leave to get your popcorn.

    Well ... like a cattle call ... the over fifty crowd started getting up and going out. Only...movies today don't have intermissions and the movie just kept playing as an eighth of the crowd walked out. A few who weren't as fast returned to their seats with a befuddled look.

    Eli turns to me with an, "Oh! c'mon mom!" look on his face.

    I just shrug my shoulders. (I admit to myself silently that I had a brief moment of confusion as my butt started to lift off my seat but then settled back down.)

    Needless to say the movie was an education on a number of levels. On the way home I told him how his grandparents used to take me to a John Wayne double feature and there were cartoons shown in between, usually a Pink Panther or a Tom & Jerry.

    "Yah mom, I know. And you used to buy a giant pickle and eat it during the movie."

    "That's right Eli. Boy, those were the good ol days..."

    "Mom?"

    "Yah?"

    "There's this cool game I was thinking about getting..."

    "Oh? O.K. ....Guess what?"

    "What?"

    "I heard "Indiana Jones" is going to be coming up on the big screen soon."

    "Mom! We have that on DVD at home!"

    "I know, but it's different on the big screen!"

    "I'll think about it mom."

    "That's all I ask, Eli. Besides, I don't think there is an intermission with that one. It's a little newer. From the seventies I think? Or is that the eighties? They all seem to blur together."

    "That's ok mom. Thanks for the movie. It was sort of funny, at least some parts. But that guy behind us was really annoying."

    "Well, hopefully he won't be at the "Indiana Jones" movie.

    Eli smirks snarkily at me, "I said I'd THINK about it mom."

    "Ok, ok. I wonder why they don't have those giant pickles anymore? Those were good!"
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