Man in his Pyjamas A collection of comedy writing, poetry and Asperger Syndrome.

The cinema

Emailed – 22.9.14

This weekend, in a bid to spend some quality time together, the wife and I took the kids to the cinema.

I suppose in terms of ‘quality’ time, sitting in the dark, without speaking, staring at a big screen and eating smuggled-in-snacks is a dubious choice. We could I suppose have visited the Science Museum to push some big red buttons and ponder the modern age. Or maybe the Sea Life Centre to tap on the tanks and badger aquatic life.

But no, something about the cinema appealed to me. In the cinema you kinda get to be alone, without actually being alone. Like a busman’s holiday for those who like to ignore and be ignored.

If I closed my eyes I could be in my man shed. Must remember to keep my trousers on though. This could work………Cinema it was. Sod Science and Nature (this is also my Trivial Pursuits stance).

As I floated the idea of the cinema during Wednesday bath-time my two year old daughter announced that yes she’d really love to go, and that she really wanted  to see Box Trolls.

This took me aback. How in God’s name does she know the title of a film she wants to see? She’s TWO. I Googled right there and then, and sure enough Box Trolls at cinemas near you. 

I took a moment to consider just how this was possible? She can’t even pronounce her s’s yet, but she can, with full authority, inform me that.

Yed Daddy, I deen the trailer it look very good.  WTF?

My mother tells me I couldn’t sit up on my own until I was 18 months old, but yet my daughter, sired from my very loins, appears up-to-date with the latest cinema releases afore her third birthday? HOW?

Two minutes ago she was having a melt down because her rubber ducky had sunk and now she’s making informed cinematic choices? World’s gone mad. MAD.

This was playing on my mind as I sat in front of the TV whilst my wife booked the tickets. Done she exclaimed as she shut her laptop, all pleased with herself.  11am on Saturday. 3D.

I wasn’t really listening.

I used your card.

I wasn’t really listening. She uses my card for EVERYTHING. The joke is that we still call it MY card. It has my name on it sure, but I haven’t seen it for years. She keeps it in her purse. She knows my PIN number.

She has a fraud protecting password on it for on-line purchases that I don’t even know.  I need HER to buy things with my own card. She’s effectively shut me out of my own bank account. Clever.


Okay – I was listening now. Fifty quid? FIFTY POUNDS STERLING to take four people to the cinema? Two of them won’t pay attention and the other two will probably fall asleep. Cheese and crackers.

My wife hastily reasserted that she’d booked 3D and that was a bit more expensive.

Oh I see. I suggested she promptly cancel it and book 2D –  the insane spendthrift. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?  Alas this was impossible because,

‘I’ve shut my laptop now’.

Oh well –  if you’ve gone as far as SHUTTING YOUR LAPTOP. No turning back now then.  I would hate to inconvenience you any. Absolutely. No problem.  I’ll get a second ******** job and look into selling a kidney. GOD FORBID you have to open your laptop.

I didn’t realise you had one of those new one-use-only laptops? The kind that once you shut the lid, all decisions are irreversible and final. That is one powerful machine. Who makes that – Jesus? It’s kind of omnipotent huh?

Well, if the ******** laptop has decreed it, then it shall be so..

My wife went to bed. Three days later we were there.

As we sat in the cinema (way too early) I tried explaining to the children that they should wait before tucking into their home-made cinema snacks, otherwise they’d be snackless when the film started. This is a cinema truth. Everyone knows that. But nobody does it. It is impossible.

At this juncture neither of us, my wife or I, realised how stupid we were.

Sure we laughed at how next time we should arrive much later and miss the extended waiting and 15 minutes of children’s trailers. Incidentally, my daughter was taking notes on her Blackberry as the trailers played and bemoaning the over reliance of CGI and the knock-on implications on story-line.

My son was banging his head on the bouncy seats and laughing. Girls and boys right there. Girls and boys and cats and dogs. Universal truth.

But we, the wife and I, still didn’t realise how stupid we were.

The lights dimmed, the audience hushed, the screen went black and everyone went quiet and WE STILL DIDN’T REALISE HOW STUPID WE WERE.

The film started. Box Trolls in 3D. And THEN we realised how stupid we were.  We looked at each other, in the dark, both a teeny bit embarrassed. Me a teeny bit angry. My children spoke:

Him: Daddy it’s all blurry……
Her: Daddy I can’t dee properly.

My stupid wife and stupid me had paid £50 to watch a film in 3D and not bought any ******** 3D glasses. OH BUT FOR A GUN.

As we sat whisper-arguing about who’s fault it was that we were both idiots, my children continued to loudly complain that the picture was all pants. All we needed now were our mobiles to go off and we would be the idiot family from hell.

The guy sat behind me with two silent children (all wearing glasses) leaned forward and informed me that I could buy the glasses for £1 each from the place you buy the popcorn from. I wasn’t overly sure where you buy the popcorn from, because we had brought our own popcorn, because we are THOSE people?

But none-the-less I crawled down the aisle like a dopey-nora, leaving my wife to hold the moaning fort.

I did contemplate not going back. Running for the hills. Keeping my four quid and putting it towards a ticket to the Bahamas. Maybe I’d fake my own canoeing death and cash in my life assurance? Maybe I’d leave my clothes in the foyer and go all Reggie Perrin?

I wasn’t sure if I could make it past all the CCTV. Surely somebody would spot a skinny bloke from Yorkshire running naked in the direction of the airport? Weeping.

I bottled it. A new life would probably be just as annoying as this one. Besides I don’t know If I could find another set of people that would tolerate me like ma famille does. Bless them.

And so I returned with glasses. A hero. We all sat and watched a mediocre film in 3D. Apart from my daughter who couldn’t make friends with the glasses, so she chose to watch the film in glorious blur. Ain’t that clever huh? Gets that from her mother.

Love you.x



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