Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

And now a word from our sponsors

by Robison Wells®

There are two important things I’d like to talk about today. The first, of course, is related to the recent bookstore brouhaha of which much has been written. I hope that through my well-chosen words and peacemaking abilities this literary divide will be healed just as effectively as was the Israeli/Palestinian debate.

My second topic for today’s post, something that is much more important in the eternal scheme of things, will be very similar to Kerry Blair’s article last week. As she pointed out, in that sophomoric writing “style” she uses, there are a great many issues that are more important than something as trivial as LDS books. Offhand, I can’t remember what she talked about, but I’m sure it was extremely important. Like American Idol, or something.

My second topic, then, will be about people who go to movie theaters and, in one way or another, are stupid.

But, back to the first topic: it has come to my attention that Jeff Savage may stop posting his weekly blogs to this site because he feels that his writings aren’t receiving the kind of merchandising and promotion he would have liked. Granted, he’s a bit of a primadonna, and I’m not about to hang his Shandra is Shantastic! posters in the window. But it got me thinking: what about the other products we mention here on the blog? Are their respective marketing departments happy with the way we’ve been discussing them?

Well, say no more, my corporate friends, because from now on this blog will contain 50% more product placement, be 85% more shameless, and as of this moment we’re all in contract negotiations with the devil to sell our souls.

Speaking of selling souls to the devil, I recently went to see Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest. (That segue changed topics as effortlessly as the 2007 Chrysler Sebring LX changes gears!)

With all the usual flair and aplomb we’ve come to expect from the good folks at Disney, Dead Man’s Chest tells the story of Covergirl Keira Knightly, GQ hipster Johnny Depp, and pretty boy Legolas as they battle the forces of watery evil. Well, sorry for the spoiler, but evil goes down the drain faster than a Drano-soaked clog. The effects are as eye-popping as Old Navy’s new autumn lineup, the plot is so tight it reminded me of the sweet German engineering of a finely tuned Volkswagen, and the romance is hotter than the new, cheesier Hot Pockets.

But there was a problem. Certainly not a problem with producer Jerry Bruckheimer (who has brought us other ridiculously wonderful Oscar contenders like Armageddon and Kangaroo Jack). Nor was it a problem with the Megaplex 12 at the Gateway Cinemas (try the Chicago dog at the concession stand –-- two words: LOVE IT!) No, this problem was with the idiot parents who sat in front of me, bringing with them at least six kids, all of whom were under seven, and most of whom were under four. (Sounds like a job for Dr. Phil!!!) (Or, alternately, Ortho Tri-Cyclen.)

Well, without giving away anything in the movie, let me tell what these youngsters were subjected to: cannibalism, lots of skeletal remains, big scary monsters, little scary monsters, a decaying leg being used as an oar, decapitation, swords through the bellies, throats getting slit, a still-beating heart in a box, and a crow eating the swollen eye out of a man who is still alive and is being starved to death. Now, I’m not saying that these things aren’t kinda fun and don’t have their appropriate place in modern society. But what I am saying is that kids under three don’t really need to see that kind of thing. (What they need to see, though, is the new LeapPad!)

New story: we recently went to see Superman Returns. Why? Was it because his super-strength reminds me of Hefty trash bags? Because his superbreath is clean and minty, thanks to Orbit gum? Because that forehead curl stays in place due to a heaping handful of TRESemme styling gel? On the contrary, it was because the packaging of Burger King's Angus Steak Burger told me to, and I must obey.

So, we were sitting in the theater for a while, because we got there early (thanks Timex!) and some family came in behind us and sat down, and then the mom freaked out because someone had, shall we say, violently vomited on the floor during the previous showing and no one had cleaned it up. Well, they switched seats to a less-pukey section, and they told the manager, and someone came in and decided that it wasn’t worth caring about because it wasn’t vomit after all, but it was actually someone’s spilled drink. (Coke, no doubt. Catch the wave!)

So, all was well, except that this lady kept getting up whenever anybody came into the theater and telling them to not sit in the barfy seat. But, this was all going on behind me, and I tried not to care. (And I could have, if only I’d remembered to bring my Valium!) Anyway, sometime during the first scene, four idiot teenagers entered the theater and sat directly behind me, and began talking in loud voices about all the dirty words they knew. It was as maddening as Madden 2007.

I gave them the standard Half-Turn, then the Full-Turn, and then, sometime during some stunning scene (wherein images were generated on computers – probably computers with Intel inside), I turned around and told them to be quiet.

This is a big deal for me. If the Full Turn were a Cheeseburger Combo Meal at Wendy’s then what I did was more on the scale of a Triple Quarter-Pounder with Cheese, upgraded to Biggie Fries and a Frosty instead of a soda. I don’t tell people off during movies, but in this one I did. I’m a brave little toaster.

So, they shut up for about twenty minutes, after which they resumed their idiocy, and I thought a great deal about the fabulous new Glock handguns.

The moral of the story: if you go to a movie theater (and you should, considering the fabulous new films which Hollywood has lovingly prepared for us), then (1) shut up, and (2) don’t let your little kids watch violent, youth-scarring, crows-eating-swollen-eyeballs shows. Let them stay home and watch Barney and Sesame Street, and get a fricking baby-sitter.

You: “Gee Rob, I didn’t know that I was behaving in such a silly, moronic fashion. Now I know.”

Jeff Savage: “And knowing is half the battle.”

Rob: “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine!”