EXCESS HOLLYWOOD: THE ASSHOLE TWO ROWS BACK

Since you are reading articles on this site, it’s safe to say you like movies. It’s a good bet, too, that you’ve been in your local theatre several dozen times over the last five years. Have you noticed anything different? Have you sensed something that wasn’t there ten years ago?

That’s right, The Asshole Two Rows Back.

Idiotic audience members are nothing new. You know the ones. They are the people who laugh when a character says “Oh shit” before getting a grenade dropped on them. They think cursing is funny and Disney trailers are even more hilarious. They cheer the most clichéd things and probably feel pretty good about it. The idiots are still there, but they are being joined by The Asshole Two Rows Back.

The Asshole Two Rows Back has a cell phone. He hasn’t turned it off. When his friend calls in the middle of Cabin Fever, you hear, “What’s up? … Just watching a movie. … Cabin Fever. … Yeah, it’s cool. … What ya doin’? … Really? … You hanging out later? … Really? … Just watching a movie. … Yeah, that’s cool. … No way, dude! … Just chillin’…. Sounds cool. … All right. … Later.”

For some odd reason it’s illegal to kill these people. The Asshole Two Rows Back also talks during the movie. Not to the screen. To other people. A lot. Loud. He’ll say to his friends, “Man, that shit is wacked.” His friends will respond quietly. The Asshole Two Rows Back doesn’t get the clue. “Did you see that shit?” Of course they saw it. He doesn’t understand that, though. He thinks everyone shares his IQ.

The Asshole Two Rows Back smells, and he chews with his mouth open. He also feels the need to only purchase snacks that are in cellophane wrappers. He sucks his soda dry, too. Sluuuurrrrrppppp. In Asshole’s house, eating like a pig is a sign you like the slop.

I don’t know why this has become such a problem these past few years, but I have a few theories. Like I mentioned earlier, the idiots have always been going to the movies, but it’s just been lately that they’ve become so obnoxious. Let’s examine why.

Cell phones have a lot to do with the irritation level of The Asshole Two Rows Back. The Asshole can now reach anyone or be reached by anyone at any time no matter where their location. Assholes like to let the world know they are important, and one way to let people know this is by taking a call at a socially inappropriate time. It says, “I’m way more important than you. I’ve got a phone call I have to take.” Couple this with the next theory, and you have the makings of a total disaster.

Home theatre sales have grown dramatically these last few years. More and more families are enjoying large screen disasters in their living rooms complete with 5.1 surround sound. They are renting DVDs so that they can get the total theatre experience all in the comfort and safety of their own home. When they go to the theatre, they take their at-home-attitude and behavior with them. At home, it’s okay to say things like, “Look at her tits. Those can’t be real.” Now that behavior also becomes acceptable at the theatre because, well, the world revolves around you. It doesn’t matter that nobody else wants to hear your ill-thought opinions. The guy sitting next to you is a friend, and it’s just like being at home anyway.

The smell and lack of manners is a different matter entirely. I won’t be delving into it, but it has to do with parents who are related to each other by blood.

There are a few solutions to problem that is The Asshole Two Rows Back. Unfortunately, the ones I’m about to discuss aren’t legal. Keep that in mind while reading. If you do them, you do so at your own risk. (Film Threat’s vast team of overpaid lawyers demanded I write that disclaimer.)

Cell phones are easy to handle … with the right equipment. You need a cell phone jammer. These are illegal in the United States, but can still be purchased — usually from a source overseas. Unfortunately, the model that fits inside your pocket only has about a range of about fifty feet, if I’m not mistaken. They are also expensive, clocking in at about two hundred dollars. If you get one, however, all you need to do is carry it into the theatre, sit near The Asshole Two Rows Back, wait for him to get on the phone, and then switch it on. Instant interference. Until theatre owners start installing metal mesh in the walls, this will be the only solution.

For loud talkers, you can always do what I did a few years ago. Of course, for this to work, the Asshole has to be seated in front of you. When he or she starts talking, you lean back in your seat, raise your leg and kick the fucker in the head. Be careful when you do this. It either shuts him up or starts a fight. My kick silenced the offender. You may not be so lucky.

The Asshole Two Rows Back is a problem, but he can be fixed. We need to take our theatres back. We need to wipe out the Assholes and let them know their actions will not be tolerated. And if you have to kick in a few skulls to get the point across, so be it.

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Posted on December 1, 2003 in Features by
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