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Subject: Miss Dish's Lament

This was taken from the program of the 14th Seattle International Film
Festival, published anonymously under the title "Miss Dish's Lament"; as it
addressed several of my personal film-viewing peeves in a particularly
humorous manner, I thought you might enjoy it also.


Despite our continued efforts to teach basic manners to our
patrons ("Minsky's Guide to Film Festival Etiquette," SIFF
'86; "Joan's Rules," SIFF '87) it seems as though some
people just won't learn.  Or perhaps it's just that they
already have their own innate habits which, to them, just
seem *proper*.  You know who we're talking about -- those
people who seem to obey four rules, and four rules only:

* Wear a watch that beeps.
* Ask visiting filmmakers stupid questions.
* Hiss, to show how superior and politically correct
they are.
* Don't bathe; always sit in the best seats.

One almost gets the feeling that these people are bringing
about the end of civilized movie-going as we know it.

Well, we have news for you.  They're not the only ones.  In
cinemas across the country, cretins of every size, sex and
color are popping up, making movie-going less and less
enjoyable, and video rentals more and more appealing (Heaven
forbid!).  I'm sure you know exactly what kind of people I'm
talking about, but just in case you don't, my good friend
Dale Thomajan has listed them in the following comprehensive
-- but non-exclusive -- step-by-step guide to behavior in
the theatre:

* Arrive late.
* Wonder why there's no line.
* Hug and kiss frequently during movie.
* Sit directly in front of me.

* Talk to movie.
* Giggle during violent scenes.
* Curse during love scenes.
* Don't take no crap from *nobody*.

* Find that cellophane ball they lovingly constructed
as a girl.
* Bring it to theatre.
* Unwrap it during first film.
* Re-wrap it during the second film.
* Sit directly behind me.

* Remain totally silent until picture starts.
* During title credits, start a conversation; continue
it until picture ends.
* When lights go on, remain completely silent until
next picture starts.

* Announce first appearance of everyone in cast
("That's Greta Garbo... Melvyn Douglas... Ina Claire").
* Read all on-screen signs, headlines, menus and letters
out loud ("Danger -- Road Closed... Kane Elected").
* Note major plot developments out loud ("He's got a
gun... The sister is at the window").
* Sing along with musical numbers.

* Attend every European comedy they can, particularly the
bad ones.
* Laugh at the unsubtitled dialogue.
* Never laugh at the subtitled dialogue.
* If the director appears in a cameo, laugh loudly to show
that that they recognize them.
* Talk softly so not to disturb others; fail.
* Sit beside me.

* Laugh at every American movie made before _Easy Rider_,
except the comedies.
* Affect bushy hairstyle.
* Sit directly in front of me.
* On the way out, ask manager to schedule Robert Downey
(Sr.) festival.

* Enter theater shrieking "*Focus!*"
* Race to your seat as credits begin.
* Between films, look around theatre in search of blood
* Carry latest issue of "Variety".

* Refer to all movies as "flicks".
* Bring dinner.
* Eat it.

* Dress *very* casually.
* Go to matinees.
* Change seats frequently.
* Talk to movie.
* Get into long arguments with the similarly afflicted.

What's a proper lady or gentleman to do if this kind of
etiquette continues to prevail at our movie houses?  I say,
don't sit back on your haunches and let such flagrant
ignorance be paraded in front of you.  If you're as mad as
hell, chances are others are too, and whining to the
manager, who's usually already overworked and underpaid,
doesn't produce fast, absolute satisfaction.  Direct action
must be taken *immediately*, and this is what I'd suggest:

   Facing the heathen head-on, assume a strong, threatening
   stance, with legs apart and the hair on your neck standing
   up.  Then, curl your upper lip, grit your teeth, and emit a
   low, barely audible growl.  If this doesn't elicit the
   proper response (i.e. silence and fear), then a quick, sharp
   bite on the offender's leg should do the trick -- this
   almost always prompts them to rush from the theatre
   immediately, thereby making it a safe place once again for
   all creatures great and small... of the correct persuasion.

                   "I have discovered that all human evil comes from this,
                    man's being unable to sit still in a room."
                                       -- Blaise Pascal
                                       Moriarty, aka Jeff Meyer

Edited by Brad Templeton.  MAIL, yes MAIL your jokes to watmath!looking!funny .
One joke per submission, with descriptive "Subject:" and no form feeds, please!
Attribute the joke's source if at all possible.  I will reply, mailers willing.

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