I am usually able to tolerate a fair amount of public bullshit without calling attention to myself by admonishing the offender. I can glare silently at people who refuse to say 'excuse me' or display good manners. I can roll my eyes without exacting revenge on the people who feel turning off cell phones is too much a bother in a restaurant or, worse, take calls and blab loudly.
But today I guess I'd had enough. Maybe everything just came to a head. Maybe I was inspired by our visit to Sausalito where we encountered the worst place known to man — the Winship Restaurant. Who knows?
Greg and I took Laurel to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today. It was naturally a much-anticipated event and was part of Laurel's Birthday Extravaganza 2007 (about which you will read more in short order). I suppose it was too much to ask to be left reasonably in peace to view the movie, but for more than two hours, we were plagued by She Who Treats Her Child Badly and Will Not Shut Up. This woman was probably the worst person I've ever encountered in a theater. I swear, she must have been a plant from a warring faction (The Christian Coalition? Focus on the Family? These guys? AMC Theatres?), sent there solely to ruin the experience. Her offenses included the following:
- She loudly SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHed her little daughter on multiple occasions. While this would be understandable if the little girl had been noisy, she wasn't half so noisy as Mummy herself. Not only that, but we really didn't all need to hear 'SHHHHHHHHH' at the decibel level it was delivered. This little girl could not have been more than 5 and was therefore in the WRONG movie and could not have been expected to sit still the entire time. The kid was bored and fidgety. She was NOT, however, being loud, disruptive, or obnoxious. In fact, I never even heard her.
- She commented throughout the movie — sometimes about the movie, sometimes not, but always in a full speaking voice. Never a whisper, no, not for her!
- She coughed and hacked all over Greg throughout the movie without covering her mouth.
- She kicked Greg's seat more than a couple of times.
- She (and this was the last straw for me) actually told her daughter, 'Shut up. I want to hear this,' as the movie was ending. This, after she hacked and yakked her way through the entire thing!
This broad had the nerve to keep this up in spite of the glares, the 'ahems,' and the sighs. I determined she must be one of those people who does not take a hint. Clearly, a more direct approach was in order. Therefore, when the movie ended, I rushed ahead of my family to catch up to her (she had rightly left as quickly as possible, perhaps sensing a grassroots uprising of Potter fans). I chased her through the hall, bobbing and weaving my way through the exiting crowd, leaving my family behind to wonder about the outcome. I caught up to her in front of the women's restroom.
"Excuse me, ma'am," I said. She turned to look at me. "I just wanted to let you know that your behavior was far worse than your little girl's throughout the entire movie." Then I turned on my heel and stalked away to my waiting family.
A man who was with her was seated nearby, and started to get up. If his intention was to enter the fray, he reigned in for what I can only assume was his realization that I was accompanied by Greg. Little did that fellow know that I'd most assuredly win the popular vote for the scrappy one of the family.
Later, adrenaline still pumping, I asked Greg if he'd have hit that woman had she swung at me first. He said, "Well, I don't know, but I certainly would have separated you two." Oh, the injustice! Aghast, I exclaimed, "What?! You'd have to at least let me get my licks in first!!"
And so ended our Sunday outing.