The other day, my wife and I slipped into an argument about which movie to see. That reminded me of an amusing episode that occurred some years ago:
One Sunday afternoon, my wife and I went to see a movie, Dr. Doolittle. I really wanted to see another movie, Saving Private Ryan, which was playing at another theater, but my sweet wife cast a veto.
“Yours is foolish,” I declared.
“And yours is gorish,” she retorted.
“But yours is too silly.”
“And yours is too ugly.”
My wife is very squeamish when it comes to blood and gore. We went back and forth for a while, but the usual winner prevailed.
There was a long line in front of the outside window at the theater. It normally wouldn’t bother me, since we had ample time, but the movie-goers formed a straight line, which placed a dozen of us out from under the canopy of the building. We were exposed to the elements.
That still wouldn’t have phased me, but one of those elements was a light rain. A few movie-goers opened umbrellas, but most didn’t have them since they didn’t expect to be standing in the rain.
I suggested to my wife that we should wait under the roof until it was our turn. Unfortunately, it turned out to be self-defeating since more people came to the end of the line as others moved up.
“That’s it!” I fumed. “They can’t be oblivious to the customers’ discomfort. I am going to see the manager.”
“Don’t make waves,” warned my concerned spouse as the people in line turned to look at us.
I walked into the theater and saw a guy in uniform. I asked if he worked there. When he said that he did, I urged him to remedy the situation. As he and I walked toward the line outside, I couldn’t help wondering why on earth those good people stood helplessly in the rain. I mean, couldn’t they serpentine? Couldn’t they form parallel lines? I love Kentucky. Kentucky is my adopted state. But I suspect that some Kentuckians spike their coffee with bluegrass.
We approached the line. It was still drizzling lightly. At the end of the line stood my wife – a native Kentuckian. Her new outfit was steadily getting wet. My check for this outfit had not yet cleared the bank, so I turned to the employee.
“Well, what are you going to do about the line?”
“Nothing, I’m afraid,” he said, then added cynically, “Next time, bring an umbrella.”
“There is a time for everything,” the Bible says. Don’t misunderstand me; I have a decent sense of humor. But that quip at that moment was not funny.
“Get me the manager,” I demanded. I was seething.
Fortunately, the manager who introduced himself as Jason, was more resourceful than the “comedian.” He opened the ticket window next to the one already manned. In fact, he manned it himself. The line was cut in half at once.
A couple hours later, as we were leaving the theater, my wife expressed her displeasure with my behavior earlier. “But honey…” I started to defend myself, as an elderly couple stopped us.
“Aren’t you the one who was upset about the line earlier on?” the woman asked.
“Thank you very much for getting us out of the rain,” she said, smiling.
There you have it. No one is a prophet in his own land.
(Moshe Ben-David is a Louisville story-teller.)