A couple of nights ago I was out at the movies—to see Hidden Figures, which was fantastic—and I saw an alien disguised as a 57-year-old man go to the cinema for the first time.
The movie theater involved is the relatively new Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn. It’s a great place to see a movie. The chairs are leather. They let you pick your own assigned seats when you order tickets. Each pair of seats gets a table with an expansive menu and a waiter will bring you anything from popcorn and soda to flatbreads and whiskey. It’s great.
Anyways, back to this guy, er, alien; he was a mess. He seemed to be doing fine during the pre-show and ordered food no problem. He was there with his wife and 30-something daughter, so I know they aren’t normally too embarrassed to go out with him. He even pulled one of the best movie-watching moves: going to the bathroom to get back right before previews start. (I like previews, so I prefer not to miss them/have people cause me to miss them.) He just couldn’t complete the play.
As he got back to his seat from the bathroom, he flailed his arms around in victory as he realized he got back just in time for them to lower the lights. That flailing resulted in him punching a full, 20 oz, cup of water causing it to fall over and spill water all over the table and his wife. Part of her lap, her entire left leg, her armrest, her coat, and her purse were all soaked. She was a champ, though. She just let him wipe the table and his seat clean and dealt with her own dampness.
Next, and this isn’t that big of a deal but I’m high alert for his dopey behavior, as he’s eating his salad and finishing with his utensils, he’s throwing them into his now empty water cup. This is both noisy and not what a person is supposed to do with used utensils.
Finally, the reason I thought this whole experience was worth writing about was watching this fool eat popcorn. His wife was holding the bowl (Alamo Drafthouse has metal bowls for popcorn, so cool) and held it in front of him so he could take some. She was again showing real forgiveness after the water fiasco. Just getting used to using his human hands, the alien plunged both of them into the popcorn, coming up with two fistfuls of buttery popcorn. He looked back at his hands, unsure of what his next move is. He looked at his lap like that could be used to temporarily store his popcorn. Nope. He glanced at his hands a third time. “What was I thinking,” I imagine he asked himself.
Ultimately, he decided to cram all the popcorn from one hand into his mouth so he could use that now freed hand to eat the rest of the popcorn like a non-alien might. I hope he was able to learn a few things about human behavior that day.
When I can’t ride my bike, Lucy, to work, I take the subway. Often I will see people put bags on seats, say to other passengers that they are “saving”