Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I have no desire to see the latest Batman movie. And not only because I really dislike the black batsuit, and the emphasis on gadgets that makes Batman a rich man's James Bond. No, I don't want to see Batman Begins because of what happened almost fifteen years ago when I went to see the first Batman movie.

A friend and I really looked forward to this movie. We went to a theater in Pflugerville.

We settled into our seats in the middle of the theater a few minutes before a dad and his six or seven year old daughter sat in front of us.

Remember that this was 1989. Cell phones were just becoming popular.

The lights go down. Everyone in the theater finishes their $20 popcorn and sodas while watching the previews. As the "Feature Presentation" begins, a cell phone rings. It's the dad in front of us. He answers and slinks out of the theater to take care of his business. Twenty minutes later, he returns and apologizes to his daughter. Ten minutes later, his phone rings again. Once more he answers as he leaves the theater. Thirty minutes later, he skulks back in and sits down beside his daughter. Thirty minutes later, it happens again. Once more dad leaves the theater.

On screen, Batman enters the cathedral, fights his way to the top, and the Joker falls to his death. (Sorry if I spoiled the ending.) Then the credits roll.

As my friend and I leave, we see the little girl looking wildly around for her dad. We try to leave but she's crying and stops me and says, "I can't find my daddy!" So I take her hand (today that would have been sexual contact, and if I could find the link it would be here) and lead her out to one of the multiplex's ticket takers, and told her to stand beside him until her dad decided she was more important than his phone call.

The last time I saw her she was standing beside the kid tearing tickets, wiping the tears from her eyes. All I could think about was how this was going to color their relationship.


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