Yesterday when my husband called me at 2:30 in the afternoon, I hadn’t been having my favorite day. The weather was gloomy, my mood was gloomy, and I had used up all my energy on not dipping oreos in my coffee for breakfast.
Him: What’s up?
Him: Are you in the bath?
Me: How did you know?
Him: I can hear it in your voice.
He then suggested that we go see a matinee of “22 Jump Street.” I weighed my thoughts about having to get dressed to go out to see a sequel to a movie I thought was just okay against watching Channing Tatum for two hours.
We left Parker and Nathan hovered over some computer game, with Sydney under a blanket by the fire. (The world is a very cold place when you have no body fat. Or so I’m guessing) Zoe was off at a birthday party.
We bickered a bit over the route to take to the theater.
Him: Wouldn’t it just be easier to turn left here and get on the freeway?
Me: Well, you’re welcome to do that, discounting the multiple number of times I have driven this road during rush hour to take Zoe to soccer, and the fact that my GPS says the back way is faster. It’s completely up to you.
He took the back way.
When we got to the mall and drove around to the back where the theater is, a ferris wheel came into view. It turned out that a carnival had been set up in the parking lot. It was one of those rickety deals that looks like the rides haven’t been inspected in… ever.
As we pulled into a parking spot I looked over at the carnival.
Me: They have elephant ears.
Him: It’s a carnival.
Me: I know. But it’s not every day that you’re at the mall and there are elephant ears RIGHT THERE. Within reach.
Him: Do you want an elephant ear?
Me: No, no. I mean, they aren’t just gonna let me walk into the theater with an elephant ear, right?
We got up to the entrance of the theater and as we walked in, we noticed that the place was nearly deserted.
Him: First ones here!
Me: This is crazy. There are three movies opening today. Where is everyone?
Him: Well, we have 25 minutes until the movie starts. I don’t think we need to worry about getting a seat. Are you SURE you don’t want an elephant ear?
Me: Uh. I don’t know, I mean… it’s so messy… and where are we going to sit to eat it? We can’t come in here with it.
Him: I’ll bet by the time we walk back across the parking lot it will be gone.
Me: Okay. Why not.
We approached the outskirts of the carnival, which, by the sparse crowd, I guessed had just opened. We walked up to the elephant ear booth.
Him: Been pretty slow so far?
Carny Girl: Yep.
Him: One elephant ear please
Carny Girl: What kind?
Him: There are kinds? I want cinnamon and sugar and butter on it.
Carny girl: They all have that. But you can add strawberry jam, whipped cream, chocolate syrup…
Me: Yes. Plain. I like my elephant ears in their purest form.
So we paid and then went around the other side of the booth to wait.
Him: You know, looking around, with this crowd, and that music it almost feels like the beginning of…
Me: A horror movie?
Him: Exactly. Some sort of zombie apocalypse.
I’m not trying to be mean, but there’s just a certain type of crowd that seems to gravitate towards these kinds of events. They’re a little rough around the edges.
And the employees. Do they have to wait to apply for a job with the carnival after their release, or do they have some sort of prison-to-carnival transfer program?
We looked over at the booth selling toys. We both said a prayer of gratitude that Parker wasn’t there to beg for a blow-up Scooby doo doll or a plastic bow and arrow. (mark-up 5000%, life span- 8 hours tops)
Several minutes went by before our overcooked elephant ear made its appearance at the window.
Jeff looked down at the deeply browned dough.
Him: I think they left it in too long.
Me: Yeah. Not good. Where are we going to eat it? Sitting on a bench outside of the LA fitness?
Him: We should just stand in front of the window licking the sugar and butter off of it, staring at them as they work out.
We walked past the gym window and found a place to stand on the sidewalk. A group of teenagers who appeared to be heading towards the carnival were walking through the parking lot when a boy called out to them from in front of the theater. One of the girls turned around, squealed and went running towards the boy. She was taller than Jeff and he looked to be about the size of Zoe. They met in the middle of the lot where he jumped into her arms. There was all sorts of excited talk, which I had a difficult time hearing over the sound of elephant ear crunching. (Elephant ears should NOT crunch.)
A car came up, so the group moved onto the sidewalk right next to us. A couple of them gave us some glances, but I was standing my ground, since we had been there first. After a few minutes, Jeff moved closer to the theater and I followed him. Actually, I followed the elephant ear that he was holding. I felt sick and yet compelled at the same time.
Him: That’s sad.
Me: What’s sad?
Him: Didn’t you hear what that kid said?
Him: He just got out of jail.
I looked over at the group.
Me: That little boy? The one who looks not a day over 12 if that?
Him: Yes. He said he got in a fight right before he got released.
I was stunned. So young, and already on a very bad path.
Jeff handed me what was left of the elephant ear.
Him: I’m going inside. You should just roll the rest of it up and shove it in your mouth.
Me: I’m not gonna do that!
I totally did that.
I stood by the trash can eating the last bit, with sugar falling all over my shirt. My fingers were coated. I looked up to see a man at the ticket counter watching me. Not my classiest moment. Also not my classiest moment? Lifting my ginormous ice tea out of the cup holder by the lid, which came off, spilling it on my husband and causing him to move a seat over from me. He can’t take me anywhere.
As for the movie, I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I feel that one of the characters definitely stole the show, and it wasn’t the one played by beautiful Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill or Ice Cube. Don’t get me wrong, they were all hilarious throughout, but this movie contained maybe one of my favorite villains ever. The writing was far better than the original.
I loved that the movie didn’t take itself too seriously, that there were many tongue-in-cheek references sprinkled throughout. (For example, a goofy chase scene on the college campus in front of the Benjamin Hill center for film studies) And the ending AFTER the ending was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time, poking fun at all the formulaic sequels.
I needed those laughs, there’s nothing like a hefty dose of belly laughter to elevate a mood. If you can deal with language, you’ll love this movie.