Just because it’s the Fraser Institute that’s pushing to allow liquor sales at movie theatres doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad idea.
I would even go so far as to suggest it deserves more than the usual contempt and instant dismissal.
Oh, I can just see the left wing loonies now, throwing up their hands in horror at the thought, but wait a minute. There might be some really big positives here. At least one, anyway.
I’m no expert at drinking in movie theatres of course, but I have had one experience and it turned out pretty well, actually.
It was back in the 80s and a few of my buddies and I met at what was then an alternate theatre on Commercial Drive to take in the new Talking Heads movie, Stop Making Sense.
We settled in right near the front, me in the aisle seat, popcorn in hand. This was going to be great!
The movie had barely started however when a group of three really drunk guys came in and sat three rows behind us. They immediately made their presence known. They were loud, they were obnoxious and they were ruining the movie and not just for me. I began to fume.
I sat through about 10 minutes of them swearing, chatting and laughing before someone in the audience couldn’t take it any more and stormed up the aisle to get the management.
That management however, consisted of one tiny, wee slip of a woman who really didn’t intimidate the trio of yakking drunks. They were vile to her, absolutely foul. Defeated, she left the scene.
The movie continued and so did the drunks — and the steam continued to build up pressure in my boiler.
It it seemed an eternity before someone else complained and the manager marched back down the aisle.
They were vile again, lewd and disgusting. This time though one of the guys actually grabbed her wrist as she leaned over to talk to them.
“Help!” she squeaked.
That was it. Damsel in distress!
I was out of my seat in a heartbeat, took one step, two, and then even though by this time he had let go of her, it was way, way too late.
My fist slammed into his jaw and his head rocked back … sagged forth … and he was out cold.
The manager made her escape and I returned to my seat, vibrating with adrenaline. This wasn’t the evening I was expecting and that was probably only the second punch I had thrown since I hit puberty.
A few moments later the drunk came to.
“Woah,” he mumbled. “She coldcocked me!”
For some reason that bothered me.
His buddies set him straight though and a tense few minutes followed before the cops finally showed up and bundled them off.
When the show was over and the lights came up we began filing out. A guy who had been sitting nearby reached over and touched my arm.
“Nice punch,” he said.
Yeah, I thought to myself, I guess it was, wasn’t it?
When I left the theatre, I was beaming.
Now, while it may be true that all reporters are superhero crime fighters in their spare time — ha, ha as if we have any — I have to admit my crime-busting of late has been pretty much confined to ratting out on whoever took the last cookie on the snack tray at work (Curse you Edi-Tor!)
However I think I could still deliver a creditable right hook in a riot situation — and mixing booze with Borat could well provide an opportunity to do just that.
If they go through with this idea I’ll just need to find myself some tights, a sidekick and a cape.
Neil Horner is the assistant editor of The News and a regular columnist