Everyone was Kung Fu Fighting

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Is it wrong to hate children? The answer is no. At least I don't think so. And before you get all bent out of shape, I don't hate all children. Just other people's children. Well, most of them anyways. And "hate" is a strong word. Let us say that I have an intense dislike of most other people's children. There, I've said it. I make no bones about the fact that I don't want to have children. Aside from the fact that the chances of me being able to have kids (given my defective egg sacks) are pretty unlikely, I decided long ago, for a multitude of reasons, that I had no desire to give birth to anything or anyone. This weekend reinforced that.

I don't know about the rest of the world but in North America, Sunday was Father's day. Did you remember to call your dad? NO? I did. On the right day....which is better than he does with my birthday but I'm not bitter....hee hee. Anyways, to "celebrate" my brother took his wife, their kids, a couple of friends and their two kids, myself, the Admiral and the mother in law to the theatre to watch Kungfu Panda. He's quite generous. I was prepared in advance for having to deal with the niece and nephew who are not angels but generally well behaved. As well, I knew what to expect from the children belonging to the friends as we get together a few times a year. Again, generally well behaved kids....as far as kids go. However, I had failed to prepare myself for the onslaught of pint-sized hellraisers I encountered when we arrived that the theatre. Silly Captain.

But first the story. Jack Black is the voice of Po, an overweight misfit who works in his father's noodle shop dreaming of one day being a great warrior like his heros. When a dangerous former student of the local kung fu school breaks out of prison with his sights set on destroying his master and stealing the mystical Dragon Scroll, a new Dragon Warrior must be chosen to save their peaceful valley. Through a series of blunders, Po is declared to be the chosen one. Much hilarity ensues as Po struggles to live up to the expectations his kung fu master has and become a true Dragon Warrior. Not so easy for a Panda who's greatest ambition is to sit around and eat everything he can find. Despite his own insecurities, a lack of confidence, and the taunting of his fellow students, Po eventually struggles through. Now, all he has to do is defeat one of the most fearsome warriors in the land, protect the valley, save his master, and make his father (a duck...don't ask) proud. No problem...right?

Overall it was pretty good. Jack Black is funny and that's saying a lot for me. I find him...annnoying most of the time. It's sad because I think he has quite a bit of potential as an actor but he ends up in stupid "comedies" which aren't funny, just stupid. Or horrible action/dramas like King Kong. One of these days, I'd like to see him in something serious where he really has to stretch the old acting muscles. Anyways, the film also stars Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, and the fabulous Ian McShane as the evil Tai Lung. Other voices include Seth Rogan, David Cross and James Hong (I can't believe he's still alive and kicking) as Po's father, Mr. Ping. It wasn't hilarious but provided enough laughs for the parents to enjoy it and the animal characters and the action were great for the kids. Whom I hate have an intense dislike of.

The brother asked if I could take the two grannies to the theatre ahead of everyone else, get the tickets, grab seats, and meet the rest of the troop at the door. No problem. We hopped in the car, headed out and were the first people at the theatre. Seriously. No other cars in the parking lot. The movie started in 45 minutes...you'd think there'd be SOMEONE else there. Turns out the theatre didn't open it's doors for another 15 minutes so we hung around outside waiting. That's when it started. Parents started arriving slowly, in groups of 2 or three, followed by bands of roving children. I would have been fine if the parents had decided to exert any control whatsoever over their children and their actions. But no. It was not meant to be. Soon we were surrounded. The enemy was everywhere. Screaming! Yelling! Kicking! Explosions! If there had been a bunker or foxhole we would have thrown ourselves into it in fear for our lives! Ok, I'm exaggerating but not by much. Children were running up to the glass doors, pulling on them with all their strength, kicking the glass Kung Fu -style, and then repeatedly pressing the automatic door openers (which couldn't open as it was locked). I was sure something was going to break.

Who do you blame in situations like this? I realized quite quickly that it wasn't the fault of the children (although that didn't change my feelings towards the little rugrats). Its the fault of the parents. They all stood meekly by, ignoring the outrageous antics of their offspring, chatting obliviously amongst themselves. And even if they said something to their kids now, would it do any good? You've already obviously raised them to believe it's acceptable (or even expected) to run amock in public, especially when surrounded by their own kind. What happened to discipline? Respect for others? Peace and quiet?

And then! Who can forget about the concession stand? I have no problem with each child receiving their own bucket/bag of popcorn, drink, candy, etc. Frankly I prefer it as it takes away the possibility of fights erupting over who gets to hold the treats, someone drank all the juice, so and so got an extra piece of candy... The kid's tray's are pure genius. Must have been invented by a non-parent. Yay for us. No, what I DON'T agree with is allowing each and every child to purchase their own. If it's not busy, ok, I might let it go. Kids have to learn how to buy things, how to count change, etc. But when there are screaming hordes of children that would make Genghis Khan shake in his stirrups pouring through the hallways looking for popcorn like a pack of zombies who've caught a whiff of fresh brains...NO NO NO. There were two lines open at the concession stand and I was third in our row. The two women ahead of me had a total of 8 children between them and each and every one paid individually. Including the kid who was no more than 2 years old. Meanwhile the other line had whipped through at least ten other people/families by the time I reached the counter and had to deal with a 14 year old who was just as terrified of these little monsters as I was. It was quite apparent he was not amused at the two ladies before me and if I wasn't already so aggitated, aggravated, and annoyed, I'm sure he and I could have had a lovely chat over the whole situation. Eventually we made it to our seats and I must say all the kids around us were well behaved throughout the movie. How that happened, I don't know. Must be the power of Kung Fu.
My lesson? Don't go to a kid's movie if you don't want to be engulfed in a sea of rampaging children. And perhaps I don't hate kids after all....I just hate their parents.


Red said...

I have noticed that parents have developed like a personal silencing mechanism when their kids are around. The little brats may be screaming and yelling and cursing and howling, but the parents just take no notice. Unfathomable.

SME said...

I had a similar experience at "Sex & the City". I should've stopped to think that the theatre would be packed with high-heeled, yakking, tittering, sugarless-gum-gnawing women in packs of three and four...

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