Read the Origin of this Blog Feud HERE
Round 1 of the Blog Off/Blog Feud/World Series of Blogging/Blogwar: Beyond Thunderdome is to write a "How-to" post. I'm keeping things well inside my wheelhouse with my entry in this contest, much to the surprise of nobody.
How To Train Your Child To Be The Perfect Moviegoing Companion
Imagine you are in a movie theatre.....got it? Awesome. Good work. Ok, so you are in a theatre, preparing to watch the new Gene Hackman movie (as you should be) when you see a couple walk in with a kid in tow. You immediate thought is probably "Well, shit" because you have been in a movie theatre before with some little hellspawn who doesn't know proper movie theatre etiquette because he was never conditioned for it. The lights go down, and the kid takes that as a signal that it's now dark enough to do whatever the hell it wants, be it talking, crying or wandering aimlessly around the theatre on a journey of annoying exploration.
I'm gonna play the percentages in this case and blame the parents. I'm not saying kids shouldn't be allowed into movie theatres. I'm not a monster. When I was a young lad I was essentially raised in one, but my mother took the time to cultivate a cinematic respect in me that I plan to do with my own hypothetical child as well. Only I'm taking things about 7 steps too far.
Step 1: Choose Your Mate Wisely
Hopefully at some point before you put a baby in someone (or vice versa) you and your significant other have watched a movie together. If you haven't, don't be such a nerd. Movies > Books. How your mate acts while watching a movie could shine a light on how your future spawn will act while watching a movie. Again, you want to achieve something with as little work as possible, so if they talk a lot or are one of the dreaded "line repeaters" you may have to put in more hours teaching your child to be better than that. How you watch movies is genetic, like diabetes or red hair. I'm not promising that just because your partner watches a movie like an idiot that your child will, but the "movie etiquette gene" is a dominant gene.
Step 2: Get To Them Early. Like "Womb Early"
A lot of times people get more annoyed by audible distractions while trying to watch a movie as opposed to optical ones. Everyone for the most part is facing the same way staring at the same screen, so unless some idiot turns on their phone and lights up everything in a 5 ft radius of them, unwanted noise is the worst and easiest way to ruin a movie. Children are the harbingers of sonic distractions. People who talk in movies are just dickheads, but when it's kids that just makes people angry AND sad for the future. That is a problem.
So when they are in the womb, constantly have earphones on the pregnant belly that houses the potential destroyer of worlds, put on an audiobook and have it at a low volume. If I know anything about science (which I don't) the fetus will become highly annoyed that it can't hear what is happening clearly and it can't follow the story. Once it knows how annoying that is at an early age, it will learn that if anyone other than the characters in the movie are talking, those people need to be cut.
Step 3: Name Them After Something Movie Related
Kids have instant respect for things they were named after. If I ever see a medievil archer in trouble, I will drop whatever I'm doing and help them. That's just what I'd do for another Bowman. Even having never met the fella before, we are linked and bound by something bigger than either of us. It's why Conan O'Brien is such a feared and mighty warrior.
When naming your child, ask yourself this: Would you rather have that child respect some deceased great grandparent who was nice to you but they are never going to meet, or would you rather have them respecting both cinema AND not ruining cinema for other people? Easy choice, I know.
Step 4 - Trial Run
After an extended period of subliminal training and the use of flashcards to determine what genre of movie the child likes, it's time to take them for a trial run. Pick a movie, preferably a matinee of something shitty that nobody would watch. It doesn't matter at this stage what the movie is, it's not about that. It's about keeping on eye on your child and IMMEDIATELY correcting any movie faux pas that it makes. Don't yell at your child at this stage, everyone makes mistakes the first time. You are just being a responsible parent and not subjecting any other moviegoers to the kids growing pains. (NOTE: This will be the first time you realize your child isn't perfect, so be ready for that).
After the movie, pull out a little notebook with a bunch of writing already in it. Tell the child you were recording their behaviour during the movie and you'd like to go over your notes with them. The answer key for their response should be this:
"If you are taking notes, you weren't watching the movie" (Grade: A)
"I have notes too *farts* hahahah" (Grade: A-)
"Is one of your notes that the movie sucked balls?" (Grade: B)
"What did I do wrong?" (Grade: C+, show some personality kid!)
"........." *stares at you silently for 5 minutes (Grade: D....for "don't turn your back on that kid")
"I wanna see the Smurfs movie!!!! *pisses pants* (Grade: F. Get a new kid, this one is broken)
Step 5 - Keep 'em Quiet With Candy
After all your hard work, there is still a chance that once your child is placed in a scenario with other moviegoers, that it will forget everything you have taught it, piss on it's name/legacy and decide to be an annoying little turd just cause that is how most kids are. It's the default setting. Not to say that some kids out there aren't well behaved, just that the majority of them have phD's in "dickanomics".
That is where Twizzlers come in. After years of tireless research I have determined that the most inoffensive candy at the movie concession stand is Twizzlers. There are still detractors, but generally speaking people don't have negative feelings towards them (except for the black ones. They taste like evil probably tastes). The Twizzlers rapper also isn't that loud where it will annoy people, unlike certain candies that have that "rolling wave" effect every time someone shuffles the box around.
During the movie, the Twizzlers will keep your childs mouth occupied with something delicious instead of blathering on about a dog they saw that morning or how they have to go to the bathroom. Hopefully you potty trained them in 90 minute intervals so they understand that holding it is really the best option sometimes. Lest you come back from the bathroom and find your favorite character has been killed.
"This is going to be pretty awesome, but I really should go pee...")
"...what the fuck?!)
Step 6 - The Tiny Hands of Justice
Now, just because at this point YOUR child is basically done his training, that doesn't mean that there still won't be some other demon in the movie theatre whose parents refused to follow this simple how-to guide. After all the hard work you have put into your parenting, some lazy shmuck with an ugly kid is still going to ruin you and your childs day. We've all been in theatres with kids like that. And man, sometimes they are so annoying you just wish you could hit them, right?
Well now you can....sort of.
It's like having an inside man during a heist. They get you access to things that would normally be unavailable and that helps you stay out of jail. Let me just say, hitting kids is wrong. REALLY REALLY wrong. If you want to see a child get their comeuppance, use your kid as it was meant to be used...as an extension of your own arm. I cant hit annoying children. That would make me a monster. But if they are hit by another kid? Then it's just a basic part of growing up. Youthful shenanigans. And that is exactly what you tell the other parent when they are asking why your child put theirs in the headlock and smacked them to the ground.
"Hey, you know, kids are gonna be kids. What are ya gonna do, right?....Maybe the incident wouldn't have happened if your kid wasn't running up and down the stairs for no reason while my kid was trying to watch the movie"
Then you take your kid out for ice cream, cause they done good.
Step 7 - The Abandonement Drill
Step 7, the final judgement. Here is where you get to find out if you've done your job as a parent and properly conditioned your child to respect the moviegoing experience. Go to the movies with them, buy them their Twizzlers and all that, and then halfway through the movie, go to the bathroom. Don't come back.
At least, not for awhile. When you do return, try and stay out of sight. Keep a keen eye on your child. If they are looking around for you, getting impatient and crying cause daddy/mommy is gone, guess what? You failed!
If they are sitting in a trance, totally engrossed by the story being told up on screen and they are in a world of pure imagination and wonder, guess what? You done good.
Go get yourself an ice cream, you deserve it. Eat it before you go back to the kid though, cause if they see it they are gonna want one and you aren't made of money.
Conclusion - (clever subtitle)
So there you have it, an easy to follow how-to guide for Round 1 of the Blog Off. Oh, and in case you are wondering, no I don't have any children, I just spend a lot of time at the movie theatre and have seen my fair share of possessed little banshees treat it like their own personal jungle gym/screamatorium/bathroom (yep, it's happened) so I have put a lot of thought into how I'm gonna raise my kid to be a respectfully member of movie going society.
I'm totally gonna wreck that kid's life. Oh well, I can always try again with my second child, "Sequel Bowman".
You can find my opponent's "How-To" post right....HERE
Thanks for Reading
What do @jbowmancouver's Twitter and Pokemon have in common? 140 Characters, and people find them really annoying.