Fermentalist with a fetish for fatty foods. Don't listen to those looneys telling you that fat is bad for you. Love your gut, eat real food. Writer at Irish Examiners on Saturdays and Irish Independent and Sunday Times, Food and Wine Mag and Tourism Ireland
I love the cimema, correction, I love to see movies on the big screen. However, it seems that I am a grumpy old fart when it comes to the cinema experience itself and I have a version of road rage that is triggered by the following things, some of which you may be familiar with. The priviledge of sitting close to hungry stratgers in the cinema costs €9 for a so-called adult (did you know that in the Omniplex an Adult is 15 years old!!!!! and in the Omniplex in NI a person doesn't have to pay adult prices until the age of 20!!) I was worried that my son might go and get married or something while my back was turned.
It was a small cinema, for screening the excellent August: Osage County, fab, amazing, wonderful movie with women playing actual meaty roles and not a leather catsuit or buttock in sight. I was sitting beside two lovely girls, chatting and talking on their phones, no law against that given the number of ads on before the screening, reminding me that I must quickly go to UCD where I can pay €40,000 to get laid, I mean do a degree. The girls were happily sharing a very large bag of popcorn, handing it back and forth. This wasn't a bag from the cinema "food" counter either tsk tsk, which is against the law, which in fairness make silent packaging, but a money saving large plastic packet from the supermarket. Cheap and noisy, like D'Icon on a Sunday night. They dipped in and out of the crinkly bag, and munched away on what has to be the noisiest foodstuff ever known to humanity. I won't get started on how horrible popcorn is when you buy it like this and all the shite that's in it, frankly I'm not bothered about the nutritional intake of someone beside me in a confined space who's impersonating a beaver gnawing down the largest tree in the forest, slowly, in surround sound. Is it the lack of other human noise that amplifies this?? each time her jaws crunched it sounded like a Hummer on a gravel path, magnified. "Chill Val", I said to myself, they will come to the end of the bag and all this will be over and you'll be able to hear the movie.
As they were animatedly sharing the scraps, akin to hungery children in Syria,I began to feel relieved and relaxation was only a last chew away. Then the larger of the two reached into a large handbag and produced a bag, nay, a sack of sweeties and in that attempt to open in quietly, proceeded to reenact the parting of the seas as she pulled the plastic wrapper in opposite directions. I began to feel nervous, and then, as she reached her hand into the bag she pulled out..... a sweet in a wrapper!!! A whole bag of individually wrapped sweets, all to be unwrapped, one by one in that 'trying not to make a sound way that's just noisier than the noisiest noise. Something inside me snapped and I could feel myself about to make nasty piggy noises, but I resisted. Instead I made my excuses and swiftly stepped over the empty seat in front of me and settled down there, with steam rising off my boiling skull. I sighed, safe in the comfort of not being able to hear the nutcracker suite for the next two hours of amazing cinema.
And I wonder, on what planet, was it decided that films would be best enjoyed alongside the monster munch of salty snacks, the gag inducing stench of "cheese" "sauce" on nachos, the buckets of slurpy fizz and the endless bags of plastic wrapped sweets that have to be crinkled and crumpled??? Sure, it's the money, the business, but the logic????? Yes it's great to stuff your face at an animated kids film, Monster Munch at Monsters Inc, Haribo at the Hobbit. I'm sure Steve McQueen didn't want 12 Years a Slave to be distrupted by burbs and farting and a sea of uneaten junk food. Time to buy my own cinema methinks, soft fruit only will be served.