...even though I'm not a father.
I took my nephew to see 'Toy Story 3' yesterday (seventeen thumbs up! A must see! If you don't see this movie, you're a commie douchebag who says things like"bourgeoisie sentimentality" and expects to be taken seriously!). He's the last of the Piccolino Boys (for now, we think -- my sister has four boys, and I think she's like to go for the girl, it's just that her uterus needs a long vacation), and he's just turned 5, which makes him just capable of sitting still for 90 minutes, so movies are a pretty safe entertainment bet with him, nowadays.
Three weeks ago, we went to see "Shrek 3", and had a blast there, too (you had better see that, too, or you're no better than a Pro-Obamacare democrat -- small "d' intentional).
It's always the same: slice of pizza, over to the Dollar store to get movie candy (I'm already paying $8.50 for a kid's matinee ticket, and $10.50 for my own ticket -- New York is an expensive place to live, you know -- I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $4.50 for a box of fucking Raisinettes. Same for soda and popcorn (broke down yesterday because the kid actually wanted it -- $7.00 for a small popcorn!). And when the movie is over, assuming I don't have to rush him right home -- there's always the ice cream cone. By the time you're done, it's easily a $50 afternoon.
At our local theatre, they'll try to stop you from entering the premises with"outside candy" (there's a sign posted saying that this is prohibited), but I just dare them to try and take it from me. The one time I was actually stopped for this apparently grievous violation, I told the skinny bastard that I would kick his ass and then bang his sister afterwards if he didn't stop playing Theatre Cop right then and there. I think he works for the Border Patrol, nowadays. No one has made an attempt to halt me with contraband candy ever since. These kids today have no balls.
Anyways, taking the Boys to the movies is sort of a privilege I have always reserved for myself. As soon as all of my nephews were all old enough to sit still for a movie. It's been a decade now, and I get a kick out of it. We get to hang out, they get to gorge on junk food, we have a blast.
Four nephews, and perhaps 100 movies, amusement parks, mini golf courses, and goddamned Chuck E. Cheese visits later (if I ever have to walk into a Chuck E. Cheese's again, I'm bringing a gun and a stocking mask, and maybe taking hostages), it's still more fun hanging out with those kids than it is with 90% of the adults I know.
And I keep all the ticket stubs. I don't know why, but it just doesn't seem right to throw 'em away. I'm not going to tell you that whenever I see those stubs, I get a rush of "Oh, I remember when we saw "A Sharks Tale" or"Teacher's Pet" at the Such-and-such Theatre"nostalgia. I just remember the boys when they were small, and when going to the movies was an exciting adventure for them.
One day, they're all going to grow up to become great, hulking manly-men, but I'm going to remember them all as four-and-five year-olds sitting in a semi-darkened theatre, staring up at a screen, amazed, laughing, or just with a face full of melted chocolate. You see, the oldest (he'll be14 in October) already doesn't want to hang out with me anymore (he's got friends, and has discovered girls, you know), and soon his brothers will follow his lead -- the kids who were attached to my hip, and called every time they knew I was home to come and play with them, will eventually drift away from their Uncle. And that, I guess, is just Life.
Best to enjoy what you can while you can. Right?
I seriously hope that when Alzheimer's comes for me (with my luck, I'll not only be stricken with Alzheimer's, but with the rarest and cruelest variety that will allow me to remember the entire Disco Era with crystal clarity. Best to just shoot me now) and I can't tell the difference between delusion and reality, that I still -- somehow -- manage to see four little boys at the Movies, stuffing their faces with popcorn and candy, and asking me to read the subtitles on the screen for them when Buzz Lightyear starts speaking in Spanish, or laughing at the antics of CG-generated characters.