The funny disease.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Teen Laughs Too Loudly at "The Pink Panther" and is Asked to Leave Theater

Last weekend it seems that, at an AMC movie theater in Florida, someone above the rank of Popcorn Monkey kicked a young man out of the theater for laughing too much.

Talking during movies absolutely irritates me to no end. I foam at the mouth when the candidate for a brain transplant behind me answers his cell phone and proceeds to have a conversation about where he is at. But annoying laughter, is another matter altogether.

Why, I myself have been known for laughing loudly and for laughing at inappropriate moments at the theater. There was X-Men, for example. Early in the movie, Rogue, the newest mutant to be folded into the protection of the a special school for mutants, runs away and Professor X uses Cerebro (a huge spherical room with a wheelchair accessible ramp in the middle) to heighten his psychic abilities so he can find her. His eye is scanned to confirm his identity, he rolls in on his wheelchair, asks everyone to leave and places a metallic device on his head. There’s dramatic music and high tech special effects visualizing the mental search of the Professor. At the end of a good two minutes worth of fanfare he emerges from the dramatically built-up, scientific-looking chamber and announces that Rogue is at the train station. Well, duh. I mean she could have been at the bus depot, I suppose, but who wants to sit next to someone who would ride the bus for hours on end?

So, a Theater Management Monkey in Florida, gets complaints about someone laughing too much during The Pink Panther, which is not only a comedy (and hopefully funny enough to be laughed at), but it is also a PG13 movie. Someone attending an R Rated movie could reasonably expect that it not be interrupted by the squalls, or pitter-patter of children. That reasonable expectation is one of mine, which is trampled to bits and spit on, almost every time I go to an R Rated movie. But no one attending a PG13 movie in the middle of the evening has a right to believe that the theater should be childfree.

The aforementioned Theater Management Monkey asks to speak with Susan Brown, the mother of the offending laugher, in the hallway. Brown and her son are in the handicap section. There is a wheelchair visible next to them. The mother protests, she can’t leave her son. The Theater Management Monkey then tells her that she and her son must leave. Brown’s son, Matt, has Angelman Syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder that affects speech and balance. One of the characteristics of the disorder is excessive laughter.

The Theater Management Monkey must have been drunk on his own power and neglected to notice that Matt Brown was not being purposefully inconsiderate, and was severely developmentally impaired.

While I don’t believe that handing $8 to a Ticket Monkey entitles one to do anything they want during the movie, I do believe in accommodating the physically and mentally disabled, who have difficult enough lives without being ejected from a Steve Martin flick. If that means that a handful of people miss out on a few heavily accented words uttered by Steve Martin, alleged comedic genius, so be it.


Blogger totenkuchen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/02/2006 9:04 PM

Blogger totenkuchen said...

The sad part isn't the Turret's Dude hee-hawing through the movie, it is the fact Don Knotts, a comedy genius, is dead and Steve Martin a mere buffoon lives on. He hasn't done anything funny since the King Tut bit, and even that was pretty lame...

3/02/2006 9:10 PM

Blogger Fuff said...

Noisy popcorn eaters are a nightmare.

3/05/2006 11:14 AM

Anonymous the_phosgene_kid said...

Steve Martin just made "the list"

3/05/2006 7:03 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Totenkuchen--even comedy legends can't live forever. And if the Angel of Death chose comedians by their lack of comic talent how could Al Franken have even been born?

Fuff--I think I was probably the noisy popcorn eater, and I would like to extend my deepest apologies. I just can't resist the artificial buttery goodness.

Phos--I hope you mean the list of things that makes you Irrationally Angry and not the list in your pocket that the police are after. I really think you should reconsider therapy.

3/06/2006 12:07 PM

Blogger Fuff said...

LOL, whoops!

3/07/2006 5:11 AM

Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Go back 2 decades and I would have been the one ejected from the theatre.

I was with a crowd of friends from college (we took up an entire row of seats) to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Michael Caine, Steve Martin). I laughed myself silly (I was young then). Later, one of my friends told me that half the time he laughed was because I was laughing so hard. :-/

3/09/2006 10:59 PM


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