Christmas used to be my least favorite day to be a Jew. But I’ve managed to change my tune, and I think it is now my favorite day to be a Jew.
Usually Connecticut on Christmas, for a Jew, is really depressing. Not only is it typically bitter cold, but everyone I knew was like totally out of commission on Christmas Day and since obviously everything is closed on Christmas Day cabin fever slash depression tends to set on really quickly. Because of this, I almost always spend Christmas Day in Miami. But this year, after months of trying to plan when we would get to go to CT to check in on our favorite restaurants in my hometown, my roommate and I decided to go to CT for Christmas weekend, which we titled, “Westport Winter Wonderland Weekend”. Alliteration is fun, deal with it.
Obviously, if you know me at all, it goes without saying that there was a bunch of pot smoking going on this weekend. But I think for any Jew to really embrace his/her Jewy-ness, pot should really be smoked on Christmas. I’m not sure why, but it just feels right. Festive in our own way.
Ok, so the big and most important part of the weekend, was that we completed a triple header at the movie theater. Now, ordinarily, yes, a triple header is pretty bad ass. But at the movie theater we went to, this took some serious coordination and planning. There are only 6 theaters within and the bathroom is outside of the guy who collects the tickets. So if you’re leaving, and going back in with a movie ticket that is time stamped for 3+ hours ago, you’re going to get fucked in the ass (or politely asked to leave, whatever).
The only time I was ever asked to leave a movie theater (which was coincidentally this same theater) was when my friends and I tried to sneak into Something About Mary by buying tickets to The Legend of Zoro. They literally came into the movie theater and asked to look at our tickets and then told us to get out. I was and still am completely mortified.
Anyway, I wasn’t about to let this happen to me again. Fuck you, Christmas Day movie workers at the Bowtie (formerly Crown) Royale movie theater in Norwalk, CT. I will not let you ruin my Jewy Christmas day! So what I did, has multiple layers of sneakiness and general weirdness. I like to make these intricate plans because I am a pretty nervous person and also a really bad liar. So I take whatever precautions necessary to avoid a confrontation, especially one in which I might have to lie. So here it is…
I have broken down the art of the successful triple header into 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Wear a hat.
I don’t wear hats. Ever. If it’s really cold out I’ll wear some sort of fleece headband that covers the ears or earmuffs. But I don’t wear hats because I look semi-retarded in them. But, after taking a note from some of my favorite celebs, I realized that a plain old baseball cap really manages to hide the face. I like baseball caps but usually don’t wear them because I have an unusually large head so that most baseball caps end up popping up off of my head and looking completely ridiculous, unless they are deeper than the standard depth. But either way, the baseball cap hides my hair. I’m sorry, when you’re 5’10” with flaming red hair, it’s not that easy to fly under the radar.
When it came to choosing the most appropriate baseball cap for this endeavor, I ran into a few problems. All of the baseball caps I know and love were in my apartment in the city (not that I ever wear any of them). Any that may have been left behind in CT were not in an obvious enough place for me to find since I came up with this hat idea mere minutes before we left for the theater.
So I start sorting through the family collection of hats. My first choice was a Lacoste hat with a big L in front that everyone in my immediate family owns (L for Leifer!!!!). It’s shallow but almost fits right. But the only one in my house in CT was bright yellow. I’m trying to fly under the radar here, a bright yellow hat might be one of the few things that actually draws more attention than bright red hair. My next choice was bright/light pink. Again, too flashy. I then turned my attention to only black hats and I found a nice little Black Dog hat in my bedroom that I decided would do the trick.
My baseball cap ended up serving two purposes. One was to disguise me from ticket collector man, and the other was to disguise me from anyone in the greater Westport, CT area who might recognize me and engage me in conversation at the movie theater. A. I’m high and don’t want to talk to my friends’ parents, B. I’m high and don’t want to talk to my parents’ friends, and C. Leave me the fuck alone, I’m in the middle of an intense triple header here and I really need to concentrate.
Step 2: Change your appearance / Costume change.
I had to go to the bathroom twice during the 6+ hours I was at the movie theater. I decided the best way to go about this was to wear my hat one time, and to not wear my hat the other time. Also, I wore my jacket one time and not the other time. I also think I put my hair up for one of these high-risk bathroom adventures and left it down for the other. I think I took my glasses off one the times too. Don't be afraid to mix it up. Disguises are fun. Maybe even try out a new voice for your "Thank you!" as you walk by the ticket man.
Step 3: Bring snacks.
Buying popcorn at the movies is fine. It’s fresh and delicious and festive (even though when I saw Avatar last week I brought my own popcorn- more to come on that adveture). But if you want anything from the chocolate or gummy family, bring that shit yourself. I’m not paying $8 for Junior Mints when I can buy them from a fucking convenience store for less than $2. Sorry, those are just my principles. Sorry, I’m not sorry.
The snacks I brought with came mostly from a holiday basket that my dad left in our kitchen with a post-it that said, “Brady and Max, enjoy”. I also took some cookies, a bottle of water and a can of Fresca. The key is to pace yourself with the drinks. Going to the bathroom more than twice is really taking some unnecessary chances. When I went to the bathroom during the previews of the second movie I also bought a bag of popcorn, which made it look like I was just out to get some popcorn instead of being sneaky. Also, the bag of popcorn in your hands makes it nearly impossible for the ticket man to actually ask you to see your ticket. And then you also get to eat popcorn. It’s a win-win.
Am I a totally crazy spaz for putting this much time and effort into my triple header? I say yes and no. No- This is an intense time commitment and if you’re not going to do it right then you really shouldn’t attempt it at all. Go hard or go home. Yes- Stop acting like you’re trying to escape from prison, you’re at the movie theater.
And now we come to the one downfall of the triple header, which is sitting in movie theater seats for 6+ hours. Bowtie Royal was new in the 90s, but now it's pretty antiquated. None of the movie theaters I go to in CT are stadium style, and this presents a comfort problem. As I said before, I’m just about 5’10”. And my legs are long (not to toot my own horn). So this becomes an issue because I don’t fit well in movie seats. If there’s no one in front of me it works better, but if there is I’ve got nowhere to stretch.
I can’t have my knees stay bent for 2+ hours at a time. My butt is constantly falling asleep and I keep uncrossing and recrossing my legs and shifting around in my seat at least once every 10 minutes. It’s a disaster. But it also adds a physical component to the triple header, making it that much more hardcore. Especially since for the first two movies, we had to sit somewhere in the first 10 rows of seats. So I had to lean my head back the whole time and it was just very uncomfortable. But then, Nine was like way less than half full and we managed to get in a handicapped row in the dead middle of the theater that had leg room for days. Although it was much better than a cramped 6th row, my ass still slept for most of it.
So now... Now you know.