MB and I have an annual Halloween tradition we share with my brother and his wife: One Saturday night during the month of October, we all gather at their house, eat junk, play with the Banshees, bribe them into bed — preferably earlier than necessary — and then get on with what the entire gathering is really all about:
Watching a scary movie.
We love it if it’s a genuinely scary movie, but we also love it if it’s stupid, improbable, and easily mocked, because then the four of us can spend the whole movie loudly deriding every teensy detail. Actually, I think we love that even more. With a scary movie like that, we all suddenly become engineers and doctors and botanists. Locksmiths and contortionists and forest rangers. Weightlifters and hunters and plumbers. Whatever ability the situation demands, we possess it in spades. Whatever the characters are doing, we could do it better. They turn left? Shoulda gone right. Run downhill? Shoulda gone up. It doesn’t matter if we’re all talking at once. Within the “circle of four,” such behavior is accepted, embraced, basically expected. If you stop talking, you’ve fallen asleep. (Ahem, dear SIL). We yell when we think they’re wrong and condescend if they do something right: “Well, now, there ya go. Dummy.” If they die, they deserved it. If they escaped, it’s because they “listened” to us. Clearly, if we were trapped in a house with some greasy-haired psycho turning people into waxworks, we would surely survive. Ah, yes. That’s a given. So we lounge around, stuffing our faces with pizza and coffee cake, demanding the action bend to our wills, like some lofty Mount Olympus gathering of the scary movie gods.
It’s awesome, being all-knowing and controlling and such.
This past weekend was our Scary Movie Night.
I won’t name the movie, but here’s a smattering of our running commentary:
~ What is the deal with his accent?
~ How can you trust him? His accent is SO fake!
~ So it’s late, your girlfriend is drunk on the beach, and you just leave her??
~ Oh, yeah. Go with the stranger to the middle of nowhere in a third world country. Smart.
~ “My footwear of choice when schlepping through the jungle is flip-flops, naturally.”
~ Okay. There are two little kids just staring at you in the middle of the jungle, whatevs, totally normal.
~ Did anyone bring a gun?
~ How about a cell phone?
~ That dude was in Across the Universe.
~ Are you sure?
~ She’s the chick from the last Die Hard movie.
~ No, she’s not.
~ Yes, she is.
~ NO. She’s not. I’ll Google it when we get home.
(Okay. So MB and I go off on tangents. WhatEVS. But I was right on that chick. She wasn’t.)
~ Why are they running up it? Why? Run around it!
~ You guys are screwed.
~ Oh, yeah. Let’s leave the injured dude right next to the man-eating plants.
~ What?? What are they doing?? I’m infested by a man-eating vine, people are dying, but, here, lemme help you relax, honey.
~ Yes, two feet away from my best friend.
~ It’s a life-affirming choice. Or something.
~ What’s the friend supposed to do?!
~ Dude, check your area! Your personal area! It’s been compromised!
~ Hahahahahahaha! “ER-ea”!
~ It’s like the emergency room story with that old lady: I gotta VINE growin’ outta my virginny!!
~ Oh, look. It’s morning. The friend isn’t there. Hahaha.
~ She’d rather sleep with the man-eating plants.
~ Why don’t they just burn them all??
~ There are four sides to the stupid thing. Go down the OTHER way!
~ Dumb bastards.
~ Oh, yeah. Use THAT to cut his legs off.
~ I thought he was paralyzed. Why is he screaming?
~ It’s just the thought of it.
~ Oh, be sure to leave the bloody stumps just inches from the man-eating vines.
~ Yeah, and why don’t they eat people while they’re still alive? Are they lazy or something??
~ She’s gonna stab you …. she’s gonna stab you ….. I told you …..
~ Ew ….. she’s got a vine now, too! Ew. I knew it.
And, etc., ad nauseum.
Clearly, we survived. Triumphed, even.