I’m going to assume that you, a beloved and devoted user of this website, are on the side of the well-mannered movie-going species who respect cinema etiquette. You are part of an angelic people who are able to heal the wounded with a single touch, hover above the ground while singing graceful hymns, and religiously deactivate their smartphones before a film starts.
Then there’s the other side, a herd of humanoid monstrosities that live in the cold shadow of anguish. They are a brutish species, ones that communicate through a series of grunts and Facebook status updates. These creatures are so connected to their cellular devices that no film etiquette will change their habits.
A while ago, I attended a movie that had a full house. After casually blessing a blind man with the gift of sight, I majestically floated to my seat where I proceeded to put my phone on silent AND in flight mode.
But, as can be the case when angels and monsters inhabit the same cinema, a phone went off 20 minutes into the movie. It was a faint but familiar sound, a melodic accompany of tiny bells that would be pleasant to listen to in any other situation. But this was a cinema, a church where film is praised, and where any unnecessary noise that threatens to detract from it deemed blasphemous.
When such an occurrence arises, it takes an average of 4.7 seconds for the monster responsible to defuse the noise. However, after ten seconds, the ringing continues, invading my senses like a tiny crawling earwig with a hide made of sandpaper.
After 20 seconds, I start looking around for the guilty demon, armed with a verbal whip of justice begging to be cracked. I concentrate my hearing to the level of an Egyptian Fruit Bat, locating the source of the noise with pinpoint accuracy.
It was my phone. I was the monster.
When the film ended, my healing and hovering abilities were taken from me. I tried to defend my case to the heavenly counsel – how I was unaware that I incorrectly set my wake-up alarm from am to pm and that it ignores both flight and silent modes – but my case fell on deaf ears, leaving me only with the indignity of being exiled from my people.
Ashamed, I resorted to watching films on my television. Days, weeks, months passed. I grew into my new role of a movie-watching monstrosity – I had the facial deformities to prove it.
But my heart did not change. I still had the burning love for the cinema engulfing my bloodstream, and it was a wildfire that no Cronenbergian nightmare could put out. Though I was trapped in this shell of deformed flesh, I left my hermit lifestyle to enter the judgmental eye of the outside world – returning to my palace of nirvana.
I could hear the criticising whispers from my former brethren, still aware of the monster I was when all this started. But the moment I sat in that cinema chair, all those hurtful words evaporated as the air around me filled with nothing but breathable joy. My skin cleared, my fangs retracted and I no longer had suction cups at inconvenient places – I was rejuvenated.
I may not have regained my healing and floating abilities, but I regained my rightful place as a dignified cinema-goer. I was no longer a monster, and that’s what’s important.
Of course, finding a fool-proof method to keeping my phone silent was also important.