500 Words Per Day

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Keep Your Foot Still at the Movies

I don't know why I've had such a bad run of seat kickers when I've gone to the movies.

It must have started in August, when I really started going out to the theaters regularly to take in the final load of summer mega-hits. There was a 2-week span when I watched The Simpsons Movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, Hairspray and Rush Hour 3. At each of these shows, I was harassed by a seat kicker. The seat-kicking ended after I stopped going to the movies for a while in September. But even now, I've encountered some mild seat kicking in one form or another.

I hate having my seat kicked. For one, I don't understand it. Surely, most seat kickers have had their own seats pounded upon at one point or another. They know how annoying it can be, yet here they are obliviously tapping away at the back of my chair. The other thing that gets me is wondering why on earth they can't keep their foot still. Are we still children here, restless in our chairs, feeling put upon by this movie that's in front of us and realizing we'd rather go aside and play in the sun? I don't get it, and I rarely tolerate it either.

A large majority of the culprits so far have been young girls, which goes some way to explain why they kick the seats in the first place. Women have a habit of sitting with their legs crossed, which puts their leg in a optimal position to swing around and deliver percussive attacks to the seats in front of them. I admit this makes it a lot easier for me to spin around and ask my tormentor to kindly stop their kicking, when said tormentor is of the fairer sex.

I think young people, in general, have a tendency towards this. A variant of seat kicking is the classy resting of the foot on the chair in front of you, even when there is someone sitting there. Depending on how the seats are constructed (high backs, sturdy), this may not be a problem. It becomes a problem when the foot resting transitions into foot shifting and switching between feet. It's not quite as annoying as the "tap-tap-tap" of a full-fledged seat kicker, but if I can feel your feet moving around on the back of chair, I am going to be distracted from my movie. And if I'm distracted from a movie -- even if it's a lousy one -- I'm going to be pissed.

How can we curb this behaviour at the movies? I suppose it's a lot like manners: you're either brought up early to be mindful of this sort of behaviour or you're not. I'd like to think it's a habit that can be untrained or weaned off by aging. Ideally, I'm hoping this piece serves as a public service announcement to bring in awareness. In the end, all that's really needed in open, polite communication. Most seat kickers don't really know what an idiot they're being until you turn around to ask them to kindly stop. And usually, they do. I have yet to meet a huffy seat kicker who takes umbrage with being called out for their misdeeds. Come to think of it, I've met a lot more rude, petulant Movie Talkers than I have Seat Kickers, so I'll give them some credit where it's due.

Lucky for those seat kickers, I'd say. There seem to be a lot more of them, and to be rude and huffy as well? Well, I'd hate to have to take a hatchet to their ankles.

As for Movie Talkers? My God, these pricks need to be shot. But that's another blog post altogether.