1.24.2008

To the Movies with the Nieces...


On Monday (Jan. 21), Justin's mom and I took my three oldest nieces to watch the movie Enchanted. It was only playing in one theater (the one by the mall) so I got off work early and headed on over. Grandma had already picked up Stephanie and Elizabeth and I barely got there before Jamie dropped off Maxine. They all went inside and waited in line for popcorn while I waited in line for my ticket... and waited... and waited! Turns out about a million other grandparents had had the same idea as Janet! Even though I got there twenty minutes before the movie, I barely made it into the theater with five minutes to spare (after making it past many "no, after you, I'm waiting for my grandkids" remarks)!

The movie starts and we are having fun, Grandma's handing out popcorn, they have little ice cream dunking doohickeys, they're loving the movie: every thing is just hunky-dory. Then the chaos began... For those of you that haven't seen the movie, I'll be careful not to reveal what happens. Towards the end of the movie, the evil step-mother-witch-lady turns into a dragon and takes off with one of the characters up the side of this tall New York skyscraper, every little kid's eyes are wide, it's a very tense moment. There is lightning flashing in the movie and scary, intense music is playing in the background... and strobe lights are going off on the walls, followed shortly there after by a loud honking noise... "Wait a minute," I say to myself. "That's not part of the movie..." That's right. The fire alarm had gone off.

Now, this has happened to me once before, in Ogden while watching Star Wars Episode 1. It started during a star fighting scene, so I thought that the strobe lights were part of the special effects. I remember thinking, "Wow, George Lucas has really out done himself this time!" Then the lady's voice came over the intercom telling everyone to leave in an orderly fashion (which, of course, a theater full of panic stricken people are so capable of doing). And do you know why we were all evacuated? The ice machine next to the soda fountain had started to smoke. That's right, the ice machine.

Okay, back to Monday, I take Stephanie and Maxine's hands (Grandma had Elizabeth) and we proceeded to walk calmly out of the theater, though Maxine had started to cry. While outside, we explained what the noise was and why it is important to get out quickly and safely, when Maxine totally lost all her five year old composure. The poor dear was scared out of her mind. And, of course, Grandma and I were trying to stifle our laughter at the situation of the fire alarm going off during the most intense moment of the movie. I sat down on the curb and held her in my arms telling her everything would be fine, that there was no fire, and that we would be able to go back into the movie soon. Then, I proceeded to tell her about the incident with the smoking ice machine, and you know what? She laughed! She totally got the irony of the ice machine smoking! After that she was just fine.

As we walked back into the theater, we found out that a small kid had pulled the lever on the fire alarm. So, I took the opportunity to point out the fire alarm to the girls and told them that they should never, ever pull the fire alarm unless they see smoke or fire. Stephanie mentioned that you should pull it if you smell smoke and I told her that, in public places like the theater, there will be other people in charge of pulling the alarm if they smell smoke and that we only needed to be concerned with seeing it or fire. We proceeded into the movie and watched the rest (minus the ten minutes it took them to stop the movie before everyone was allowed back in).

2 comments:

jamerlou said...

Thanks for calming my little girl. She worries a lot for someone so small. I'd heard about the fire alarm but didn't know she'd been so scared by it. Thanks for comforting her through it.

Justin and Rachel said...

Not a problem... what are Aunt Rachels for?