Monday, November 20, 2017

The Audience is Everything

The audience gives it away. Before the first popcorn box dances across the screen, I already know what kind of movie I’ve paid way too much to see. The following is my rating system.

If my husband and I are sitting in an audience surrounded by blue hair, shoulder strap purses, and hearing aids, I know that I am in for a treat. The movies’ director will have a lyrical foreign-sounding name, and at some point, the elegant Helena Bohem Carter, wearing voluptuous hair extensions, will play tennis in a white Victorian dress and make witty, pithy remarks to an equally elegant man. My husband will fall asleep and twitch.

It will be a movie of civilized sophistication, fraught with undercurrents of frenzied, repressed emotions all wrapped in a tangle of smart dialogue. At some point, my husband will drool. At about the same time someone will complain loudly, “What did she say? I can’t hear a damn thing anyone is saying.”

I love these movies.

The second kind of audience in my rating system will be filled with couples. They will have cell phones, beepers, and palm-sized computers, and they will be very important people. Presumably, a couple of the couples will have jet-packs strapped to their backs, just in case they have to make a quick trip to the office. If the theatre experiences technical difficulties, they will not hesitate to bark out instructions to the technicians in loud voices and demand their money back. With this kind of audience, I know that something in the movie will explode, two somethings will collide—making one something sink—and two more somethings will get lucky. My husband sits up like a squirrel at these movies hoping to find inaccuracies to complain about—bitterly.

I love these movies.

The last rating audience is a group that I like to call the Teenybopper/Call-of-the-Lone Hormone-Crowd. My husband must be lured to these movies with the promise of smuggled movie candy. Once there, we clutch each other in fear and horror while scantily clad girls and pierced unruly boys call racy challenges to each other while shooting laser light pointers into strangers’ retinas. Remember, this is before the movie begins.

Once the movie starts, we will be regaled with multitude comedic situations involving every kind of body fluid, and, or body gas—by the audience and the actors. My husband always laughs the loudest of all at these movies, by throwing his head back and imitating a pirate of the Barbary Coast bent on rape and pillage.

I love watching my husband laugh at fifth-grade humor.

The movies I like best, cannot be measured by their audience. I'm happy when I walk into the theatre, one hand slick with grease from a medium sized popcorn, and the other hand sweating from a fruit punch, and I see moms and dads leading light-saber wielding kids to their seats. There are grandparents settling down next to grandchildren, girls and boys on dates and groups of friends squirming with anticipation; I know that I am at a George Lucas production. I sit back, relax, and wait to go to a galaxy, far, far away.

In the first Star Wars film I ever saw, and just recently watched again, everyone kept their clothes on, you knew the bad guys from the good guys, and you knew what they are fighting for. No one screamed profanity to prove that they were evil. All the villain had to do was breathe sinisterly through a mechanical helmet, and you got it. The heroes were flawed just enough. They had enough quirks and faults to be interesting, but they were not crippled by black psychosis. The black psychosis was saved for the villain. The violence seemed necessary and understandable, and in the end, good triumphed over evil, and the galaxy gets saved.

The audience at these movies is everybody. In these movies, I know that there will be enough action to keep my husband conscious, enough of a moral to inspire my children to loftier ideals, and enough of the hero’s journey to keep me satisfied.

I love these movies most of all.

Linda (Down in Front) Zern

Friday, November 17, 2017


My New Year's resolutions include 1) trap cats 2) buy dirt 3) bury horse and 4) get salt.

The cats were abandoned when my neighbor moved and neglected to take HIS CATS. They've set up a colony in my bushes, and scare people by rushing their ankles and hissing. I started throwing thanksgiving turkey carcasses at them, which they promptly dragged back to their bush lair. The cats must go. 

Dirt is harder to come by than one might think. The borrow pits are closed around here due to the lack of demand for dirt. I bought mine on the black dirt market. Well, kinda.

We own a horse that is older than "dirt," and every day he's still on his feet when I come out to feed is a good day. Unlike goldfish, you cannot flush a dead horse. There's planning involved--also backhoes.

And finally, the salt is my best friend's suggestion. She's pretty sure that the end is near. Well, for the horse, anyway.

Linda (Thinking Ahead) Zern

Monday, November 6, 2017


George Orwell’s book of the same title is a great book, a satire. Some call it an allegory. It’s not about animals. It’s possible this blog post isn’t about animals either.

The world has gone wild for animals, just check out Facebook. Goats scamper about in pajamas. Gerbils wear hats. Ducks waddle about while wearing bandanas. And cats . . . don’t get me started on cats. Every human emotion known to man can be demonstrated on the faces of the legions of cats that populate social media. I know. I’ve seen them. Happy cats. Sad cats. Mad cats. Grumpy cats. Well, you’ve seen it.

My husband and I live with animals, the kind that lives in coops and barns and pastures and not on Facebook. 

Wild animals haunt the wetlands and bogs that border . . . well . . . basically the entire state. The wild animals don’t wear clothes. I include this for informational purposes. Wild animals eat farm animals. It’s a natural fact. And everything eats our chickens, so, into the coop our chickens go, every night, for their own protection, and so we don’t have to bury the bloody, gory remains in the morning. Free range means free to be eaten by eagles, hawks, feral cats, coyotes, bobcats, possums, raccoons, and the neighbor’s dog.

Most of our chickens coop themselves. At night, they wander back into the safety of a roomy, re-enforced, hardware cloth draped impregnable chicken fortress. 

Yesterday, one of the hens forgot where she lived. My husband went after her, determined to save her clucking life. She began to squawk, loudly. A rowdy rooster hearing the hen’s distress ran out to take advantage, and when I say, “take advantage” I mean he thought he was going to get lucky. For the Facebook crowd, roosters are equal opportunity sex fiends. One rooster holds a hen down and his buddies, hearing her shriek, come running to take their turn. I am not kidding, and it’s not a video you’re going to see on social media. It’s the wild kingdom . . . 

The hen starts squawking. The rooster comes running, jumps on the goofy hen and proceeds to fulfill the measure of his creation. (IM me if you don’t know what this means.) My husband, taking advantage of the distraction, picked up both chickens, now wildly mating their brains out, and carries them to the coop. That rooster never took a breath as he floated through the air in the arms of my poor husband. Lust made that rooster blind, deaf, and dumb. 

I fell down, laughing.

And this is how “animals” behave. They eat. They drink. They look for opportunities to be merry. And tomorrow they will do it all over again until the neighbor’s dog gets them.

Linda (Hoot) Zern 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...