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“You Damn Dirty Ape!”

There’s nothing like going to the movies in the summer. Everyone rushing to clear the dinner table, filling pockets with snacks and piling into the family station wagon (for those born five minutes ago, that’s an SUV, only elongated.)


This was the scene Saturday night. My folks, boyfriend and I were excited to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (well, my dad was excited. Having seen Chef the week before, it was his turn to choose). Sitting three rows from the back of the large theater, we spent the first half of the movie enthralled by the apes and their abilities. Then a new dialogue was added. At first I thought it was coming from the film, but soon realized it was people in the back. Heads nearby turned repeatedly hoping to send a signal. Eventually a male voice with a distinct Boston accent shouted, “Would you please stahp tahkin! I’m tryin’ to wahtch the movie!” Of course this was what everyone wanted to shout, but because of recent events, you don’t know who might be packing heat. There was some yelling back and forth, which was fitting really, as they were in a sense aping the apes on screen.


When the credits rolled and the lights came on, all eyes fell on the talkers now walking up the aisle. I went directly to the manager, channeling my Nana Banana who never met a customer service hotline she didn’t like. I explained how disruptive the talkers were and he apologized, saying that typically there would have been a security officer, but that night they were short.

Walking out to my car, four free movie passes in my pocket, I realized how selfish some people can be thinking it’s all about them: cellphone talkers on buses, walkers taking up entire sidewalks with strollers, and those who never hold open doors for others. From where has this sense of entitlement sprung? What happened to common courtesy? We may never know why people do what they do, but the real puzzler in all this is who would spend $13.50 on a movie ticket only to talk through the whole thing?

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