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The voices

By Adam Pugh
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Wednesday July 31, 2002

I can hear them.

They are whispering questions into my ear, but I canāt make the voices go away. They always come back, when the darkness comes and the lights start flashing; they are there to distract me. They are the talking during my movie.

Now I am not usually one to complain, but I think we can all agree that this is a problem all people have been faced with in theaters over the years.

Whether it is a comedy, drama or horror film, there is always that one person who feels the need to ask questions or hold a conversation during the movie.

Ninety minutes, sometimes 120 minutes of small voices asking stupid questions. I am kind of getting an idea of how psychotic people must feel. The last incident was at "The Road to Perdition," in which Tom Hanks is a gangster and ends up killing several thugs. Right in the middle of an intense and quiet scene the guy behind me asks a question about the plot.

As a friend of mine once said, whispers in a quiet movie theater and speaking into a megaphone are roughly the same thing.

So what do we do when moviegoers penetrate the sound barrier with their silly questions and constant bantering? Why do we sit there and fester like a boil ready to explode, but never say anything ÷ at least not until we get to the parking lot.

I usually just sit and hope the idiot will shut his yap before someone knocks his head off. Or I dream about knocking his head off. Sadly, nothing like this ever transpires. But there was this one time I took the law into my own hands and had the last laugh.

It was about 20 minutes into a movie called "Final Destination," a funny teen-horror flick. I was sitting in the middle of the theater with my friend, when some whispering and giggling started coming from the back of the theater.

I wait, and nothing stops; they just keep laughing and talking. And it is that really annoying kind of talking in which all of the "S" sounds are accented just enough to make it piercing.

So I sit, and I get mad, and my friend leans over and says: "I wish they would shut up." Great idea, I think. We were all thinking that at this point.

Now this next part is a bit out of character for me, but these girls really pushed me over the edge. I turned around and looked at them and yelled at the top of my lungs: "Shut · Up!" That was how I said it, with a huge pause between the two words for emphasis.

Needless to say there was one final giggle of disbelief from the group and then ÷ silence. Pure, unadulterated, free-from-whispering silence. I havenāt had to do this since. But I know most people always sit, listening to the talking people, hoping someone will shut them up.

If I can do it, so can you.

So the next time you hear that voice coming from behind, donāt just sit there like an idiot; turn around grab the person by the throat and squeeze the life out of their question-asking body.

Or, you could just ask them to be quiet

See you at the movies.


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