Continued From: Big Weekend > Fab Grabs > More Fab Grabs > Big Romance > Double Header > Off to Sepia "The Wizard"
I enjoyed "Jaws" again during the recent presentation at the Fox. Today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the film, the most anticipated movie in my experience.
That was an exciting event. I read the novel the previous summer and I was primed for the flick and not disappointed. I stood in line for hours with my mother at the old Phipps Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, which was an event in itself that she would agree to wait around so long. The only remaining seats together at showtime meant we sat on the front row in the auditorium. Amazingly, we both survived whiplash when the shark came out of the water at us. I've seen "Jaws" many times and it never fails to entertain, frighten, and influence me, meaning I haven't been deeper than my knees into an ocean since the Gerald Ford administration and the fin search has never ceased.
On a pleasure trip the next weekend, I went to view "Jaws" once more, this time in Wilmington, NC with my friend Bill. The sold-out Saturday matinee put us down front inside the Bailey Theatre. The movie started and I settled into my chair, bracing for the intensity to follow.
"Jaws," said the woman behind me, as the title, "Jaws," appeared on the screen.
"Oh, great," I thought, "we've got a reader." I have zero tolerance for talkers during movies.
A few seconds passed and the woman vocalized what became a continuing series of inanities directed at her small children who should not have been in attendance.
She stated bright observations like, "Oooo, isn't that a pretty beach? You've been to the beach with Gramma, remember?" and "The sheriff looks like your Uncle Bobby, but without the glasses -- and Uncle Bobby has a whistle."
I bit my tongue and stewed as her live narration accompanied the series of violent on-screen attacks and near misses which fill the opening third of the motion picture.
"Cover your eyes. Something got that girl. ... Eww, don't peek. Messed up her hair! ... Oh! Oh! Not again! Something is hongry!"
"I thought there was an 'u' in 'hongry,'" I pondered with myself.
That inconsiderate babbling bubble brain ruined the afternoon, taking me out of the story and into her sappy, crappy haid.
Yes, in her case, "haid." It rhymes with "daid," which I was plotting.
About 40 minutes into the adventure, actor Roy Scheider slung chum into the calm sea from the deck of a small boat. At that instant, the mammoth Great White soared out of the ocean, seemingly into the faces of the audience, the first clear glimpse of the predator in the movie. It is a thrilling moment.
As soon as the massive, elongated screams of the crowd subsided, I heard behind me a zippy lilt: "It's a shark!"
I had had enough. I spun around in my seat. I spoke loudly and precisely. I intoned heavy sarcasm, because ... I like to.
"That's right, lady. ... It's a shark. ... NOW, SHUT ... THE HELL ... UP!!"
I pivoted back around to the screen. We, the audience, enjoyed the remaining mayhem in peace.
When the lights in the room beamed up afterwards, I felt even better. No one had emptied a jumbo Sprite onto Mikey.
This true incident has become my crowning glory, my legacy, for whatever that is worth, repeated or referenced by my buddies surprisingly often over three and a half decades with a goodly portion of amusement.
Note to Self: Now, shut the hell up.