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Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Miracle

If I had to choose which actor I’d want to play me in a movie, I think I’d have to go for Benny Hill. Even though he’s no longer with us in the ‘living’ world, I’d at least have the soundtrack to his show going on in the background. I don't chase buxom women around park benches or anything but he really did set the bar for silliness, didn’t he?

My five hobbits and I have one ‘set in stone’ tradition. Every Boxing Day we go to the movies to see the latest new release and if there’s anything Peter Jackson directed on the big screen… we’re there.

We’ve been to all the Lord of the Rings movies since 2001 and have loyally attended the last two instalments of The Hobbit, so it was a given as to where we’d be this Boxing Day.

At about 11 o’clock this morning I sent a flurry of text messages checking my own hobbits were all coming to the 2:30 pm showing of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Trying to track them all down was harder than shooting an arrow directly into Smaug’s soft spot but I managed it somehow and the Poinker hobbits (bar Hagar, who was channelling Bear Grylls and pulling in crocodile crab pots in some remote estuary) were locked in.

“Two thirty show’s booked out Pinky!” announced Scotto.

“Fudge- knuckle, Scotto!” I hissed.

Back I went, texting like a crazy lady and a 4:00pm show was finally agreed upon. Lulu’s friend and Tolkien aficionado, Sanri, wanted to come too so I booked six tickets. Sanri was to arrive at 3:30pm and drive Lulu, myself and Padraic whilst Jonah and Thaddeus would meet us there.

“Surely you're not going like that?” I said to nineteen year old Padraic, when he arrived and jumped in the back of Sanri’s car, shirtless and shoeless.

He held up a crumpled t-shirt as if to say, ‘Never fear,I have my tuxedo in hand, mother.’

“But what about shoes for God’s sake, Padraic?” I chided. “They won’t let you in without bloody shoes! Even Reading’s Cinema have a minimum dress standard!”

He was out of the car and back in a flash with a pair of rubber thongs he’d found on the veranda.

“I think I might have grabbed someone else’s thongs,” Padraic said, as we all tumbled out of the car after arriving at the cinema.

‘Mmmm,’ I thought. ‘My nine year old nephew Heinrich’s fudging thongs.’ Padraic's feet were hanging over the ends by a good 15 centimetres.

Padraic in Heinrich's Thongs

‘What the fudge,’ I thought. ‘More shame him.’

I’m used to walking about ten paces behind my kids in case anyone suspects they belong to me anyway.

Our online tickets were printed at the counter and I sent the girls and Padraic inside to save seats while I waited for Jonah and Thaddeus in the foyer.

Three minutes later Lulu was out to buy popcorn. “There’re no seats together, mother. It’s fully booked and packed inside.”

‘Great,’ I thought. ‘I’ll be stuck down the bloody front again with my neck snapped back in an unnatural, root canal therapy position.'

Thaddeus arrived and I gave him his ticket and sent him in to fight the wolves.

But where the fudge was Jonah? He was always on time! Mr Punc-tu-fudging-ality.

Before too long I spied his jaunty frame heading towards me, pausing at the snack counter to stare at the popcorn.

“Here, take your ticket, I’ll meet you inside,” I said and went towards the usher.

“Um… this isn’t a ticket,” she frowned at me. “This is just the receipt.”

“But…” I stammered. “I bought six tickets online. The other four people are inside and there’s just me and… him.” I gestured towards Jonah, salivating at the snack stand.

“Sorry,” she shrugged.

I sat on the leather seat in the foyer and sniffing away tears, sifted through my bag for a non-existent ticket, even though I knew it was a fruitless task. The fudge-wit at the ticket counter had clearly made a mistake.

“You go in love…” I bleated to Jonah. “I’ll just sit outside for the three hours. No matter.”

“Okay,” he shrugged, munching on his buttered popcorn and balancing his icy coke cheerfully.

I pictured myself lying on the foyer floor tracing the swirls on the carpet and counting bits of fluff and crumbs for the next few hours until security came and escorted me from the premises.

Then a miracle occurred… a fudging Boxing Day miracle.

“Ma’am?” said the usher, approaching me as I sat despondently on the couch in the foyer. “You can go in. It’s okay. I believe you. It says six tickets on the receipt and there are only four inside plus him, right?” she said gesturing towards Jonah.

“Yes!” I squealed, unable to believe someone was ready to cut the red fudging tape and break with protocol.

“I’ll bring them all out and introduce them to you afterwards!” I beamed at her.

“Not necessary ma’am. Enjoy the movie.”

Naturally, Jonah and I had to sit in the second row and I had a neck stiffer than a scotch on the rocks by the end of it, but we could see Thaddeus and wave to him because he was sitting in a seat for the disabled right behind us.

God knows where the other three were, but we got to see the movie together, sort of.

And whoever that beautiful usher girl at Reading’s cinema was… thank you and God bless.

Who would you choose to play you in a movie?

P.S. Drawing of Mortein prize pack still pending.