Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Liberation has a price. $44 on Tuesdays. For this not so princely sum you can escape the worries of post earthquake Christchurch as long as you don’t mind large internal buildings sans windows.

I managed to execute a pocket of fun for four in the form of a mid afternoon session at the movies.

Going to the pictures at 3.40pm on a Tuesday afternoon was apparently “weird” according to the 19 year old; convenient to the school sharing 17 year old who was free in the afternoons and anathema to the hard working Dutch business owner.

Having managed to assuage their combined angst I ordered the tickets. Although restricted to those over 16, I decided we all needed a good laugh and booked “ Bridemaids” for the first time on line.

Getting the group to the theatre on time proved testing. A 3.30pm ETD from home coincided with school closing for the local Girl’s High School. Piled into our Suzuki Swift, vehicle pointed frontwards in our getaway car we waited patiently for the patriarch’s return laden with contraband snacks at the ready.

Running late due to an armed offenders road closure we soon bundled him into the moving car and sped off the 1.5km drive to the theatre. Parking could have been an issue if not for the expertly executed u-turn performed on Rotheram Street to snabble up the sole park available.

Clamouring up the escalators well into previews time we still had to pick up our tickets from the reception desk where they conveniently had one staff member on for the snakelike queues beginning to form. I spotted a fellow tardy fun lover in the queue for the same movie also in a state of extreme agitation. She took my bull by the horns and jumped the queue while I looked on open mouthed. Silenced by my fury and wary of self control issues, I sent in the self assured 19 year old to complete the transaction fortunately for the inept usher.

As the queue threatened to morph into an angry mob the lone teller proceeded to fill the popcorn machine. My ever so polite daughter reminded her back that the movie had started and could we possibly collect our conveniently purchased on line tickets, now.

Aforementioned aggrieved teller then casually swung back to her till, printed the tickets and left them languishing on the counter within snatching distance while she insisted on hand writing ”check ID” on all of them, suddenly suspicious of our motives.
Victorious, we ran at breakneck speed towards the viewing area right past the vacant check ID station into the theatre to the opening scenes of the movie and sat at the closest unoccupied seats available.

Having been removed from a theatre in Nelson previously for bringing in contraband, I was a little reluctant to brazenly empty the entire contents of my large bag immediately to my demanding 17 year old. I gingerly edged out the audible shrimp snacks packet for my impatient offspring, followed by homemade snack bars and bananas for the breadwinner and settled down to do some serious movie watching.

A lone male movie goer sat directly behind us rendering me slightly uncomfortable. I soon relaxed with the first round of laughs. Periodically I glanced over at the family’s reaction. They were entranced; giggling and chortling in group fashion to the outrageous antics being performed on the large screen before them.

As I had eaten before attendance; a two egg omelette in the car, I wasn’t all that hungry. But the sound of snacks being snacked on got to me. I put out my hand, confident as the food mule in my cut and was handsomely rewarded with three of the around two hundred snack sticks. Generous to a fault!

The movie waxed and waned as did our attention span over the next two hours culminating in a mad dash for another appointment where two of our family were required.

E.F.F (Enforced Family Fun) does take a little lateral thinking, cajoling and numerous texts, but it is worthwhile and the sort of thing you remember fondly in later years.

The afternoon was an unquantified success. I congratulated myself at bringing humour to my family on an otherwise humourless day in post earthquake Christchurch.

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