Sunday, August 03, 2003

A Field Trip to the Drive-In (And Other Impossible Situations)

Oh, the sick, perverse irony of life. Yesterday I blathered on and on in here about how my Corsica ended up giving me the silent treatment, losing its radio/tape deck/CD player. A real whine session.

Last night we had the brilliant idea to go the drive-in to see a double-header of Finding Nemo and Tomb Raider 2. We spent the early evening scrambling around getting ready. I popped some popcorn, the girls helped pack up the car with a blanket, four camping chairs, and a cooler (with grapes, cauliflower--Grace's favorite munchie on the Atkins diet--and some Ranch dressing to dip the cauliflower in). We scurried out of here a few minutes later than I would have liked, but we didn't forget to bring anything.

Or so we thought.

We stopped at a local beverage place to get cans of soda ("pop" in western Pennsylvania, but I refuse to call it "pop," ever) and were finally off. Made it through the construction on Route 60 and were quickly outside the drive-in waiting in line to turn in off the street and get into the driveway of the theaters. A worker was doing a walk-through telling us all that American Wedding was sold out, which didn't bother us, of course. In fact, all the cars turning around and leaving ahead of us got us off the street that much faster. We paid our cheap fees to get in and the ticket window worker told us to make sure to tune our radios to 97.5 FM to get the sound for our movie. (Each screen has its own radio frequency.)

I'm sure you all know where this is going by now.

Apparently the Dependable Drive-In folks [] like to cram cars into their screen lots. We ended up making our own spot, way down front (front row), way off to the right (almost up against the guard rail over the road below). I made sure all the windows were down before turning off the car. And, I instinctively reached for the radio dial to turn it to 97.5 ... F ... M ...

Rats. There was only a hole and some loose wires where my RADIO USED TO BE.

Somehow, the obvious fact that we'd have to bring a boombox with batteries in it had totally escaped me (and the girls) while I was popping popcorn and buying cans of soda, etc. etc.

After a collective smacking of foreheads, we decided to steal everyone else's radio noise by setting up our camping chairs by the car with the loudest radio. Worked quite well for Finding Nemo. Had no trouble hearing anything. That was the good side of having the place full of cars.

But, as usually happens with drive-ins playing two flicks, a nice handful of people (the ones with little kids who came mainly for Nemo) left at the intermission. Once Tomb Raider came on we had trouble finding a spot nearby to hear someone else's radio. Once Addie ended up in the back seat of the car half-asleep, we called it a night and came home -- about a half-hour into Tomb Raider.

For those of you not familiar with drive-ins and drive-in etiquette: Don't get the impression that we just chummed up to strangers. Most everyone brings camping chairs, mosquito candles, coolers, and blankets and sits outside their cars. I just love the atmosphere of the drive-in.

But I also love HEARING a movie I've paid to see, so it was best to leave early and learn our lesson.

(Note to self: Beg husband to reinstall tape deck in car ... ASAP.)

(sigh) It's been a long weekend. But fun.



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