Remember the good old days of drive inn movies...
|The Drive Inn
Dear Readers Digest,
I am sending this to you per your request for bad experiences at the movies. A conversation I had with my daughter, started me thinking about the night I stopped going to the movies. So when I read your ad, I had to write and tell you about my experience.
My greatest joy in life is my daughter Lisa. Last week I was sitting in my Lazy Boy recliner, rocking her. She has the prettiest blue eyes and the most darling curly blonde hair.
“Mama, we saw the scariest movie at the mall, it was all about skeletons and monkeys and pirates!" Then she asked me with the cutest look of squint-eyed concentration, "Why don’t you ever go to the movies with us, Mama?”
“Lisa, honey do you know what a drive-in is?”
"Well that’s where you drive your car to a giant screen and you sit in your car and watch the movie." She looked even more puzzled than before, twirling her little curls around a finger.
“Mama had a bad experience at the drive-in and she hasn’t been back since. We’ll just rent some movies and watch them at home, OK Hon?”
"Well, OK Mama, but I think you're being silly,” Lisa said.
It was autumn and the sun was setting, casting a warm glow over the bay. My sister Mary was hot because our parents had insisted she and her boyfriend Ron, take me with them to the Drive-In.
I remember her threatening me, “You little brat, I’ll get you for this,” as we were leaving the house.
As we neared the car, I could see Mary could barely contain her anger and snapped "just get in!" I stuck my tongue out at her and made farting noises with it. I didn’t care whether she liked it or not. I was going. I loved vampire movies and this was going to be a good one, Christopher Lee, "Taste The Blood of Dracula."
My mother always packed us a big snack for the Drive-In. This time we had hot dogs, kept warm in a mason jar filled with hot water, along with some buns, mustard, ketchup, pickles, some cold pork and beans. On the way, Ron stopped at the IGA and got a six-pack of Stroh's and some Pepsi.
The details of that night are so clear in my mind. I even remember the sound of Ron’s black Toronado crunching through the gravel of the drive-in. Ron always got there early so he could get a spot near the screen. Just as we were settling in, the projection machine started up, showing us a commercial featuring dancing popcorn and singing candy bars. I always wondered why the light of the projection machine always looked like it was streaming through a fog.
“Can I have a Pepsi, Mary?” If you never tasted Pepsi ice cold, out of a glass bottle, you never really tasted Pepsi. The movie started and so did the necking. I covered my eyes. My sister Mary looked back at me and said, “Ha, ha look at the little baby.”
“I am not a baby!” I protested.
As I peeked through my fingers the female lead in the movie was bludgeoning her cruel father to death with a shovel and Ron’s hand was snaking its way under Mary’s blouse, “Mary's got cooties! Mary's got the cooties.” I loved teasing her.
“Just watch the movie Sheryl, and don’t you dare tell Mom and Dad, got it,” she demanded. She knew I wouldn't squeal. Just then the Pepsi started kicking in and I had to pee bad.
“Mary take me to the bathroom, I gotta pee,” I begged.
“Baby gotta go potty?” Mary said mocking me.
I wasn’t going to take that from her, no matter how scared I was, “Forget you, Mary.”
I'll show her, I'm gonna get a giant garlic pickle and I'm not gonna share.
I pulled the door handle and stepped out into the darkness, winding my way through the maze of cars; watching Dracula's twenty-foot face contorting as he hypnotized a girl on the screen. Once I got into the light of the concession stand I ran for the door of the bathroom and rushed into the nearest stall. I pulled down my drawers quickly, hopped on the pot…whoosh. Oh, that was too close.
When I stepped out of the stall I saw a lady facing away from me. She was dressed in a flowing white gown, her long white hair falling to her waist, she was moving her hands around as if searching for a light fixture in the dark.
“Are you alright, lady?” I asked.
“Come here and help my child,” the white lady's voice sounded strange as if it was coming from far away.
I went to her and reached out for her hand, she turned and, oh my god, her eyes are all white!
"Don’t be afraid, Sheryl, I’m blind, please help me,” the white ladies voice was soothing and compelling, “Give me your hand dear, please.”
I am being silly, Oh the poor woman, wait... how did she know my name! I started to back away slowly; her upper lip started curling up like a snarling dog’s, revealing two long sharp canine teeth. Her eyes staring sightlessly, her arms began clawing the air like a cat with a ball of yarn. I turned too quickly and tripped over my own feet. She rushed towards me. I scrambled up just as her arms snatched the air where I had lain. I ran screaming hysterically. A couple saw me and tried to grab my arm, "Hey slow down!" I had to get out of there. I kept running and running, scrambling, my feet slipping and skidding in the loose gravel. I saw the car grabbed the door handle, yanked it open and jumped in the back.
I could feel my heart thumping in my chest as I sat in the dark.
Mary said sarcastically, “What happened to you?”
”Let’s go, Mary,” I begged.
Mary knew how much I loved monster movies, it must have suprised her that I wanted to leave.
She looked back at me, “Are you sick? Sheryl, You're shaking all over.”
“Ron, can we go?”
Ron punched the gas and the tires crunched in the gravel, spitting rocks. “Yeah, sure, gotta get more beer anyway.”
Sincerely, Sheryl Brownie
PS. Dear Readers Digest, I swear it's true, I hope you don’t think I’m nuts.
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