The lights dim, the previews roll, and the hushed movie theater audience is completely oblivious to the deviously valiant act I’ve just executed. The movie about to play may be some wacky summer crossover where the Flintstones meet the Jetsons, or in this case Oskar Schindler commands a battleship to destroy the Bismarck, or something equally dumb, but, however, this trip to the movies will forever be known as my personal hunger games.
Rewind, backtrack, okay, fuck, I’ll just tell you the goddamn story. The Internet crashed at the apartment. Well, no, it didn’t crash. It only crashed in the sense that I didn’t pay for it and they turned it off. After several futile attempts to use my imagination to masturbate or amuse myself (six in one, half-dozen in the other) I decide I need to leave. The movies seem like the best option, because, like everyone, I enjoy spending hours on end sitting and eating in the dark while I watch violence on a novelty-sized screen.
At the movies there are a two things I simply can’t stomach. The first is Carrot Top, who is now employed as a ticket taker at my local theater. The second, of course, is the price of food at the movies. The movie theaters have, and know they have, a monopoly on food and my Baltic Avenue-esque bank account isn’t going to feed my hungry mouth enough.
My choices for provisions have narrowed, and only now it dawns on me the amount of preparation required for this conquest. Yes, that is correct, a grocery shopping I shall go, and yes, this is opportunity, fate, and destiny pounding on my front door.
Ask not whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
The grocery store is a palate and I am the blank canvas. I roll up my shirt and start licking Jujyfruits and Sour Patch Kids and begin sticking them on my belly where they are engulfed by the lush forest of body hair; a once happy trail that has matured into a eight-lane super highway, but still maintains that same chipper and cheerful demeanor of its youth. With my torso nearing a solid mosaic of chewy candy, I procure some licorice rope and begin fastening some of the smaller Lunchables and Snack Packs to my legs and undercarriage.
With the fundamentals out of the way I’m ready to get experimental, no, like even more experimental than being the scantly clad adult-baby covered in candy and yum yums who’s running through the grocery stores clamoring about movie times and epic conquests.
I start unwrapping Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Roll-Ups by the box load. Using their sticky surface and my adhesive saliva I’m able to fashion these into a delicious, colorful undershirt that resembles a garment that a morbidly obese person at Burning Man would wear before wadding it into a ball and jamming it into their food hole.
Now at the precipice, I can go to the movie with the modest haul that I have or I can take the plunge. I’m staring down a pair of Hot Pockets and, even though this is the frozen food aisle, I begin to sweat from the near-tectonic pressure and magnitude of this moment.
My hand quivers and my eye twitches involuntarily. I take a deep breath and in one swift motion whip both Hot Pockets out of their box and into a handy sandwich bag before packing them into my “hot pocket”—and by all that I mean I put a pair of microwavable turnovers in a plastic bag that I jammed in my freakishly long butt crack. According to the instructions on the box they each requires baking for twelve minutes at 350 degrees to me ready. So, if my body temperature stays at ninety-eight degrees and I have two of them in my back oven, I’ll just need to leave them in there for about an hour and fifteen and they’ll both be perfectly cooked, right? . And yes, I refuse to get fevers and I regulate my body temperature at ninety-eight degrees out of respect to my favorite band, Dad!
Oh, fuck, I forgot to put the crisper sleeves on them!
I leave some change on the counter, but I think actually just leaving the store without an employee having to touch me is more than enough payment for that grocery store. The heat outside has increased and I’m feeling hotter not that I’m wearing a layer of candy under my clothes.
The siren song of Burger King is calling; the King knows I can’t resist cheap meat and the stop becomes necessary since the heat has me sweating through all three layers of clothing including my Fruit Roll-Up shirt. I think I may need to check the Hot Pockets, as they may end up being boiled with the way butthole is sweating.
Burger King is an oasis: air-conditioned and within striking distance to the cinema. I buy three Whopper Juniors and conceal them within my stomach. Why, you ask? Well, because (A) I wanted to be sneaky, (B) I had nowhere else to put them, and (C) I have no self-control at Burger King.
I saunter into the theater lobby with the most normal looking human face on. Seriously, I am edgy and tense. I stumble over my words and probably seem weird for being the guy there by himself that’s here to see Battleship at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday. I am nervous; the punishment is steep, but, hey, no risk no sweet reward. I can safely say I now know what it is like to be a drug mule.
After my longs day’s journey into afternoon I am here. Fortunately, no one is sitting by me, but that may more have more to do with the sweating, wheezing, and , because I indiscreetly coughed a bunch of mouth goo onto an old Jewish woman on my way in. I love the lack of company, for I have reached my Mecca, my Everest Peak, my end of the Oregon Trail computer game and now I will relish in the spoils.
I have scaled the mountain, and goddammit do I love the food up here.
Post Script: About forty minutes into the movie I start throwing up violently. It’s really anyone’s guess as to why, since at this point I have eaten about three-thousand calories worth of candy off of my body and sat through forty minutes of Battleship.