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What Burns My Brisket
What Burns My Brisket? Movie Theater Applause
September 2, 2014

You know what really burns my brisket? Applause at the end of a movie.

ap·plause noun ə-ˈplȯz

:  marked commendation : acclaim (demonstrated by clapping hands)

So, whom are you applauding?  The ushers?  The guy who hit play?  Sure, there was a time when the reel was fed manually and occasionally required a mid-movie splice, but even that warranted an “atta boy” at best.   And long gone are those days, so that only leaves the people involved in the actual film.  Really?  Unless you’re at the premiere, seated between the lead actor and director, audible congratulation is absurd.

But chances are, however, that you, like me, are usually seated between an obese mouth-breather and a 40-year-old dressed as a character from the movie. Or as was the case when I watched The Avengers, someone dressed as Darth Vader.  Try figuring THAT one out!

And why is it that during moments of theatrical dramatic silence, the mouth-breather attacks his bag of popcorn like a famished raccoon?  I digress.

I rarely see comedies in the theater.  A 90-foot Will Ferrell doesn’t really enhance my viewing experience.  And I certainly don’t require his quips in surround sound.  So, if I’m going to spend the equivalent of a week’s worth of groceries on a bag of Skittles and two hours of film, it’s going to involve car chases and explosions.

Unfortunately, these are exactly the types of movies that elicit clapping from the mindless many. So, I spend the last 15 minutes dreading the conclusion of an otherwise delightful thrill-ride.

And I especially enjoy comic-book-based movies, but I have never read comic books nor do I identify in the slightest with those who have continued to do so over the age of 10.  So, I end up surrounded by a group of people that I view with a mix of bewilderment and slight fear.  And now I’m one of the few NOT in costume!

And so there I sit in the middle of what looks like a Halloween party in July. The movie ends.  The credits begin.  And so does the applause.

And that’s what burns my brisket.

– Tim



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