It was just about time to head home late Friday afternoon when a call was made to the Little Woman to see she could be talked into seeing "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" that night.
She had said for two weeks she had no interest in seeing that movie.
"It's just people dressed up in ape suits," she would say -- again and again.
"Have you seen the commercials?" I would ask. "They're awesome."
The stars must have been properly aligned on this day, because at the other end of the line was this soft, little voice saying, "Oh, all right ... let's go so see it if it will make you happy."
That's what makes a good marriage, a lot of give and take. She gives in to me, and I take full advantage.
I once convinced her to go see a vampire movie, promising her there would be no blood. Yeah, you can imagine how that one turned out.
So a few hours later we're off to the Showplace Six theater on North 33rd. We're running a bit late by my standards, because agreeable as she may have been, The Little Woman was dragging her feet getting ready. Showtime was 7:20 p.m., which in my world means you have to be at the theater no later than 7. There are previews and all the other preliminary material you have to see. You also need the proper amount of time to get popcorn and a Coke and get settled into just the right seats.
Being late for previews is like missing the first pitch of a baseball game.
By the time we parked the car and got inside the front doors, it was about 7:10 and I was getting nervous. I have never been late for the start of a movie in my life and did not want to begin with what I felt would be a classic film. I said, "Kath, you run over to the concession stand and get the snacks, I'll get the tickets."
As I approached the friendly fellow selling tickets, I smiled and said, "Two for the Apes, please."
The friendly fellow smiled back and said, "Sir, that's at the other theater, the one in the mall."
My heart sank, but I avoided panic. I ran in the direction of the concession stand, yelling at my wife, "Don't pay for it! Don't pay for it! We're in the wrong place!" (OK, so maybe I didn't run. But I did move quickly.)
About this time, she gave me The Look. You know, the one that can kill.
I told her I would go get the car and pick her up out front. As I ran through the lobby area (OK, still moving quickly), the friendly ticket-seller fellow yelled in my direction, "Good luck, sir! You have seven minutes!"
We established a land speed record between the two theaters. As we were taking a turn rather crisply, I heard something sliding around in the compartment in the back of my Kia Sorento where's there space to haul things.
"What was that?" quizzed The Little Woman.
"Nothing," I said. "It was nothing. There's nothing back there. How much time do we have?"
I dropped Kath off at the front of the theater and went to park the car -- again. When I got out, I thought I had better check the back of the Kia and see if anything actually was there.
Unbelievable. There WAS something there -- three bags of ice I had bought about an hour earlier at the supermarket and forgot to unload when I got home. They were slightly melted, but the back of the Kia was only a little damp. What do I do? It's a couple of minutes before showtime and I have a small glacier melting in the back of the Sorento.
I closed the door and ran into the theater.
"Uhh ... Kath, there was something in the back," I told The Little Woman. "Three bags of ice. I had forgot about them."
"Well. did you get rid of them or at least get them out of the car?" she asked.
"No," I said. "I left them. We can re-freeze them when we get home."
"Steve," she said, "it's 87 degrees outside."
I think she thought I had screwed up, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, we got into our seats at 7:22 -- and lo and behold, the previews were still going. We didn't miss a second of the movie, which, by the way, was tremendous. The Little Woman even admitted it was "pretty good."
When we got back to the car, I opened the hatchback to check on the glacier and, yes, we had meltage, but nothing that couldn't be sopped up after we got home. It was a small price to pay to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" with The Little Woman -- and get there on time.
Well, almost on time.