I’ve mentioned before that when I was growing up I saw a lot of movies because my parents liked going to them, especially the drive-in. *sigh*, how I miss the drive-in days.
Anywho, some of the movies we saw included Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, Manhunter, The Shining and Friday the 13th, among many, many others. I’m quite sure I saw them at the drive-in, too, as I distinctly remember scenes from them on the huge screen. Now think about that for a second, I was a child when I saw these. Many of y’all know my age (or roundabout age).
I was 6 when Dawn of the Dead came out. Same with Halloween. I was 7 in the year of The Shining and Friday the 13th. 12 for Manhunter.
Fortunately for me, when I grew up, people were still responsible for their actions. Nowadays, anytime some dumbass teenager goes off on a shooting spree, they are quick to blame video games and movies. Not the parents who completely ignored the fact that their son was stockpiling an arsenal of guns and bombs in the garage. There is no limit to my disgust on what a blameless society the United States has become. The entire country is becoming pussified. But that’s not what this is about.
Anyway, my parents did a pretty good job talking with Joy and I about the movies we had seen. Like after watching Dawn of the Dead, my mother informed us that zombies were not real. Unless you were a bad child. Then you get dropped off at the mall. That sort of thing. But they also did the right thing during the movie, too. When someone was getting their innards chewed on, we were told to turn around and look out the back window. None of this “cover your eyes” bullshit, because one can still look between the fingers. So my mom would half turn in the front seat and keep one eye on us (to make sure we weren’t facing forward), and the other on the movie, so she could enjoy the evisceration going on on-screen.
One night (and I couldn’t tell you what movie it was), we were at the drive-in, and something bad was going down. So my mom told Joy and I to turn around. We did as we were told, and imagine our surprise when we saw another drive-in screen directly in our line of site. And it was playing a cartoon!!
Soon enough, the bad part was over, and my mother told us we could face forward again. Joy and I, though, were so engrossed in the cartoon we were watching, we didn’t care about the movie we had come to see. We didn’t even need sound. This was the best cartoon ever.
Eventually, my mother figured out we were still looking out the back window, so she crouched down a little to see what we were looking at. That’s when all hell broke loose.
“GODDAMMIT! TURN AROUND! TURN AROUND GODDAMMIT! STOP WATCHING THAT! STEVE! STEVE! MOVE THE CAR!”
Without saying a word, my father started the car and moved us so we could no longer see The Best Cartoon Ever. By this time, I think he was used to my mom’s outbursts and no longer questioned them.
My sister and I were confused into silence by her reaction. And by the cartoon we had been watching. It wasn’t until years later that I found out what the name of that cartoon was:
Fritz the Cat.
It should come as no surprise that it was Joy who informed me of the title.