When my wife mentioned she badly wanted to catch a show I realised it had been roughly 20 full moons ago since we caught one. How is one going to manage a baby, a pram, 1 milk bottle and a bag full of baby toiletries in a theatre? I would like to point out Adiddas’s current marketing tagline, “Impossible is Nothing” is a total BS (bullshit) in this context. No one can manage a new born baby in a cinema.
Years ago, the forum section under the local newspaper sparked a big debate. Some idiots actually brought their babies to the theatre complete with prams parked alongside the seat aisles. Fellow Singaporeans have been accusing these parents as inconsiderate, selfish and dumb sods. Being the carefree much younger designer without parenting responsibilities, I couldn’t care less. All I cared was where to hang out on a Friday night and how to hang a crying baby when I am watching X-Men. Heck, I even almost agree to the insensitive comments hurled at those parents.
Now I can empathise with the accused.
I too, badly wanted to bag a heap of popcorn in a cinema watching the latest blockbuster. But with a baby daughter lugging around during our every available off days, this can only be happen in dreamland. Yes, even a simple leisure such as catching a show is merely a talk in the air these days. Parenting does come with many things, joy, excitement, fun, and of course sacrifices.
So you can imagine the ‘shiokness’ when my wife and I were slumped onto the seats of Cathay Cinema yesterday during an office afternoon hour (We decided to screw work and just go for it). A lover’s combo means a bag of popcorn and 2 soft drinks, and that was just what we had... but alas it was not for long.
Barely 20 minutes into the show, Ben Stiller was just trying to budge into the archive levels of the museum (We were watching Night at The Museum 2), and then everyone sitting in the theatre were asked to move our ass out of the cinema promptly.
A fire had broken out. The whole mall had to be evacuated. Sluggish and annoyed cinema goers thronged out of the multiplex to be greeted with a smoke-filled shopping centre. And suddenly everyone wasn’t so sluggish anymore. Everyone was becoming excited! How often do you get to be trapped in a fire broke out mall on a Friday afternoon? Especially when you haven’t been to a cinema in eon years and you finally decided to skip work to catch your favourite movie only to be kicked out of the theatre seats you barely warmed (pointing the finger at myself of course). And imagine if you were doing your mani and pedicure and you had to be ushered out of the shop dripping nail polish. What about those in the salon having their hair colored mid way? Hordes of them would be scrambling out of the shop in multi-colored procession. How totally awesome is that?
In the midst of evacuation, I saw kay pohs snapping photos everywhere with their cam phones, I saw excited aunties excavated from hair salons still combing their wet hair as they sashayed down the escalators, and I witnessed SCDF fire fighters with their water hoses combing the top floors of the mall as my wife and I descended from the topmost cinema level among the crowd. I only had one thought in my mind then, “I don’t want to die.” And the imagery of my daughter’s face hogged my entire vision. I kept thinking “I don’t want to die...”
Perhaps to kill off the dramatic scenario, what I saw when we climbed down from the higher floors to the lower basements was business still going about. It was quite clear smoke had reached these areas but most shoppers maintain indifference. Wow, this is the true Singapore spirit I thought to myself. Never mind the chokiness I can manage, but take away my shopping and I will die. Instead, let me die shopping. All right folks, you can continue to hunt for your bargain blue ray DVDs; I still want to be alive to see my daughter.
Both the missus and I scrambled out of the mall and drove out of the car park like a pro racer. In the process of it, I renacted Vin Diesel in the movie “Fast and Furious” pulling off a car park stunt because a fellow driver was stuck at one of the exit gantries with a undervalued cashcard. I had to swerve out of the queue and cut into another gantry lane like a GTR racer. Yes, a rather selfish act it seems, but returning home to Baby Angel with a full intact body was my priority, besides I did it with a skill act that could have put Vin Diesel to shame, ahem, because I did it without obstructing any fellow motorists. (Alright, I suppose any lame excuse counts when one is scrambling for his life)
Outside, we saw 2 fire engines and the excavated crowd. Interestingly, we saw some more cars trying to drive into the mall. Yeah, long live the Singaporean shopping spirit, my deepest salute to fellow countrymen with such steely determination with regards to credit card abuse.
Finally, we arrived home safely with a cup of ‘Zapple’ still in hand. And more than happy to greet our baby Angel with opened arms. This is indeed one extraordinary Friday afternoon for us. We might really have a higher chance striking the 4D, like I said how often do you encounter a fire while catching a show. Speaking of which, the missus is still sore over the incomplete movie outing. But that's gonna be another excuse for another slack afternoon...
Probably “Angels & Demons”?
Yeah, it’s gonna be Vin Diesel meets Tom Hanks. (guffawed laugh) Well, I can sense the mockery coming from you guys already...