Monday, June 25, 2012

Etiquette at the Drive-In

What is Etiquette?  This is how you behave in certain situations.
Your table manners are etiquette.  Speaking with people requires etiquette.
How you behave in a group or social setting is.... say it with me...Etiquette.

This is an example of how etiquette was not observed.

Our group of SAHDs went to a drive-in movie.
The new Pixar movie BRAVE had just come out.
And the double feature movie was The Avengers!
We brought the whole family.  Moms also.

The Warden, kids and I arrived just after 8pm.
Which means we had an hour until sunset and the movie was to start.
We pulled in line next to Hossman and family, and a few KCDADs.
Then more of the KCDADS joined us.
Our group took up almost half a row!

We watched BRAVE and the little short that Pixar put before the movie.
We all loved it.  The characters and scenery were awesome.
Yes.  I know it's animated.  Doesn't mean I have to like it any less.

After the first movie, a lot of the kids were tired.  And well they should be.
After all, it was 10:30pm!  A few of the parents were tired too.  With getting up early to take care of the kids, anyone would be.
Hossman and family followed almost all of our little group out.
The only ones to stay moved their car closer to us.  It was a better view anyway.

Then just before the next movie started, a car pulled up on the other side of us.
No big deal.  I waited for them to turn off their engine and wait for the movie to start.
They didn't.
I figured they were just pausing to hit the restroom before leaving.
Nobody got out.

I don't know about you.  But I go to a drive-in to hear the movie.  Not the car next to us.
So I walked up to the driver's side window (tinted) and tapped on the glass.
A young lady rolled it down and I politely asked her to turn her engine off.
The man in the passenger seat leaned over and looked at me.
knowing they had both heard me, I walked back to my van.

I stood outside the back hatch of the van and listened.  I listened for the music over the speakers.
I listened for the cars racing by on the highway just beyond the trees.
I listened to just how much I could hear the car in the stall next to us.
While I stood there, I noticed that the breeze from the south, would blow the heat from the engine over to us.  I could smell the exhaust from the car.

The Warden had taken our daughter to the restroom.
The dad that stayed had taken his son.
So there I am with Monkey and someone else's wife and child.
I decided to try one more time.  I walked over to the car and again, knocked politely on the window.
I saw the light go on inside and watched the man get out his door and shut it.
I asked again for them to turn off the car.  I told him about the heat off the engine.  The exhaust blowing our way.

He said the car was quiet.  I told him I could still hear it.  I wanted to hear the movie.  Not their car.
He told me to go the F*&# back to my van.  I asked him to be polite and turn the car off.
He said he was polite.  I informed him that being polite does not involve cussing.
He told me to leave if I knew what was good for me.
I said there were other spots to park, we were here first. If you wanted Air-conditioning, go to a theater, not a drive-in.
I walked back to my van.

After The Warden and Princess got back from the restroom, I went inside the concession stand to get a soda.  I asked a person who worked there if they had a policy about turning the engine off during a movie.
He said he didn't know and walked over to one of the older workers.
After I bought my soda, I looked at the worker.  All I needed was a "Yes we can do something", or a "No, not unless they are really disruptive".
The worker walked with me to the exit.  He said he would "Look into it."
He followed me out to my car.  I told him I was in the silver van and the car next to us was the one running.
He walked out to the car, which was still running and asked me, "Is it this car?" (a real genius here)

He walked over to the driver's window and talked to them.  I heard laughing.  Not a good sign for me.
He walked back over to me and said that the couple wasn't being disruptive and there was nothing he could do.
We stayed for about an hour.  Then The Warden said her asthma was acting up and we would have to leave.  The Princess was done too.  Monkey wanted to stay and watch.  So did I.
So we packed up the chairs and food.  Climbed in the car.  And listened to the movie for the first mile down the road.
After we got home, The Warden said she wished I wouldn't do things like that.  I might get shot.
I figure if I get shot over something like that, the other guy is an idiot.

So tell me.  Am I being unreasonable?  Should I have not asked the people in the car to turn their engine off?
They can run the A/C without the engine, right?
I am sure I left out parts to this story.  But the point is the same.

Have some manners.  Use etiquette.

And don't be an ass.


  1. Sounds like it is time to start posting reviews of that drive in, focusing on the fact that the admin does not care about the health of its customers and refuses to do anything. Talk up the bit about your child's asthma acting up and them laughing at your problem with it.
    hmmm Actually, i would contact the company. Directly. I've found most of the time, if I directly contact the company, I get results. Start off with this phrase "before I do anything else, I'd thought I'd let you know this happened." see what the managers/higherups do. If they do nothing, you can then add that to your review. And you can post that review on a LOT of web sites. And it would be 100% accurate. This might even be the thing that causes change. Ignoring it doesn't benefit ANYONE. I would have also gotten the name of the man who went out to talk to the car and laughed at me so I could include it in the report/review.

  2. PS: adding the fact that there were HOW many car loads of you there that won't return if this is the sort of behavior that the management obviously accepts/condones?

  3. Thank you for the advice Ray. However I am not going to pan the Drive-In over one jerk, threatening a dad out with his kids.
    I have talked to the owner's grandson, who helps run the Drive-In. He apologized for the lack of action on the employee's part.
    And remember, I was being nice to the other patron. I did not mention his foul mouth or his threats to the operators. I just asked if there was a policy on having the engine running during the movie.
    And remember. The guy I talked to is just an employee. Doing a part-time job.
    I will not be so kind to the next guy who spouts threats.