Only a few days ago my husband and I did something most people from our generation were doing in their teens, early twenties at the latest (legally, you had to be 18 but I'm sure many weren't). I have to wonder if we would have done it with more abandon back then, when we were a little more daring and open to... well, I still don't know what. I'm not even sure I would have done it with him. In fact, it might have been with a female friend. And we might have worn wigs.
We went to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I need to say right here and now that I felt especially sorry for the theater personnel assigned to clean-up after the movie. Also, I was sad at the complete waste of toilet paper.
This was for charity – specifically Make-a-Wish - honestly, the only way you could get me there. From the first flick of rice thrown our way (down my shirt, in S’s ear, somehow in our shoes) to the toast, where the audience literally threw toast (who brings toast to a theater??), it was wacky, weird, and completely haphazard.
The jury is still out as to whether I can say I enjoyed it. Any of it. No, really - I'm still not sure. Well yeah, eating Meat Loaf for dinner, that there was funny. Really gross but funny.
Obviously the critics disagree with us. For instance, here's one from 2005: "Those who gave this gem a low score - Please! Crawl back in your cardboard life and stay there!"
Well, allrighty then.
The thing is, I’m not convinced I would have “gotten” it in the late 70s when I was a teenager and everyone around me saw it, some several times. I may have even known people who would sing along and dance in the theater, armed with water guns (and newspaper hats for theaters that allowed water guns), rice, toilet paper, cards, and (of course) toast for every showing. But this was not water bubbler chatter at the bank where I worked after high school. In fact, my only exposure to this movie back then was a scene in the movie "Fame." Ironic, huh?
What baffled both S and me was that the audience was yelling at the screen. Really? I got some of the references – but several shout-outs were just plain obnoxious. I suppose it didn’t really matter that they were drowning out the words because none of it made sense anyway.
Have we gotten old? Are we just some fuddy duddy couple who should join a knitting class or maybe a cat lovers’ organization or something? Is there some old person significance to the fact that we went to the early showing at 7 p.m. because it would be over before we go to bed?
I would like to think not. Being among the minority who did not jump up to dance and sing along with "Time Warp" doesn't mean we don't have a sense of humor. We just tend to like humor with some kind of - oh I don't know - sense. It was bad enough that I had to climb over an extremely buxom female in a skimpy french maid's costume to get to my seat (with my back to her because there was no way I was doing this face to... umm... face), but then the crazy lady dancing next to me almost "jumped to the left" right into my lap, just before she lost her balance (allegedly without the assistance of alcohol) and fell into her seat.
By the way, I really tried to nonchalantly get a picture of the chick in the maid's costume, but it would have been too obvious if I used the flash. Wow. I'm worried about being obvious over someone who could've taken out an eye with the way her body parts were hanging out of that outfit.
So I read up on the history of RHPS (that's what all the cool cult fans call it) and found out that most of what happens during the show was developed basically by accident over the first two years of its debut. In other words, it was all right that we were completely lost - there is absolutely no cue for the audience to follow. Supposedly, you either know of its history and when to chime in with props and haranguing, or you do not.
We did not.
I did read that it took a year for RHPS to even begin its rise to cult status. Oh, and the release date for the midnight showing in New York - the one that really started it all - was April 1, 1976. See? It was made to be one big joke that we kinda sorta didn't get.
I make no excuses for neither of us being up on RHPS protocol - we were under 18 when it debuted and it was simply never on our bucket list, apparently. That doesn't mean we are not a wild and crazy couple.
Just to show how wild and crazy we really are, S signed us up for "Sex, Murder and Mayhem," an adult themed walking tour of Saco (originally scheduled for this past Friday and moved to later in the month). Kids, you are not invited. I can't wait to learn about the seedy side of our little city while walking in the dark past areas that weren't fit for travel years ago.
Oh, and the best part is - it's over by 8 p.m. - a whole hour before bedtime.