It was 1989. I was living with my mom at the time and everyone at my school was going ape s**t over this movie about some kids who get shrunk and have to travel across their backyard on the back of an ant. Being the age I was (around 8 years old or so), I guess I was kind of excited too.
But my mom was never a theater-goer. It was bloody hell to try and get her to take me to see a film. My dad always took me though, whenever I visited him. For Honey I Shrunk the Kids though, she made a bold exception.
I lived in some small town in New Jersey at the time and there was no theater there. We had to travel about 30-45 minutes away to find one. When we got to the theater, and found our seats, my mom sent me out for some popcorn before the movie started.
Now, when I was a kid, I was very much like the way I am now. I simply didn’t care about too many things, especially when it came to appearance. I even knew then that this is what I am stuck with and there is simply nothing I can do about it. My hair is absolutely crazy. Nowadays I keep it super short but back in 1989, it wasn’t so short. I probably looked Silvio from The Sopranos, if he got struck by lightning. Or Oda Mae Brown from Ghost.
I made my way to the popcorn stand and a typical 80s teenager was running the show. He was engaged in a heavy conversation with another employee, also probably in high school.
“Can I get a medium popcorn?” I asked the kid, while the other kid just kept staring at me.
“Sure little guy, you want butter on that?”
I nodded my head ‘no’ and he disappeared to go make it. The other kid kept staring at me. After a few moments of utter silence, he took a toothpick out of his mouth and said, “You know, they sell combs at Acme.”
Firstly, Acme was a really crappy grocery store in the same plaza as this movie theater. Secondly, I didn’t know how to respond. The kid making my popcorn told the douche to shut up. I finally got back into the theater and sat down.
I wasn’t quite hurt but it certainly ruined my viewing experience of this Rick Moranis classic. I couldn’t help myself from wondering why people gave a f**k about others so much. Perhaps, this being the 80s and all, my hair didn’t have enough hairspray or I wasn’t wearing enough neon to compliment it or something. Or maybe this kid was upset that I wasn’t wearing a Poison shirt.
Some things we can never be too sure of.