The last time I went to the movies I was a little stressed because the movie was getting ready to begin and I was still in line to purchase a snack. I don’t like being late for the movie. I like to be in my seat, ready for the movie, enjoying the coming attractions.
Even in this modern era of reserved luxury seating, which is pretty much the only way I go now, I don’t want to be the person stumbling in the dark in front of people who just reclined their pricey electric-recliner seat, and even though there’s way more legroom now in these reserved-seat joints, people still need to make an adjustment to let you pass, and I don’t want to interact with anybody in the auditorium.
Anyway, back to the snack line. It was early evening, and I had not had a worthwhile lunch, so I was debating on going ahead and committing to a large Coke and a swolt Post-Popcorn Belly and no dinner, or maybe going another way, which I don’t do very often at the movies, such as getting a hot dog or something.
So I was in unfamiliar territory; instead of being ready with my standard order of large popcorn large Coke, I was trying to figure out a food item that would be halfway-decent (to me), and not too much of a ripoff (like nachos), even though I never have a problem shelling out eight bucks or whatever for thirty cents worth of popcorn. This particular theater had, I think, a five-dollar hot dog, but also some sort of fried chicken sandwich, and as I was adjusting my eyeballs to absorb the chicken sandwich details, the whole goddamn screen blipped and was replaced with images of candy. All the screens! Who moved my chicken? I’m in a hurry, and I want to make a good snack decision bordering on meal replacement, and the venue is blocking my info so they can collect some money from candy advertising?
The menu blipped back to normal, and now I was angry, so I just figured I’d order a popcorn and coke, because I lost my place, and the large chicken sandwich graphic had been replaced by a tiny pizza or something else that I didn’t want, such as movie nachos. Total ripoff, never enough of a portion of chips or gloop, you have to order two for it to make a difference.
I scanned the panels to check on the popcorn sizes and noticed one of the anthropomorphic M&M’s characters was walking around inside the menu, and I’m fine with that, sure, go ahead and try to sell me an M&M’s while I’m looking at the other items, no problem, as long as you don’t interrupt my ordering.
So I was attempting to confirm if a large popcorn at this theater was a large popcorn or if it’s a giant bucket, and there were three representations of popcorn helpings-sizes, but there were four prices, and I wanted a large, not an extra large, and the type was yellow on white, which is not the most readable.
As I was deciphering the little flags next to the prices, BAM! It’s Cheetos time. All the info panels blotted out by an introduction to Cheetos Popcorn. Why, movie theater? You interrupted my popcorn with a complete takeover for Cheetos. You sold my attention to the Cheetos company while my attention was focused on exchanging money for products.
The attention economy already tries to steal your eyeballs with screen ads in the elevator and screen ads in the taxi and screen ads over the urinals, but now it is trying to steal your attention even from participating in economic activity.
I will never, ever, order this stupid Cheetos Popcorn that rudely interrupted my popcorn-ordering process. Whoever is doing this, you are making me angry at snacks, and you are impeding my attempt to consummate an act of Consumption!