Saturday Night At The Movies




It was 9.30 PM. Just when my wife had gone to bed, my ten year old son slipped out of his room to join me on the couch. It was as if he smelled that I was going to try out our new beamer. My wife bought this gadget in order to help us get through the Corona Crisis. Every night we look forward to watching a movie on the big screen, but we're exhausted.
But now it was Saturday night. I played a YouTube compilation of T. Rex scenes from Jurassic Park (with the sound off, as not to disturb my wife). Soon enough the jaw of a huge greenish creature is chomping away in our living room. It is raining hard. Two kids are upside down in a car spinning on its roof. T. Rex comes closer, attacks. The adults in the other car do nothing. T. Rex chews on the tires of the car, one by one he is biting them off. Finally, one kid manages to wrestle himself out from under the flattened roof. The other kid is stuck.
'Dad, can we watch something else?' my son said. 'This is boring.'
I wondered what I would have said to my dad when we saw Hitchcock's Psycho together. (We never did.)
Fortunately, I stumbled upon a live feed from the International Space Station, with a breathtaking view of the planet.
No response from my son. 'Listen, do you understand what this is? We're moving at an altitude of 400 kilometers, at 27.000 kilometers per hour. We're now right above the Indian Ocean.'
He was not impressed.
My last hope: a nature documentary. We've watched nature documentaries together in the past, on a regular screen, and we talked about what we saw, which was nice. This thing on YouTube was something like the best of Planet Earth. Ten minutes. Viewed by millions of people. And indeed, it is spectacular: mountain tops, icebergs, clouds blowing through valleys at high speed.
Meanwhile, my home movie theater companion yawned. I sent him to bed.
This morning, when we are having breakfast, my son tells me he had a nightmare.
'Really?'
'Yeah, it was about you and me running from monsters. They almost got you, dad. But I saved you.'
What a relief.