The Grape Candies of Wrath

26 04 2011

PopcornI don’t consider myself a free-loving hippy from the 70’s, but I know I get the munchies whenever I’m watching a movie.  There’s just something about a talking donkey and his ogre friend, or a vertically-challenged teen and his precious ring, that makes me crave a snack.

If you happen to be watching a movie in a theater, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that your theater probably has all of the things you want.  The bad news is that the price markup on that bag of Reese’s Pieces is worse than the cost to put a gallon of gas in your car.  Not only that, but a small bag of popcorn could easily force you to choose between buying the popcorn, or feeding your starving children.  Don’t even get me started on drinks.  For the price of a small soda, I’d rather have major dental surgery—and it would probably cost less!

All exaggerations aside, there is a clear price extortion that no one is immune from seeing.  Currently, the price of a small popcorn can set you back almost $5 at most theaters.  Add to that a small soda for $4, plus the cost of the movie tickets, and in no time you’ll be willing to sell a kidney just to make ends.  I hear you don’t need both kidneys anyway.

On top of the teeth-clenching price for that box of sour gummies, the portion you get probably wouldn’t be enough to feed tiny Tom Thumb.  Theaters entice buyers with promises of book-sized candy boxes, and instead give buyers plenty of air and plastic, but only half a box of candy.  I have enough air to breath, and I can’t eat plastic (my doctor told me to stop).  I think there’s actually more total cardboard than there is candy in the box.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without redeeming my ignorance by stating that I do understand why prices are so high on theater snacks.  Most readers are probably aware that movie theaters, along with the rest of the country, are struggling to pay their bills too.  The revenue that the theater receives from snacks allows the theater to keep movie-ticket prices lower.  Without the revenue that theaters receive from snacks, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy movies about the blonde spy with the cool cars, a lost fish and his dad, or the blue-skinned aborigines with cool hair.  Without snack money, the silver screen would be black, leaving all the men who forgot about Valentine’s Day with nothing to fall back on.

But is it too much to ask that my cookie dough bites be a little more candy, and a little less plastic, cardboard, and air?  At least then my snack craving would be satisfied while I’m on my way to sell my kidney.

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