When I was a kid I used to love everything about going to the movies, except for the fact that I was poor as hell and couldn’t afford popcorn or candy. Once, when I was hella young I went to see Road Warrior (double feature with some other Australian made action flick that I barely remember) at a movie theater in San Pablo. It was dollar night (maybe $2 night), and so I was able to - finally - buy a bucket of popcorn. As I was walking to my seat I passed a row where a bunch of bikers were seated, drinking beer and being loud. One of the bikers stuck his foot out and tripped me. I didn’t fall, only stumbled, but more than half the bucket of popcorn spilled onto the carpet. When I say I was a kid, I mean I was closer to being a toddler than a teenager, but even at that age I regained my balance, turned around, and stared right at that scumbag who thought it would be funny to trip a little kid in a movie theater. The biker, who was actually wearing shades in the movie theater answered my stare with, “You better turn around and walk to your seat before something worse happens”, to which I responded, “Pffft”.
The moral of the story is that I used to have a big mouth as a kid, and I’m probably lucky nothing worse did happen, but the other point I wanted to make was that the cost of popcorn at movie theaters is ridiculously marked up, something like 700%. Now I wouldn’t want all movie theaters to close the way that so many of my favorite ones already have, but 700%? It’s so American to be like 700% or nothing, and it’s a bullshit mentality. Recently I was charged for some ear drops that I didn’t need at Alta Bates and the mark up was like 500%. You’re already reaming your patients by charging them a months rent to sit around and wait for some intern to write a prescription, can’t we chill on the $50 band-aids and $200 inflatable ankle braces? So crazy, and I could go on and on. Don’t even get me started on what a racket getting your car towed in San Francisco is. Life for most in this country, and especially in the Bay Area is a lot like trips to the movies when I was a kid. I love it here, but can’t afford it, and just when I think I’ve made some progress, a scumbag biker sticks his foot out and trips me right back to reality.