I stared like a deer caught in the headlights.
"And we were wondering if you two wanted to come along as well?" asked Mrs Short Tony.
"Errrr... ummm... hummmm.... ahhhh..." I stalled. "What, actually to the cinema?"
"Jonny never wants to go out these days," complained the LTLP.
I was stung by the unfairness of this. "I've never wanted to go out," I protested. "I only pretended when we were first going out, in order to get you into bed."
A short embarrassed pause later, and we had agreed to go and see 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' at the local picture house.
I quite like films, but I don't like going to the cinema, although I perk up when I get there. The Evil Hollywood Studios have used their sinister liberalism to brainwash whole generations of people that 'going to the cinema' is an exciting and fun evening out in itself, whatever movie is playing. Whereas I, having learnt a lot about corporate manipulation from my all time hero, Blake in the first episode of 'Blake's Seven' - The Way Back - am strong enough to fight this. Buying overpriced soft drinks and watching adverts does not add to the experience of seeing a movie.
Plus, as Short Tony pointed out, there was no guarantee that we wouldn't turn up to Fakenham to find that the film that had just reached these parts was the Gene Wilder version.
We waited in the queue whilst the cinema staff put fresh sticky stuff down on the floor of the theatre, and I surveyed my surroundings. We appeared to have gatecrashed some form of school trip - aside from the odd harassed mother, I was twice the height of everybody there except the LTLP and Mrs Short Tony.
An over-quoted man once said that 'half of my advertising budget is wasted - the trouble is, I don't know which half!' which was stupid and smug. After the ninth car commercial that preceded the movie, I decided that I should write to him to explain what the audience for PG films tends to be, and how I had quite a good idea of the half that he was talking about. Then there was an advert for coco pops, which was more appropriate but I prefer the original tune.
The movie started, and I have to say that I quite enjoyed watching the little brats get their comeuppance due to their greed and gluttony. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear much of the dialogue due to the cacophony of rustling, munching, chewing and slurping that was echoing round the room.
It was quite a good film, although if the Bucket family was really so poor then I think Helena Bonham Carter could have easily worked out a way of earning them more money, if she were not such a prude.
I would definitely advise my readers to watch it when it comes on to the television.