Day 06: The Greatest of Drive-In Experiences

Elvis fans go to Graceland. Trekkies have conventions.

I went to the drive-in.

But we'll get to that.

Amy spent the day taking part in the first of five days of professional development while Charlotte headed out for her next-to-last day of first grade. This left Anna, Mason, and me together for a day of sheer summer laziness.


But who am I kidding? Anyone who follows me on any form of social media knows good and well that after last night, my summer could end now and I'd still be on cloud nine. Maybe even ten.

There is a drive-in theater about 30 minutes away that continues to operate successfully despite the rapid decline of drive-ins across the country. Every Thursday throughout the summer, they'll take a break from their current features to show two "throwback" classics. Last night was the summer's first Throwback Thursday at the drive-in and it included a screening of the greatest cinematic feature ever created.

The Karate Kid.

Now I make no secrets about my love of The Karate Kid. For crying out loud, doing a search for "Karate Kid" on this site alone will get you 40 or 50 different posts from the past several years. From the time I saw it in the theater as a kid to last summer when I wrote a 30th anniversary article about the movie for mental_floss, there is no disputing the fact that I love The Karate Kid.

Don't believe me? Think again.

I've seen this movie hundreds of times -- literally hundreds -- but to say I was excited about seeing my favorite movie on the big screen for the first time since I was eight years old would be the understatement of all understatements. I mentally prepared for days in advance. What time should we get there? Will the sound be loud enough? What would I wear?

I considered wearing my read hoodie with my orange ringer shirt underneath, but just couldn't take things quite that far.

We arrived at the drive-in and secured our front-row spot (yes, I paid extra to guarantee an unobstructed view of the screen) and I promptly started scanning the crowd, judging the others who had come to watch my beloved Karate Kid. I realized that there were likely a few types of people in the crowd:
  • Kids who had never seen the movie before.
  • Adults who had and wanted to see it again.
  • People who thought they were there to see a Jaden Smith movie.
I thought about climbing onto the picnic table next to our car and fine-tuning my crane kick technique while we waited but decided to hit the snack bar instead. Remember a few days ago when I talked about needing to watch what I eat? I did an awesome job of that last night as I watched a bowl of "Frito Pie" get shoveled into my mouth.

About the time I polished off this Styrofoam bowl full of awesome, the sun had set enough that the previews began to roll.

It was almost time.


And then just like happened.

You can call me crazy all you want. You can say that it's just a movie and I'm blowing this way out of proportion. But you'd be wrong.

Everybody has something that they turn to to feel comfortable. For some people it's food. Others it might be a cup of hot coffee and a good book. For me, it's The Karate Kid and it's been The Karate Kid for as long as I can remember.

Cleaning the house and need something on in the background? Karate Kid.

Rainy day in college with nothing better to do? Karate Kid.

Thursday night at the drive-in with my wife? Karate Kid.

Seeing this movie on the big screen again was quite a treat. Almost surreal, really. I owe a big thanks to my wife for having the guts to tell me it was playing in the first place knowing full-well the craziness that would ensue (and to my father-in-law, as well, for hanging out with our kids so we could go).

But what did I take away for this experience? Sifting through it all and looking back on a night full of excitement and anticipation, if nothing else, I learned one valuable lesson.

Cigarette butts and chew do not belong in the urinal.

The Summer of Tim continues...


Bring The Needle Down. said...

Love it! What a great experience, nothing like going to the movies!

Rich said...

The summer of Tim just got awesome!

Derek Ash said...

In my mind you DID wear your hoodie and ringer t-shirt... and you DID perfect your crane kick on that picnic table.

It's what I choose to believe.

Shawn Robare said...