Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drink paranoia

So we finally got to the drive-in on Saturday, and it was not without supplies.

That's right, we knew we'd be in for a three-movie night if everything went according to plan. This was a new drive-in for us -- the Mission Tiki in Montclair, rather than the Vineland in City of Industry -- so we didn't know how closely they monitored the rules. Theoretically, for the bargain price of $7, you were purchasing admission to a double-feature on one screen. Changing screens between movies, or staying to watch a third film when the first half of each double feature played again at 11:30, could be seen by some establishments as breaking the rules.

So we settled on the double feature of Gamer and A Perfect Getaway, hoping for an 11:30 bonus screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on a different screen. As discussed in a previous post, we didn't have any interest in Joe's partner, Robert Rodriguez' Shorts. Truth be told, our interest in Gamer and A Perfect Getaway was only marginally higher -- and having seen them, now I can say we probably would have been better off with the much-maligned Shorts. But at the time, we decided to fit a square peg into a round hole if we wanted to get to the drive-in this summer. We had to decide on something. So Gamer and A Perfect Getaway it was. (Never mind that the drive-in stays open into the fall, and possibly year-round. In our minds, it's quintessentially a summer thing).

Of course, if we were going to see all three, we'd need plenty to drink. And eat. But mostly drink.

And when I say plenty, I mean plenty.

You see, serious drink paranoia settled in upon leaving the house. This happens to me a lot when I'm gearing up for two+ movies. If it's in the theater, I stuff a backpack with liquid and solid treats, on the theory that I never know what I might want over the course of four hours. (Surprisingly, they don't seem interested in checking your backpack when you go to the theater. I could be trying to bomb the place and no one would be the wiser).

When you're driving your car in, on the other hand, it's a lot easier. You can literally take whatever you want. It doesn't have to fit into a backpack. You can basically recreate the semi-unlimited options of your kitchen in the back seat and trunk of your car.

So we got out the big cooler, and loaded ...

... and loaded ...

... and loaded.

During the break between Gamer and A Perfect Getaway, I decided to take inventory.

The cooler contained:

Four (4) Newcastle Brown beers
Two (2) Mike's hard lemonades
One (1) Lemonade-flavored Vitamin Water
One (1) 20-oz bottle of Sprite
One (1) 1-liter bottle of Ginger Ale (with cups for sharing)
One (1) bottle of Juice Squeeze Mountain Raspberry drink
Three (3) Sweet Leaf ice tea drinks, two (2) mint & honey and one (1) mango (we got four free cases off the back of a truck from some guys marketing the drink, who were too lazy to give them away individually)
One (1) Lizz Blizz (pina colada flavored) Sobe drink
One (1) can of Coke

But were these 15 beverages enough? Oh no, not by a long shot. Not nearly enough caffeine represented there.

So after we stopped at Quizno's to pick up our sandwiches (and an individual bag of salt n vinegar potato chips for me, which will seem all the more ridiculous in just a moment), I made sure to stop at a gas station to stock up some more. (They only sold Pepsi products at Quizno's, and I wanted a Coke. The aforementioned can was purchased specifically for my wife. She likes them in cans, I like them in bottles. Somehow we make it work).

A superfluous stop at the gas station could have been a dangerous move, because we thought we could be running late. Once at the old drive-in, we got caught in a long line of cars outside the theater and had to choose a different movie that started later. This time, it worked out fine, but if it hadn't, my drink paranoia would have been to blame.

So at the gas station I purchased:

One (1) 1-liter bottle of Coke
One (1) 20-oz bottle of Mountain Dew (I wanted Mountain Dew Code Red, but they didn't have it)

Oh, and I also purchased:

One (1) bag of Twizzlers
One (1) bag of peanut M&Ms
One (1) Twix

And why was this so ridiculous?

Because in our possession, for food, we already had:

One (1) half-finished bag of Snap Peas
One (1) unopened bag of orange slices (the gummy candy)
One (1) unopened bag of Parmesan, Garlic & Herb Trader Joe's Pita Chips
One (1) tupperware container containing approximately 15 Trader Joe's dark chocolate mint creams
One (1) half-finished bag of Righteous Rounds chocolate chip cookies
One (1) unopened container of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Crisps

And of course our sandwiches. I got a large. My wife was smarter and thought smaller.

And don't forget that miniature bag of salt n vinegar chips just to top it all off.

I guess that doesn't quite top it. I was also drinking a mango Sweet Leaf iced tea on the drive out, which I insisted on finishing before getting to anything else.

So did we drink and eat ourselves into a coma?

Nah. I'm sorry to say that we made a pathetic dent in our supplies. In fact, the sandwich pretty much filled me up, though I dutifully finished the chips as well. In Gamer I drank the bottle of Coke, and was rummaging around trying to find the Twizzlers buried under pillows and blankets in the back seat when the movie mercifully ended. I found and ate the Twizzlers during A Perfect Getaway almost to prove to myself that they were a logical purchase. I also drank one of the four beers, well, because I could I guess. You'd figure I'd really need sustenance for when G.I. Joe started at 11:30, but strangely, I didn't even drink a single beverage during its running time. Though I did bust into the orange slices, because I love those damn things. I did open the Mountain Dew to get me through the hour-long drive home at 1:30, but drank only a couple sips, and eventually finished it over the course of three sittings. My wife's consumption ended up being even more modest than mine, so I won't mention it.

So what did we learn?

Well, nothing, really. I'd say it was a learning experience if some of the stuff had gone bad and we'd had to throw it out. But the sloshing ice in the bottom of the cooler kept everything in good shape. The Twix did get a little melted at some point, but I think that must have happened while sitting on my kitchen table on Sunday. We shared it last night after hardening it up in the freezer a bit. The rest of everything else has rejoined our refrigerator or pantry, none the wiser for its brief role as concession insurance at the drive-in.

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