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Monday 6th January 2014


We've been using this slight island of downtime to go to the cinema a bit more than usual. Tonight we risked the second part of the Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug, which I was expecting to be a bit of a bum-number (making my bum numb, rather than it being an actual bum-number, which would presumably be a number 2) and perhaps that expectation meant that time actually passed quicker than expected. Though we missed the very start because my wife was taking things very casually. She doesn't like the adverts and the film trailers so much, so is quite casual about film start times, always adding 20 minutes to them. I told her that in this case, because the film was so long, that I suspected there wouldn't be quite so much filler at the start, but she didn't care. As I waited for her outside the loos I wondered how much time I had spent in our six year relationship (it's about six years to the day since our first proper date) waiting around for her. You know what women are like fellas, am I right? Is this thing on?

It's not that she's particularly fussy or slow with getting ready for stuff or doing her ablutions, it's mainly that I am very unfussy and quick and always keen to be as early as possible for everything in case of emergencies. Which makes it all the more painful for me as I am hovering in the doorway of our house and she's still up in the bedroom or if I've finished my meal fifteen minutes ago and she's still working her way through her started. If I added up all those minutes lost over six years think what I could have done. I think I might be able to have had a complete over marriage with another woman, if I had synchronised things very carefully. I could have watched a quick film with wife 2 whilst wife 1 was in the loo, or popped out for a pre-dinner dinner with wife 2 whilst wife 1 was drying her hair. There are two of me, as you know, so I am sure I could have made this work if I'd only thought of it sooner. I would just need two entrances to my house and pretend to each wife that the other door that we never went through was not in use.

Anyway as we approached the screen I bet my wife £100 that the film would have started. She, confident that there would be 20 minutes of trailers, took the bet, but I was right. As all our money is shared it was a Pyrrhic victory, but it's worth writing down because I think this might be the only time in our entire relationship that I have been right about anything. It shocked me a bit to be honest, so I couldn't enjoy it, assuming I'd made some kind of mistake.

Although we were still pre-titles there is no way of knowing how much boring dialogue between a dwarf and a wizard we had missed. The film might have seemed short to us only because we'd managed to chop off the first hour. I don't know.

There's no need to point out to anyone that it's fucking ridiculous that this tiny book has been stretched out to nine hours and three films, but I am going to point it out anyway. It means that much of the time is spent watching a video game, played by an admittedly highly proficient nine year old. Which is fine. Sometimes it can be fun watching a video game played with skill, but there was very little jeopardy. It must be scary being chased by an army or orcs, but less scary when you realise (and there's a spoiler alert necessary here, but only if you're an idiot) that in these three hours the orc army (as far as I can see) managed to kill zero elves or hobbits. One hobbit got hit by an arrow, but the orcs were so aware of their own ability to kill anything that they'd even soaked that arrow in poison as a belt and braces approach to slaughter. "Let's face it, the best we're going to manage here is hitting someone in a limb - shall we put a very slow acting poison that can be easily cured by a weed on this to give us a fighting chance?" That lack of genuine jeopardy and the essential infallibility of the elves and hobbits made for a pretty dull story. I am going to watch part three, obviously, because I am a prick, but if that dragon doesn't kill a single thing then I am going to be annoyed - he's been fucking shit at killing things so far (spoiler alert).

But it was nice to see Tim from the Office doing so well for himself (and we made it a bit of a Tim and Batchofcum evening by going home to watch Sherlock afterwards (I enjoyed that a lot more than the first episode, but would rather see a little less "comedy" and a bit more crime-solving, though we got there in the end).

At the cinema it was the third time in the three attendances of the last week that the experience was slightly spoiled by people chatting. I know this is a perennial issue and something probably more noticeable when you're middle-aged (and thus no longer the one doing the chatting) but it's been a proper distraction for me on these last few outings. I should have been brave enough to ask the lads behind me to shut the fuck up, but I feared them stabbing me in the face. Someone else finally hissed at them (only after they'd been going on for a long time and their chatter had become constant) which made things mildly better. But who knows how many unlikely elf-leaps over moving barrels I had missed out on. I hope the kid playing the video game can do as well if I come and see him play this game again. It must be quite a responsibility to have to make it come out perfectly every time. Now I think about it I wonder if he actually made an error when that one dwarf got shot in the leg. I may have to go and see it again to check.

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