The Pictures Are Open
By sean mcnulty
I had a dream last night dat all de pictures in de world closed down because de government cudn’t be boddered wit dem annymore and all de video shops too and all ye cud get ta watch wur Glenroe and Neighbours and Carry On Matron over and over again – de end of de world.
But tankfully de pictures haven’t closed down and we’re on our way now ta watch de new Gremlins fillum – dat’s Dixon, McGurk and meself. I woke up from me end of de world dream expectin ta be called Gremlin all day because dat’s one of de nicknames Dixon has fur me but instead when he sees me he calls me...
--Gizmo. How’s it goin, Gizmo?
--Not too bad, Dixo.
--Don’t call me dat, he says.
So I stop callin him dat.
Dere’s a big queue of people outside de Adelphi Cinema. De last time I saw a queue like dis it was fur Roger Rabbit.
--I hope we get in, says McGurk. Hope it doesn’t get too full up in dere.
I’m hopin we get in too. But I’m not worried in de same way dat McGurk is. I’m worried dey won’t let me in because I’m too small. Gremlins is a 15. I don’t tink I pass fur dat age. De udder two will be okay. McGurk’s quite tall and dere’s already a mustache startin on Dixon’s face so he’s grand as well. I wish dey hadn’t forced me to jump ahead one year, skippin Junior Infants in de early days of school, because it’s made me so I’m forever younger and smaller dan de udder boys. It’s a nightmare bein smarter dan everyone else.
In de queue, a few heads in front of us, is Rory Prior. When he spots us, he slides back and starts to act all big boy on us even though he’s not much older.
--Whut are yiz goin ta see?
--Gremlins, I say.
--Ye won’t get in, hay, he says. Yer too small.
--Yer an asshole, Prior, so ye are, says McGurk. McGurk hates Rory Prior wit a passion, so he does.
--But ye never know, says Rory. Dey might let yiz in. Or if not, yiz can always sneak in. Just watch out fur de fella wit de torch.
--Have you ever done dat?
--I have. I snuk inta watch Fatal Attraction.
--And ye saw all de ridin?
--I did. I wus lucky dere wus no chap sweepin de aisles wit a torch dat day, so I wus.
--Yeah, says McGurk. Udderwise he wud have caught ye pullin yerself.
--I wudn’t worry if ye don’t get in though. Dere’s plenty of udder pictures on if ye don’t. De new Back to the Future. And Dick Tracy. Be tankful ye have a cinema to go to at all.
Rory den goes back to his place in de queue.
--Rory Prior’s full a shite, says McGurk.
We stand around fur a bit more, and we keep edgin a bit closer and closer to de doors of de Adelphi. I shud be getting excited. But actually I’m just getting more anxious about whedder dey’ll let me in or not.
Suddenly Mrs. Prior appears out of nowhere at de side of de queue. Shocks not only us but de whole lot of us lined up and especially Rory. She’s not wearin de normal vampire bride kit, de slinky black dresses. She’s got blue jeans on and a T-shirt. Still a ride.
--Cmere, yoo, she shouts, and she grabs Rory by de arm.
--Whut’s wrong? I’m goin to de pictures.
--Ye have to come home.
He doesn’t protest too long and allows her to drag him off home. Poor Rory won’t get to see Gremlins today. I hope I get to see it.
--Jesus, says McGurk. Mrs. Prior is scary.
--And a ride, says Dixon.
Eventually we get into de Adelphi. It appears more people are dere in de queue ta see de new Back to the Future fillum so dere’s plenty of room fur Gremlins. We saw de new Back to the Future fillum last week.
--Sorry, it’s a 15, de woman at de ticket box says to me. You don’t luk 15.
I hate bein de one singled out. It’s just as I feared.
--Okay, I’ll have one fur Back to de Future.
--See ya, Gizmo, chuckles Dixon, as he and McGurk slip off ta watch Gremlins.
I might be younger dan dem. And smaller dan dem. But at least I’m smarter dan dem bastids.
Fifteen minutes into Back to the Future, me balls get big enough to try and sneak into Gremlins. For dose fifteen minutes, I wus quite happy to put it off because even though I saw Back to the Future last week, I can’t help getting wrapped up in it again. It’s still good, so it is. But come on, wise up, I tell meself. Get yerself in dere. Dey’ll be expectin ye ta do it annyway because of what Rory said.
I steal in like de master shinobi, dancing in de shadows on me tippytoes. Dere’s no gremlins on de screen yet. Just people. So I haven’t missed annyting. Crouched down, I zip up de front, eyes goin left den right, scanning fur Dixon and McGurk. But I can’t find dem. It’s too dark. And it’s too loud.
Suddenly dere’s a torchlight behind me. And dere’s a big groan in de cinema from de audience. Nobody likes it when someone flashes a light around durin de fillum. I turn and dere’s a fella standing dere wit de torch shining straight at me.
--Here yoo, he whispers. Get out of here. Yer too small.
As I’m walkin out de doors, I hear Dixon and McGurk chucklin somewhere down de back. I can tell der chucklin from miles away.
Fur tea, we’re havin fish fingers and chip buddies, which is me favourite, so I’m able to put to rest de fact dat I didn’t get in to see Gremlins.
But after tea, I’m headin up to me bedroom when I hear de name Prior comin from de livin room. Me mudder and fadder are watchin de news on TV and de name Prior is bein said by de fella readin de news. I hold back and listen at de door:
The Republican radical, Patrick Prior, who escaped from prison in April and who has been on the run ever since, is today thought to have fled the country with his wife, Sophia, and children, Rory and Ethel. Armed Gardai, responding to claims that Mr. Prior had been spotted near the family home in Dundalk, Co.Louth, arrived at the residence at four pm this afternoon to find it empty...
Dat’s whut happend wit Rory. It’s mad dat I wus just talkin to him today and now his name is on de news. De RTE news. Dat’s mad.
And Ethel too.
I wonder if I’ll ever see dem again.
As I’m lyin in me bed, I tink about Ethel and Rory. Especially Ethel. I wus startin to tink dat maybe me and her wud get married when we get older. It seemed like dat’s de way tings wur goin.
I hope dey don’t end up in jail like der fadder.
And I hope Rory gets to see Gremlins eventually. I hope I get to see it too. Maybe someone different will be dere tomorrow and dey’ll be short-sighted and dey’ll let me in ta see it.
Whatever – it won’t be de end of de world. At least de pictures will still be open tomorrow and dat’s someting.