I just returned from a place I hardly ever visit. No, not the tie store. The movie theater.
I rarely go to movie theaters because of the cost, the crowds, the noise, the distractions and because with today's technology movies can be almost as explosive in the living room as they are in the theater. Plus, movie theaters seem to have some issue with pausing movies while I go the the bathroom.
But it was rainy, and a nearby town had a slew of pretty good movies at their discount theater, where the movies are just as good as those at the regular-priced theater if you're OK with chairs that are a little wobbly, sound systems that make you think you need hearing aids and a selection of titles that aren't exactly hot off the press.
I'm cool with all that. After all, I don't need to be the first to see everything. I kind of like having someone save me a few bucks by telling me a much-hyped flick is excruciatingly bad.
So my wife and I spent a couple hours watching a touching, thoughtful and -- most importantly -- cheap movie about a foul-mouthed, beer-swilling teddy bear, "Ted."
I assume it was thoughtful and touching because that must be why a few adults saw fit to bring young children to see the R-rated (for a reason) film. I guess it offers unique parenting opportunities to address with children how to handle situations such as when your F-bomb-dropping teddy bear sits on your sofa and passes around a bong with four prostitutes, one of whom defecates in the middle of your floor. I prefer to handle such situations when they come up, rather than in advance, but that's just me.
It was a funny tongue-in-cheek movie for grown folks. And I admit that I didn't have high hopes for an R-rated movie about a teddy bear that comes to life when a child makes a wish. And it set me to thinking about which toys I owned that I could have wished real.
Like a lot of folks my age, I had quite the collection of "Star Wars" action figures and accessories. Of course, unlike a lot of folks my age, I didn't save these to adulthood. But I always wished I could have flown around with Chewbacca and Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon. And I still have the burning desire to ask a stormtrooper how much trouble is to go to the bathroom while wearing those outfits.
My other toys might not have been so interesting if they'd come to life, especially my Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist's dummy. If he had come to life, he'd probably be running for Congress now. After a couple of weeks of political conventions, I'm pretty sure my ventriloquist's dummy had more personality. And I just had to pull a string to make it say stupid things, not add money or show it how certain issues were polling so it would know whether to be for or against something.
My sister's collection of toys, though, would have been fascinating to see brought to life. I can only imagine a such a gaggle of naked Barbies running around the house. It might have even been enough for me to alter my stance that boys (not named Ken) shouldn't play with Barbies.
On second thought, some of those Barbies had pretty awful haircuts, as I recall. Well, the ones who still had their heads. I guess a gaggle of headless naked Barbies might have left me with even more mental issues than I have now.
Although, it might make for a good movie at the $1.99 theater. Just please don't bring the kids.
Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. Follow his work at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.