Let's say you're watching a movie (let's just say it, all hypothetical-like), and this movie that you're watching — in a theater, a dark theater — is about ninjas, and you're confused because the whole thing is in subtitles plus you don't even like ninja movies, so you turn to your friend or your cat that you've snuck in for company because no one goes to the movies alone if they avoid it, and you say, "Lady Bisselkook, I daresay this movies is rather dreadful. What do you think, hmm?" Well, if you had the misfortune of sitting in London's Prince Charles Cinema, a shushing ninja would leap out at you from the darkness and force you to be quiet even before the inflection in your voice changed to indicate to Lady Bisselkook that you were asking her a question.
It's true that people who talk audibly during movies are the worst people in the whole world. Hitler probably talked to Mussolini when they were at the cinema, and you can bet that if older folks like Ivan the Terrible and Elizabeth Báthory had movies to go to, they would have engaged in idle chit-chat through the entire miraculous experience of watching shadow people dance on a big, canvas screen. True story: I was sitting in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button this one time many moons ago and a woman behind me who I'm sure is right now pulling toenails off of orphaned children in a Jersey City duplex narrated each stage of Brad Pitt's miraculous backwards-aging. "Now he's 60." "Now he's 40." "Now he's a baby, like the babies I eat to keep an unsteady hold on my youth." I would have done anything to stop the madness, but what can you really do in a theater, since turning around and actually shushing someone is both way more disruptive than a whispered conversation and pretty much the rudest thing you can do to a stranger short of making eye contact with and subsequently sneezing all over them?
Enter the diabolical theater vigilantes at Prince Charles Cinema. A team of "volunteer ninjas" — take a moment to think about what the phrase "volunteer ninjas" really means — clad in black bodysuits (like evil green men) creep around the theater, silencing anyone who disturbs the theater's fragile silence. You might ask: how the capital F can anyone relax and enjoy a movie if a few Sonny Chiba movie nerds are crawling around a theater, itching to try out the nunchaku their guileless grandmothers bought them for Arbor Day? Trick question! It would be impossible to relax, no one would go to the movies and these volunteer ninjas will have acquired what they really wanted all along: empty movie theaters in which they can glut themselves on pop culture and kettle corn.
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