The Observer and friend go way back. Like way, way back. Like when you could ride the bus downtown for so little we can't even remember what it cost and then go to the movies for less than a dollar. We would hop on — who would drive a kid those days when they could get where they wanted to go on a city bus? — track our fathers down downtown, beg a couple of bucks from them, and go to the Center or the Arkansas or the Capitol theaters. The buck would get us in, and we'd have enough left over for a suicide (a soda with all the flavors mixed together) and a box of Milk Duds (and the bus ride back home). We saw "Cleopatra" a couple of times, and all the James Bond movies. Then we'd catch the bus on Main and head back to our stop on Kavanaugh. So that's how far back our movie-going goes.

We went again to the movies a couple of weekends ago. The tickets were cheap — only $7 — because we went to the matinee. We didn't stand in line like we did as kids because we'd bought our tickets in advance online and all we had to do to get in was show our phones to the usher, who scanned them. We didn't buy drinks and candy, because that would have cost about a million dollars.

But in a fine departure from the old days — the seats!

Not to sound like an advertisement or anything, but if you haven't been to the Breckenridge movie theater, you may not know that all the seats are like La-Z-Boy recliners. We took our seats and, with the help of a neighbor, figured out how to pull the lever on the side and whoop! the leg rests popped up at the speed of light, sending us into gales of embarrassed laughter, but who would blame two old ladies for laughing at a) having to figure out how to work our seats and b) finding ourselves nearly prone in a blink of an eye? No longer does the usher have cause to shine his flashlight at you because you've rested your dogs on the seat in front of you.

(The usher did come after us, however, because we wanted to sit together and seating these days is reserved and one of our seats had been reserved by someone else. Fortunately, and amazingly, the someone else decided not to break us up and went to a different movie, and for that we thank him.)

So here's the thing. If you're tired, you may find that you've paid $7 for a nice snooze in a darkened theater. But we were giddy at the comfort of the thing, our smuggled in coffees resting in cup holders built into our recliners, our coats wrapped around us. An hour plus of Benedict Cumberbatch. Heaven! When the movie was over, we had to struggle to pull the levers to get the leg rests down, no easy feat with your feet eased out in front of you. More obnoxious laughter. Movie-going has changed; we haven't.

Speaking of good times with BFF's, The Observer spent Sunday in the park with Junior. He's grown these days to top his Old Man both in height and shoe size, the baby boy we knew a couple hundred pounds of solid rock these days, even though he doesn't seem to do anything except play computer games, watch the occasional episode of "South Park" and empty the fridge down to the mustard and sweet relish.

We were there to test his science fair project: a trebuchet he designed and built himself, relying on Yours Truly to run the table saw and miter saw only because he's scared of power tools and we're scared of him losing a finger. Not the best way to prepare him for the coming apocalypse, we know, but surely he'll have a better shot against the zombie hordes with all his digits intact.

A trebuchet, by the way, is a siege weapon that uses the power of gravity to throw stuff long distances. Look it up. Junior's is an impressive thing, a long vee of lumber, with the throwing arm turned by a large wooden wheel. Load her up with fitty pounds and pull the pin, the weight goes down, the sling and ball comes around with a "swwwhip!" and then the baseball is airborne, up so high into the blue sky over the Murray Park soccer fields that it looks like it's going to the moon. His best throw of the day was 198 feet. Probably could have done much better with a little tinkering to yield a flatter trajectory, but Junior was constantly worried about knocking out the dog walkers in the far distance.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Every secret thing

    The Observer came into the office on Tuesday morning, not quite bright-eyed or bushy tailed thanks to Daylight Savings Time jetlag, to find our colleague Benji Hardy conked out asleep in yet another colleague's office, Benji having pulled an all-nighter to bring you, Dear Reader, this week's cover story.
    • Mar 10, 2015
  • Casting out demons: why Justin Harris got rid of kids he applied pressure to adopt

    Rep. Justin Harris blames DHS for the fallout related to his adoption of three young girls, but sources familiar with the situation contradict his story and paint a troubling picture of the adoption process and the girls' time in the Harris household.
    • Mar 12, 2015
  • Addendum

    he Observer has our regrets, just like everybody else. For example: last week, Yours Truly published a cover story on the increasingly ugly fight over Eureka Springs' Ordinance 2223, which is designed to protect a bunch of groups — including LGBTQ people — from discrimination in housing, employment, accommodations, cake buying, browsing, drinking, gut stuffery, knickknack purchasing, general cavorting, funny postcard mailing and all the other stuff one tends to get up to in the weirdest, friendliest, most magical little town in the Ozarks.
    • Apr 30, 2015

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in The Observer

  • Moving

    The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Playing catch-up

    What with the big, clear-the-decks Road Trip issue last week — which we're sure you stuffed immediately in your motorcar's glove box, turtle hull or catchall, for when you get a hankerin' to gallivant — The Observer has had two glorious weeks to Observe since the last time we conversed.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Old Gray Lady rides again

    There was a reunion of Arkansas Gazette employees last Saturday night, nearly 25 years to the day it was shut down.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Leslie Rutledge, the absent attorney general

    Arkansas loses out to Trump love, Obama hate.
  • Left and right against Issue 3

    Also, Huck spinning on Trump, not in our backyard and more.
  • Thanks!

    In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .
  • 'Living legend'

    Union Pacific's No. 844 steam locomotive made its way through the North Little Rock train yard on Oct. 24. The 907,980 pound train was the last steam locomotive made for Union Pacific and is amid a 1,200 mile journey that will end in Cheyenne, Wyo. on Oct. 31. This is the first multi-state excursion for the locomotive since completion of a three yearlong restoration.

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation