I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. My wife and I had just settled into our theater seats in time to catch the previews of upcoming Hollywood remakes, which, lacking any originality, seems to be the only thing Hollywood can produce these days. We were there to see the epic cinematic masterpiece Snakes On a Plane.
But just as the opening scene began to unfold, a man in the front row leaped to his feet, and turned violently to face all of us. You always wonder what you’ll do in a situation like that. My first instinct was to shove Jenny to the floor, but my mind was racing a million different directions all at once and I was paralyzed in my seat.
Then it happened. He lifted his hands to his mouth, took the deepest of breaths and screamed, “WOOOOOLF!”
The pandemonium that ensued was indescribable. Men and women sprinting for the exits, the elderly being trampled underfoot, spilled popcorn peppering the floor, and the smell of crushed Jujubes filling the air. I saw selfish parents abandon their children to save themselves. I saw a Catholic priest administering last rites to a young man whose legs appeared to have been gnawed nearly in two.
My wife and I were the lucky ones that day. But I will tell you that life will never be the same. There’s little question that both of us will be in and out of counseling the rest of our lives, and our children are going to have to live with the empty blank stares, the flashbacks, and the aggressive temperament that plagues those of us who have endured something so traumatic.
And sadly I know we are not the only ones to have dealt with wolves in a theater.
That’s why with all the condescension that poor Nancy Pelosi is facing today for her comments to an interviewer that aired yesterday, I stand in solidarity with her. She was asked why she supported the notion of the Parks Service denying a permit of alt-right activists to gather and demonstrate at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Her words were an oratorical work of art:
“Because the Constitution does not say that a person can shout, yell wolf in a crowded theater. You are endangering people, then you don’t have a constitutional right to do that.”
Hear, hear. As one who has survived the harrowing experience of the real thing, I can’t fathom how any of us could find it justifiable for just anyone to stand and shout “Wolf!” in a theater when there really aren’t any there. And frankly, I’m thankful that there’s at least one politician in America brave enough to say it.
I understand that all the evidence seems to indicate that Nancy Pelosi has become dangerously unhinged in both speech and behavior. But if she’s the only leader with the moxie to address this seventh-rail of American politics, I stand with Nance.