Dear Dudefest Forum,
I have been a part of many dudefests in my life, and a number of them with the dudes who worked with me at the summer camp I spent nine summers of my life at. The dudefest was created as a way for a bunch of dudes to unite behind one cause, with the secondary goals being mischief and mayhem. Of the dudefests I've attended, none was more legendary than the one I refer to as "The DARK KNIGHT Dudefest". It will always hold a special place in my heart.
Usually for the summerly dudefest, around 30 dudes go see a shitty action movie in theaters and yell at the screen when anything ridiculous or dudefest happened. The top dudes came up with a slightly different plan for this dudefest. We would see THE DARK KNIGHT, but since it was supposed to be a fantastic movie, we wouldn't be able to go insane during it. Instead, we would sneak into MAMMA MIA!, and use that to get all of our hootin' and hollerin' out. You're probably thinking to yourself, "how are 30 dudes going to sneak into MAMMA MIA!?" Well, fortunately for you, you will get the answer to your question if you keep reading.
We got into the theater pretty early, and the 40 or so of us took up two rows of seats in a pretty sizable theater. We were a bit rowdy during the pre-movie advertisements and quiz questions, and the previews, but when the movie started, and darkness ascended upon the theater, not a peep was heard from any of the dudes. It had been a heavy evening of drinking the night before for a lot of the dudes. I, however, was a taut 18 year old then, and thus couldn't and didn't legally drink. I was stone cold
Steve Austin sober and excited to see THE DARK KNIGHT, but a fair number of dudes fell asleep at different points of the film. It was no big deal; most of us would see THE DARK KNIGHT at least 3 other times that summer. Plus, THE DARK KNIGHT was only a warm-up for the main event, MAMMA MIA!, and most of us were just conserving our energy.
THE DARK KNIGHT ended, and those of us who had been awake were super pumped up and ready to fight, while the dudes who fell asleep were re-energized and ready to fight, so all of us were ready to fight. About two dozen of us went into the bathroom, and as I was one of the last ones to get there, it was the longest time I've ever spent waiting for a urinal at a non-sporting event. The dudes that didn't need to unload their bladders headed into the closest showing of MAMMA MIA!, entering the theater about 20 minutes into the movie. The dudes that urinated (and washed their hands afterwards) headed there one by one or in pairs, depending on confidence level and piss timing. As I was one of the last dudes to finish peeing, I was one of the last dudes to go into the theater.
I will never forget walking into that theater. It wasn't the theater itself that stood out -- it was the standard ramp to the front and stairs to the back type of theater -- but the people occupying the theater. When I entered the theater and looked towards the back, it was packed entirely with old ladies. Ladies in their 50s and 60s. I didn't see any couples, or any younger women with their friends, only old ladies. I immediately sighed and shook my head; it was at that moment that I knew, even as a wide-eyed 18 year old, this wasn't ending well.
Because the top of the theater was packed with women older than my mother, the dudes has decided to camp out in the front of the theater, where no one had been sitting. It was as if Regal had sold the exact number of tickets to entirely fill up the back of the theater with no single person having to go to the front of the theater. Even before I took a seat, the dudes had already taken control. Every time a woman appeared on the screen, she was greeted with shouts of "SLAG!" Whenever the movie presented a dull joke or slight innuendo, it was greeted with the most obnoxious fake laughter you could imagine.
It wasn't until some members of the MAMMA MIA! cast burst into song, as they are wont to do in MAMMA MIA!, that the real shit went down. About 30 or so of the dudes got up and started clapping and dancing in the front of that theater. We were dancing like we had never danced before, as if this was the last thing we were going to do before we died or this dance would be our life's legacy.
I'd like you to put yourselves in the shoes of these ladies for a moment. You're in your fifties or sixties, you've pushed a couple of humans out of your body, and you reached menopause years ago. The only thing you have to look forward to in your life is seeing Meryl Streep in her only non-Academy Award nominated role and Pierce Brosnan in his only Golden Raspberry Award winning role. After 20 or so minutes into the movie, more and more young "gentlemen" keep coming into the movie theater, the same young "gentlemen" who skateboard on your sidewalks and spend all their time on The Facebook, and are gradually getting louder and more obnoxious. This never happens when you're watching NCIS, so naturally you're upset, and since you spent half of your Social Security check to see this movie between games of bridge, you're even more upset.
Eventually, the movie theater equivalent of security was called on us. Our thought is that one of the old ladies was fed up enough to go get the teenagers working security, but to this day it still remains a mystery. When I heard this, I left around the time security came in, but a few dudes decided to remain in order to contend that despite not having a ticket and ruining the movie for every person between the age of 50 and 70 there, they deserved to stay. Needless to say, they won one fewer argument than they had hoped to win that day.
Other Dudes' Recollections:
I was a mere 17 years old when I went to my first Dudefest. I was apprehensive at first but quickly got wrapped up in all the excitement of THE DARK KNIGHT. I flipping love Batman and was not going to miss watching this movie for anything. I should mention that included hanging out with my girlfriend on my one day off that week. In fact, I told her that I wasn’t heading home that weekend and wouldn’t be able to see her.
That was a mistake because it just so happened that she worked at the movie theatre we were going to. A smarter person would have just told her about the movie and try to hang out after the movie instead of, y'know, lying to her about staying at camp while actually going to her place of work. A smarter person would have realized that since there was 0% chance of us hanging out that day in her mind, she would request a shift that day. So, there was a 100% chance of her being at the movie theater she worked at that I was also going to while lying about staying at camp.
Luckily, she didn’t see us go into THE DARK KNIGHT. But that was only because her shift hadn’t started. When we were escorted out, she was working the concession stand a.k.a. what we had to walk in front of to leave the theater. Needless to say, she was not expecting to see me in the crowd of dudes being thrown out of the movie theater. Bear in mind, we had seen many, many movies together at this exact movie theater. I knew her co-workers, they knew me. I had met her boss. He recognized me in the crowd of people getting thrown out. This whole situation was very embarrassing for her.
She needed to tell me that right away. So she dropped what she was doing and came over to yell at me. I’ve never been yelled at more creatively in my entire life (it should be noted that her family’s attitude toward profanity would be described as "casual enthusiasm"). Everyone involved with this story is stupid to a certain degree. No one more so than myself though.
I saw THE DARK KNIGHT twice that summer. This was the second time. Everyone kept asking me if I was "Ok seeing it again" for Dudefest. Typical idiots that hadn't seen it yet- THAT MOVIE JUST GETS BETTER AND BETTER.
I disagree with Smigoversen's assessment that the stupidest person in the theater that day was him. No, it was definitely the jerks that were fighting with lightsabers in front of the screen during MAMMA MIA! (guilty).
I was also the tender age of 17 for my first trip to the festival of the dude. I was an idiot in a bunch of retail stores at the mall. My finest accomplishment was at Victoria's Secret. I was dressed in flip flops, a tiny pair of jorts, my dudefest tank, aviators and a flat brim. I marched right up to the counter and demanded a job. After flirting with the chick behind the counter I triumphantly walked out with a job application in hand. In hindsight, she probably thought I was gay, but I was still damn proud of myself.
Joe Kennedy recently became the first dude to get a Pinterest account.