I was in line behind a wealthy older couple (you can tell rich) to buy tickets to a movie. I'd spoken to them briefly when entering the theatre as they insisted on helping with the door. They insisted with charm, not force, and therefore, oddly, I didn't mind. We were behind someone using coupons so it took a fair bit of time to process them. The woman noticed a poster on the wall for an upcoming movie, Tower Heist, and said, 'I'll never go see one of his movies again, it's a pity because I've enjoyed most of them.' Her husband and I looked to see who she was talking about. He said, 'Who, Ben Stiller?'
She nodded. He said, 'Yes, I liked him too.' She, encouraged by his agreement said, 'That awful fuss around Tropic Thunder, you'd think he would have had the decency to apologize. Making a mistake is one thing, we all do that. Not acknowledging it when called on it, that's simply lack of character. I thought more of him than that.' Her husband agreed, I interrupted.
'You're referring, and forgive me for eavesdropping but I am sitting right here, to the use of the 'R word' in Tropic Thunder,' I said.
She tensed as if ready for a fight, which tells me she's had them before on this subject, 'Yes, I can't abide that kind of name calling.'
I said, 'Nor can I. I'll never give him another dollar either.'
We were silent for a moment, luxuriating in unanimous agreement. Then I asked, 'So, do you have a child with a disability, or friends with disabilities, how do you come to your opinion.'
She looked shocked, 'No, we don't have children with disabilities, but what does that have to do with the issue? Anyone who was ever teased in school knows that name calling hurts. I don't understand why people, when they become adults, simply forget the horrors of the playground. What is youth for if not to inform the years to come?'
I told her I agreed with her and suddenly they were buying their tickets and I was buying mine.
We waved goodbye and she said, 'It pleases me to think that every now and then when Mr. Stiller puts his hand in his pocket to find that he has no change, that it's my money that's not there.'
'Well said,' I said, because it was.