empty seat

At the Rocky Horror Picture Show with an Egg

So, enter the cult-classic movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Written by Richard O’Brien produced and released in 1975. Nobody seen that coming. Nobody could really explain it. It was just a moment in time, when planets aligned, the moon was blue, and everybody had to go to the theater and see Rocky Horror, again and again and again. In fact, it ran in the theater for several years as a weekend special show. We had Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter, Richard O’Brien as Riff-Raff, Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss (Nice Tits), Brad Majors (Asshole), Meat Loaf, Magenta, Columbia, and a cast of outrageous actors singing and dancing through a rather bizarre humorous science fiction horror tribute movie! Then there was the audience participation. Wait… what?!? Yes, the audience talked back (these were known as “Call Backs”) at the movie almost as much as it talked to them. The experience was one part dinner theater, one part drag show, one part roast, and of course, all parts insanity! First-timers were referred to as “virgins” and were heavily teased by everyone, and most importantly, given a big “V” courtesy of a marker or lipstick on their foreheads. People would arrive at the theater dressed as characters, bringing items to celebrate throughout the movie. It was not unusual to see flying rolls of toilet paper every time someone on the big screen would say “Great Scott!

I think I had seen the movie at least three times. Though I very specifically remember the LAST TIME I saw the movie in the theater. Let me paint the picture for you. It was winter, a cold Indiana winter, like “waiting for a school bus on the corner in the morning in January” bitter cold. And of course, the sun sets early so skies were quite dark that night. I could see my own warm breath exhale from my freezing body as I loaded my two friends, Tim and Tommy into my car. The local movie theater lit up like a beacon in the dark as we approached. I’m sure I was driving my first car, a 1972 red Ford Pinto. I bought this car for a cool $100. It was a bit of junker to be honest. When I went to the gas station, I would often spend more money on oil than gasoline. There was no horn, but the front windshield wipers were so loud, I could use them instead if I needed to get someone’s attention. The floor board on the front passenger side was missing, replaced with a metal board that kept, well most of the rain and snow outside the car.

As I entered the theater parking lot, I grabbed a spot close to the entrance and prepared to make a brisk entrance into the theater. I could already see the advertising for some of the most recent movies playing in one of the eight theaters available. Movies like “Grease”, “The Deer Hunter”, and “Animal House” were among some of more popular movies playing in early 1978. Neither of my two friends or I had dressed up for the movie, rather we were wearing heavy layers of clothes to combat the cold. As we stepped into the theater entrance, Tommy unfastened his leather coat to reveal a dozen raw chicken eggs concealed beneath. I found this new information quite odd. I had seen movie-goers bring in toilet paper rolls, toast, water bottles for spraying, signs with large print, even women’s underwear, but this was something new. Even the theater staff was quite used to just about every imaginable item. Often they would stand guard at the entrance and reject anything that posed a problem to the establishment. But these eggs… they got in.

We skipped the refreshment queue and took our seats near the back, center of the theater. While movie trailers were playing at an amplified volume, I noticed my older brother, Bob and his trouble-making thugs arrive. They took up seats right behind us. Bob made acknowledgement to me by stuffing a snow ball he had smuggled in, down the back of my shirt. Soon the trailers were spent and the movie was starting. The audience immediately engaged and the wild antics began. Screams of “Nice Tits” and “Great Scott” could be heard out all the way into the lobby! Tommy opened his coat and split the dozen eggs into three groups. I received my four eggs and wondered how was this going to play out?

At the moment the famous big red lips showed up on the big screen I had gotten the courage to release my first egg. My plan was to launch the egg the moment everyone in the theater stood up in some outrageous gesture. There it was, my moment. I stood and threw my first egg. It hit the ceiling of theater and exploded. Nothing. Disappointed, I loaded my egg-throwing arm with my second egg. Meanwhile, my brother behind me and his goons were lobbing snowballs into the front section of the theater like grenades. Suddenly, the crowd was on its feet and I chucked my second egg. This time I got the height right but the distance was short. Someone twenty rows in front of me got hit. “Great Scott”. By the time we got to the “Time Warp” dance number, I launched my third egg and watched it crash and spew into the right wall very near the screen. I reached for my last egg. It cracked and ran down my inside of coat pocket. No ammo left. Done. 

Tim had unloaded all of his huevos-arsenal while Tommy was looking at me with great concern. He apparently had thrown three of his eggs hitting the ceiling every time. He offered me his last egg. Although I wanted it, I was not about to tempt fate and refused the egg-shelled missile. Though, I had to coach him into one last try. But when, when, he seemed unable to release this last egg. I leaned in and reminded him that he simply had to wait until the whole crowd rose from their seats and then “let ‘er fly!

Minutes passed, ten more maybe. By the time the cast was eating Meat Loaf on the screen, I was anxious for this last egg to soar. Then it happened, pandemonium!!! Toilet paper was flying and the audience was once again on its feet yelling at the screen! I yelled to Tommy, “Now! Now! Throw it now!”. Tommy stood, took his stance, leaned back with his best pitching arm engaged and launched the torpedo into the air. Exactly at that precise moment, everyone in the theater sat down, quiet, leaving Tommy the lone soldier, a spectacle to be seen. I turned my head to the back of the movie house to see the white lobby light pouring in from both back side doors of the theater. Staff ushers were silhouetted in the rectangular light and pointing at us, pointing at us!

I turned back to the screen to see the best egg-ever-thrown miss the ceiling by mere inches, arced downward and exploded on the direct center of the big screen into Brad Major’s (Asshole’s) face. It seemed like it ran down the screen forever. My brother put his hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear, “Nice job Asshole”.

The rest of the movie was lost on me. I was busy planning an exit strategy. When the lights came on we shuffled out into the aisle with heads down and hands in our pockets. The best strategy ended up being nothing more than trying to just walk out undetected. This strategy has never worked in the annals of history. A lesson not lost on me.

While the theater emptied and staff members began picking up rolls of toilet paper and other festive debris, we waited under tight control of the ushers. Moments later, a very tall fifteen step ladder entered the theater and was brought to the stage. We were then directed down the aisle and to the stage. As Tim, Tommy and I approached the ladder, an attendant arrived with a large bucket of hot soapy water. We took turns washing the whole screen with special attention to the eggy center. Perhaps an hour passed before the job was accepted as complete. It was a quiet drive home.

Decades later I had gotten a copy of the movie for my home VCR. I played it. The movie sucked.

To get email notifications when I publish new stories, just enter your email address below, click “Subscribe” and follow the instructions. Then Click Here to make sure you have completed the process.

Join 5 other subscribers






Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: