What they did before snapshots

"His widow embalmed his severed head and stored it in a velvet bag, as a keepsake." -- A description of what happened after King James beheaded Sir Walter Raleigh for treason in 1618, from the book A Voyage Long and Strange, by Tony Horwitz.

Be reverent

At the movies I never talk during the main feature, or even during the previews. I want to see coming attractions and besides, they're the loudest things I've ever heard and it would be pointless to try to talk over them. At the Century theaters, however, they've started running advertising before the previews; commercials for Coca-Cola or promotions for TV shows with girls in the Britney-Lindsay-Miley tradition.

K and I were sitting in the theater Friday afternoon while the commercials were playing, waiting for the previews to start. She and I were catching up on news and from a distance a voice bellowed, "Give us a break!" An elderly man had yelled from about ten seats away. He and his wife (call them John and Mary) were the only other people in the theater.

I said "Pardon?" and John complained that we were talking too loud and therefore, give him a break. K spoke up and said we'd stop talking when the commercials were over, and John said, "I'm watching the commercials; I can't hear them because you're talking so loud!"

This was something I hadn't considered. K and I lowered our voices while the same old ads played for ice-cold beverages and underage girls, but think about what life must have been like for John and Mary through fifty years of wedded bliss:

At their children's school play

Mary: There's Billy in the second row! You can really hear his voice out of all the kids in the chorus!
John: Give me a break! How can I read the sponsors listed in the program with your yammering!

At their first NASCAR race

Mary: This is amazing! Did you see how those cars were inches apart coming around this curve?
John: Budweiser, Gillette, Give me a break woman, Minute Maid, Craftsman...

Driving through Wyoming

Mary: John, look, I can see Grand Teton National Park from here!
John: Give me a break, I'm trying to read the billboards! You're spoiling my concentration!