The neighbor kids come over, insisting that we watch a movie with them. We dig around, knowing that they have all but exhausted the stack of old James Bond movies from my personal collection, or at least they have fast-forwarded to the good parts: the empty space suits that explode for no reason in deep space laser fights, underwater car chases and harpoon battles, boat stunts, alligators fed by a man with a fake hook over his real arm, you know, the awesome basics of action movies since the beginning of time.
But lo! What have we here? The Indiana Jones Trilogy! A great gift, and certainly something to keep a couple of action deprived kids content for an hour and a half.
Ten minutes into "Raiders of the Lost Ark," one of them looks at me and asks, "Just how old is this movie?"
"Why? Does it seem dated?"
I look at the box and nearly choke on my popcorn. 1981. Holy crap. This movie, such a basic tenant of my childhood, is now 25 years old.
Amid clamorings that we are trying to bore them out of our house, Chris lets the room hear his thought; that all must sit still and be quiet or leave the area.
Things are quiet again for a while, and the dreaded storyline develops.
"Are there going to be any more snakes?"
"This isn't like the video game at all."
When, finally, the infamous face-melting scene is imminent, Chris gets everyone to settle down and watch by telling us that it scared the crap out of him when he was their age. I second that, and wait to be disgusted.
It lasts all of 9 seconds, and when it is over, one of the kids says: "That was so fakey."
I have officially become an unhip old person, clinging to the scraps of my quickly rotting youth, unable to impress even the children from next door who like my cookies, the fact that I have purple hair nonwithstanding.
Too much humanity, not enough punching. I need to get on board, is the consensus.
After the kids left for more exciting activities, Chris and I talked about other movies that scared us silly when we were 10. Embarrassingly, Superman 3 would make my list, although I can't remember why, only that when the bad guy gets it in the end, he gets it in such a dramatic way that it gave me nightmares. Also, that movie with Tom Sellack called "Runaway" where robotic spiders would follow you around and inject you with a paralyzing agent and guns shot bullets that could follow you around corners and would explode on impact. I must have entered every dark room like a veteran undercover cop for 3 months after that, not absorbing the absurdity of the notion that futuristic killer spider robots would want to kill a 10 year old girl in a trailer in rural Minnesota.
It was an irrational fear.