If you have a wife or girlfriend (or in some shameful cases both), then at some time or another she will drag you out on a Friday night, away from the comforts of your TV and worn-out sofa, to see the latest tear-jerker at the local Bijou. If youíre lucky you will be running a dangerously high fever that night and wonít have to go. But if you are somewhat healthy, your wife (weíll call her your wife because if she isnít now she will be eventually. No sense trying to fight it) will finally nag you enough to go.


When you arrive sit behind the tallest person there to see as little of the film as possible. In most cases you wonít be able to choose whom to sit behind, and with your luck the person who sits in front of you will be a dwarf.


Buy many edible distractions. Consume popcorn slowly Ė donít finish it during the coming attractions. Make sure it has on it anything your partner doesnít care for or cannot have, like salt or butter. It takes longer to finish if itís all yours. Get soft drinks in the largest size possible to prompt many bathroom visits. Cell phones can be a blessing in a theater (honest!), if you place yours on vibrate. During the gooey moments you can claim to be receiving an important call. Go into the lobby for as long as you want. You can even go into a different theater and claim later you got confused but boy was that action picture swell!


Even with all this good advice, you may actually have to watch the film. When the sob-inducing scenes begin, put something in your mouth but, never use an empty candy box! It may act as an amplifier and broadcast your sobs throughout the whole theater. If tears must come, keep your head down. This will prevent the drops from glistening in the artificial light and they may go unnoticed. Nose blowing must be avoided at all costs. This is a dead giveaway that the sentimental mush has reached you. Checking your wristwatch will bring a sleeve close to your face. A surreptitious wipe is then a cinch. If you canít help yourself and simply must blow your nose, use a big hacking cough as cover. This will also serve to chasten your wife when you tell her your cold has gotten worse as a result of going out.


When she asks later if you liked the movie, grunt in a non-committal way. Men are seen as non-committal anyway, so this will do nothing to damage your reputation. Remember, if you say you enjoyed it, you will be doomed to repeat the experience and can say goodbye to any shred of manliness you have left. If you fail to heed this warning, prepare to spend a goodly portion of your hard-earned greenbacks for the privilege of blubbering in public.