Bane’s about to deliver his first wobbly, vaguely elderly, disturbed and freakishly delivered line… and the girl sitting in the centre seat right in front of you at the Odeon scratches her apparently noisy scalp.

“Oh, OK – that – that’s fine,” goes the internal monologue. “Yes it’s fine, totally fine, I guess some, nay, most people have noisy scalps. It’s OK. She won’t do it for the whole film. CALM DOWN WITH YOUR OCD JANE oh thank f*** she’s stopped. It’s OK. I can hear Bane now. And Hans Zimmer. It’s all goo-

Two minutes later, she smoothes her hair, picks her nose and rubs her hands together. Coughs. Splutter-cough-mouthslap-picksupdrink-slurrrrrrp…Two minutes later, she takes her hair out of a ponytail. She holds her knees in with her feet on the edge of the seat (it’s not even the first chase scene of TDKR), and she puts her hair in a freaking ponytail again.

Two minutes later, she checks to see that the waistband on her trousers is still there. OH THANK GOODNESS IT’S STILL THERE. She rubs it to make sure.

And tucks in her top. And pulls it out again.

And pings her bra straps.

And her waistband again.

And she takes her fucking hair out of the fucking ponytail.

And ties it up again.

And eats popcorn REALLY loudly.

Two minutes later, I can no longer tell if she’s doing the physical touch-herself  flirting thing to her boyfriend, or to me.

And so begins two hours of HELL within a two and half-hour screening in Greater Manchester cinema sitting next to:


Save for having fits, fleas, scabies, mites, nits, measles, smallpox or any sort of dermatological disorder either leading to, or the cause of fidgety hands, this woman was making devil’s work of… well, herself.  Don’t get me wrong. I couldn’t care less about whatever the “cinema-goer” next to me in the cinema is doing – except for what she does on a two-minute interval basis, chronically; within eyeshot and IT DOESN’T STOP during the greatest film event of the year. Because that’s when the fantasies begin.

Behold, readers: ways to prevent hellish cinema experience as dreamt up by Christopher Nolan (sorta) ..and me.

  1. If there’s someone who clearly doesn’t like film in any way shape or form, and is blatantly in the cinema to simply appease the person she’s trying to impress yet with such rudeness, disregards one of the greatest films of the year: ensure one of the world’s greatest film legends is in the film. But in the film sparingly, like pink pepper. That way she’ll miss it, and when someone asks her about what she thought, she’ll be all like “OMG wahaa? Was he in the film? Was he like, the older Batman?” And then everyone will know.
  2. Sometimes, you just gotta flip that popcorn honey. LIKE THIS, ONLY ALL OVER THE WELL RUDE SON OF A…  
  3. Out-flirt them. If she so much as scratches her face, why not gently massage your own? Great plan.  If she squirms and thrusts so unnecessarily in her seat, stand up, stay standing up and peer over her.  You can do this with a Bane-style mask if you like, obvs, only if you brought one with you. Do this for a good ten seconds before retreating. If everyone behind you tells you to sit down, just calmly, from your bemasked face, explain the situation. Preferably in a voice uncannily like an elderly person under the influence of gaseous painkillers. And that if you were to sit down now or remove the mask, it would be extremely painful. Say something along the lines of : “Now’s not the time for fear. That comes later.”
  4.  Hire Anne Hathaway to booty-kick those hands.
  5. Ping your own waistband. Preferably that of a Batman outfit.
  6. Whip your hair back and forth.
  7. Whip your hair back and forth.
  8. Whip your hair back and indeed forth.
  9. Casually mention to this rude carajo’s bloke that she is THE funniest person you’ve ever sat next to. What, why? Because it’s so hard to concentrate on the film while she does all this; it’s like she can’t stop touching herself, as if everything she was doing was like masturbating in public. What? Yes! It’s hilarious!
  10. Casually mention that you’re a medical doctor, and you think she may have the clap as she’s displaying all the symptoms. It would be best she gets out so as not to pass it on to everyone and her man should be very, very worried.
  11. Repeat all of the above.
  12. If all else fails, there is only one way to just get this belle to THINK, FOR ONE SECOND!
  13. And get Michael Caine to back you up.


Oy many next time, stay at home enjoy all the boxsets and movies you could possibly imagine.

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