One of the best places to escape the sizzling summer Hoosier heat and simultaneously get away from it all has always been the movie theater.
After all, even John Dillinger enjoyed a cool retreat to a darkened movie theater. It was exiting the cinema that didn't work out so well for him.
My luck was only slightly better than Dillinger's the other day when wife Ruth and her visiting sister and sister-in-law decided we'd all go to the movies. Sounded like a fine idea on a 102-degree day. I'm always up for a movie and some overpriced popcorn.
Choosing what to see, however, proved my undoing. Having lost a 3-1 vote to see "Ted," the raunchy teddy bear movie (not that I wanted it see it as much as I wanted to be a contrarian) or "Rock of Ages" (with creepy Tom Cruise), I was equally outvoted in the decision to go see "Magic Mike."
Oh sure, I could lie and say I thought "Magic Mike" was about Michael Jordan, but I can't and won't.
Now, if you haven't heard about "Magic Mike," suffice it to say Matthew McConaughey takes off more than his shirt in this flick.
Resigned to the idea of attending the quintessential chick flick, I'm buoyed by past experience. After all, I once endured "Bridges of Madison County," and even accompanied the wife to both "Sex in the City" and its sequel. Mr. Big of me, right?
And actually, I must also confess to watching "Love Actually" at least four or five times now. But who can't enjoy a movie where Hugh Grant makes a fool of himself repeatedly? Admittedly though, I feel much better about enjoying "Love Actually" after reading that it is one of new Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck's favorite films. How 'bout them Bears, Andrew?!
At the theater, we're using the debit card on our $15 admission for two, so I conveniently step out of line, lest I bring undue attention to myself by hollering "Two for 'Magic Mike'" into the ticket window opening.
While the ticket purchase goes off without a hitch, not so much the evading of the ticket taker. Next time you think nobody's paying attention to what movie you're about to see, guess again. They know.
The little dark-haired teenager taking our tickets looks up at me to smilingly ask, "How'd you get roped into this?"
Stunned, I stammer for a response as she utters what by now appears common knowledge. "You're going to be the only man in there."
Indeed that appeared true, with the possible exception of one androgynous type we were all unsure of.
Literally, it seemed like I'd crashed some strange bachelorette party. Suddenly I felt like Bruce Jenner at a Kardashian clambake. But keep your shirt on, I'm getting to the racy stuff.
There's McConaughey -- never one of my favorites anyway since that messy nude bongo-beating incident -- playing shirts and skins on the screen. Opening the movie in tight leather pants, he teasingly tells the in-film audience, "You can't touch this," grasping his cheeks (not the rosy ones).
All I can think of is where's M.C. Hammer when you really need him? He at least kept his parachute pants on.
With the obligatory soundtrack use of "It's Raining Men" ringing out, the theater audience erupts as the dancers arrive on screen, led by actor Channing Tatum, whom I couldn't have picked out of a police lineup. Amidst squeals and giggles, I overhear one of the women behind me gush that Tatum's actually been a male stripper in his past.
Obviously you can tell by the way the dollar bills cling to his overstuffed thong. I'm thinking now we should have paid our admission price with crumpled ones -- just for the proper effect.
Now drowning in a sea of estrogen, I make the best of it for nearly two hours. After all, the female anatomy gets its share of screen time, too.
But it's the men they've come to see to forget about life for a while. Cheers ring out again as Tatum rolls out of bed -- sans PJs or even boxers -- and saunters to the bathroom under a full moon and full Monty.
Action reaches a crescendo on-screen and off as McConaughey takes one last turn on the Xquisite club stage, putting his hardened 42-year-old bod on display.
Wanting to hide my eyes but afraid to miss something, I realize that now at least I can tell people I've seen Matthew McConaughey's derriere -- unless, of course, those were stunt buns ...
That might be some real magic, Mike.
But throughout all the bumping and grinding, the squealing and screaming, one prevailing thought occupies my mind ...
Thank god this thing isn't in 3-D.