Give us the stained couches demoted from the family room. Give us those plastic walls full of pink insulation. Give us those cold floors and thin carpets.
Give us that dark cave hidden from the outside world.
Give us a group of friends hanging out.
And give us a screwball comedy.
Yes, it’s time to order that pizza, fall into the squishy couch, pile pillows against each other, and pass the fuzzball blanket. It’s time to enjoy a good movie with a group of friends — ideally featuring several of these characters:
• The Waiter. Sure, the host usually covers this job — filling popcorn, pouring Pepsi — but if the gang’s super tight someone else can take it on. If you know your friend’s pantry well and they don’t mind you raccooning around, feel free to take orders and go digging for gold.
• The Punchline. This is the person who adds the live DVD commentary from the corner of the couch. He generally tries to top the characters onscreen and his favorite line is “That’s gotta hurt!”
• The Revealer. The Revealer saw this movie already. You find that out the first time they say “Shhh! Good scene, good scene!”
• The Maestro. This is a high pressure role that involves owning the remote control for the entire movie. The Maestro is responsible for determining which bathroom breaks are pause-worthy and when to rewind and rewatch an important scene. Also, they must be comfortable cranking the volume if The Revealer (“Good scene!”) and The Punchline (“Gotta hurt!”) start talking too loudly.
• The Dimmer. This person is obsessed with movie theater atmosphere. Ten seconds into the movie they frantically start on mad dash to turn off every light in the room. This seems like a good idea until someone has to Blind Man’s Bluff their way up the rickety stairs to go to the bathroom.
Now, every group’s got their own cast of characters. It’s good to love them all and it’s good to love those moments.
After all, friends grow up and graduate, some people change and roll on, and life wheels and deals us in all directions. So love those late nights in sixth grade with root beer and double cheese pizzas. Love those 4am Fridays in high school when everyone’s friends and everything’s funny.
Just remember those long nights, strong nights, and staying up till dawn nights. Smile hard at the smiles, laugh loud at the laughs, and always enjoy those basement movie memories … with your basement movie friends.
We’re in the April issue of Reader’s Digest!