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Now playing on the interstate – drive-by movies

June 24, 2013 - Burton Cole (humor columnist)

I hear that drive-in movies are disappearing from the landscape. I think it's because now we have drive-by movies.

I tried to watch a drive-by movie the other day.

“Stop tailgating that van,” my wife said from the passenger seat.

“But this is the good part,” I said. “I think it is, anyway. The on-board screen is kind of hard to see. Maybe if I pulled up closer to the van's bumper...”

“No,” she said.

So I swung out into the passing lane and drove by the movie playing in the van.

“It's amazing – or maybe sad,” my brother-in-law David said later, “how my kids can catch a two second glimpse of a movie in the next car and be able to name the movie.”

I find it more amazing that kids notice a movie in the next car. These days, it seems like kids are too busy texting or zoning out over gaming screens to notice anything in their own car, not to mention the drive-by movie one car over.

I do not do any of those things when I’m driving. I like to keep my eyes on the road, where they should be. But somehow, a screen in the car next to me jumps out like a burger road sign would to a busload of people just released from a month stay at a health spa. I notice.

I've even squinted for a second trying to figure out the movie as I drive by. Most of the time, it turns out to be a road map on their GPS system.

Next time there’s a drive-by movie playing, I'm taking my wife's suggestion:

“Let's flag them down. We’ll all pull into the next rest area and watch the movie.”

This could start a whole new version of drive-in theaters. Maybe the state will add popcorn to the rest area vending machines.


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