Would you like a medium for 50 cents more?

The other day Chris and I went to the movies. We bought our tickets and headed to the concession stand. The place was near empty, so we got to the front of the line before we really knew what we wanted. We told the girl we would be ordering something, but not sure exactly what, and we stepped back to leave room for anybody else who may have walked up. Nobody did.

Since we hadn’t had dinner yet, but planned on eating after the movie, I wanted to get something, but not necessarily a whole lot. I decided on a small popcorn and a soda. Chris, who didn’t plan on having any popcorn, asked, “do you want to just get the junior popcorn?” to which I replied, “no, I think the small will be fine.” We step forward to the counter and tell the girl, “I’ll have a small popcorn and a medium Coke.” to which she replies, “Would you like to make that a medium popcorn for only 50 cents more?” I said no thanks and then I explained that my wife had tried to downsize my order but that I was already certain I wanted the small popcorn.

And then it hit me. I have been going about this all wrong for years!! I told the girl behind the counter the following:

“What I should have said was, ‘I would like a junior popcorn’ to which you would have said, ‘would you like to make that a small popcorn for only 50 cents more’, to which I would have said ‘Why yes I would like a small instead!’. I would have got the size I really wanted, you would have felt great for the successful up-sell, and if your boss happened to walk by right then, he would have patted you on the back for it as well. Everybody wins!’

We all share a bit of a laugh, we finish our transaction and head to our theater and see the movie.

Fast forward to Friday evening. Todd and I are at the movies. We’ve arrived early and are second in line to enter. Once they let us in, we find seats and Todd says he’s going to go grab a drink. I hand him some cash and say, “Grab me a medium Coke. But, when you order it, tell them you want the small Coke. Then, when they ask if you want to make it a medium, you agree.” After initially laughing at me, he agrees to try it.

When Todd arrived back at the seats with my medium Coke in hand, I asked if he had tried it. Sure enough, he ordered the small, they offered him the up-sell and he agreed! Success!

As we waited for our movie to start, we talked about it a bit and we both agreed that we’d definitely try this more often. The question came up, what if they don’t try and up-sell you. We both agreed that it’s pretty rare that they don’t try for the up-sell, but, if they don’t, you simply call out as they reach for the bag and change your mind to the size you wanted to begin with.

So if you are up for a little experimenting, give it a shot next time you are at the movies or any other place that you feel regularly tries to up-sell you. Stop back and leave a comment letting us know how it went.

A date with The Goonies

In order to maintain your geek cred, there are a number of movies that are required viewing. The list is really long and won’t even begin to list them all here. One movie that most geeks will agree is on the list would be The Goonies. I am a tad bit embarrassed to say that I have never seen it. I feel shame.

I am not sure how I missed seeing it when it came out. But after that, it somehow had always slipped through the cracks. Last year when we had our 24 hours of movies marathon, Todd was going to bring it over, but got sick and missed the marathon. We scheduled another movie marathon earlier this year, but it got cancelled and has yet to be rescheduled. So, it’s not for a lack of trying, it just hasn’t happened. But that is about to change.

Thursday morning I received an email from Netflix letting me know that they had received the last movie I had sent back. About an hour later I received another email informing me that The Goonies is on the way. Since I had a flight to Chicago scheduled for Friday afternoon, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing the movie until I returned on Sunday evening. But then, something funny happened. Ryan sent the following tweet:

Celebrating 25 Years of The Goonies

So, it seems that my destiny was to see The Goonies for the first time on the 25th anniversary of its release. I have been looking forward to seeing it for a long time, but one more day won’t kill me.

See ya tomorrow, Goonies.

Goodbye John Hughes

I was 15 when The Breakfast Club came out. I remember going to see it at the Del Amo mall with my grandma. About half way through the movie she fell asleep. Not me. I was riveted. I connected with these characters. They all seemed like people I was going to school with myself. I felt their pain, I knew their struggles. For the first time I could remember, it felt like this movie was speaking directly to me. Over 20 years later and I still consider it one of my favorite all-time movies.

I was sad to heard that John Hughes, the writer of so many classic movies from the ’80s had died of a heart attack. He was a man who is responsible for some so many classic movies. I’ll bet you’d have a difficult time finding somebody who doesn’t love at least one of his movies. Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Mr. Mom, Vacation, Home Alone, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and, of course Planes, Trains & Automobiles. And that’s only part of his list.

I found an excellent article written by a lady who, as a young girl, became pen pals with John Hughes. It was very touching and shows how not everybody in Hollywood is a jaded, money grubbing prick. Just most of ’em. 😉

So next time you are sitting down to throw a movie in the DVD player, reach for a John Hughes classic and tip your hat to the man who has given us so many great films and even greater characters.

So Much Chuck Palahniuk

It’s a good time to be a Chuck Palahniuk fan! This week his new book Snuff, a story about a girl on a quest to complete a 600 person gang bang, is set to come out. Here’s a fantastic trailer (mildly NSFW) for the book. Hilarious!

This summer we’ll be treated to Sam Rockwell staring in Choke, which just happens to be one of my favorite Palahniuk books. Looks like the current release date is August 28th. We’ll see.

While looking around on IMDB.com today I saw that Chuck also has another movie in the works. His book Invisible Monsters, a story about A disfigured fashion model and a pre-op transsexual go on a road trip of revenge and recovery, is listed as being in development. It says it’s going to be released in 2008, but there aren’t even any actors attached to the project on IMDB, so I’m not buying that.

Now, if we can just get Chuck back to Vegas for another speaking engagement, I would love to ask him if he has used the Easter morning story I told him the last time he was here at any dinner parties. If you don’t know the story I’m speaking of, it’s probably better you don’t ask.

Where's the blood?

I went and saw “There Will Be Blood” on Sunday with Ashley, Craig and Ryan. With a title like that, I’m expecting to see blood. Lots of it. By the gallon. I’ll bet I’ve seen Disney movies with more blood.

Daniel Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor. If he doesn’t win an Oscar for this performance, I’ll be amazed. As good as he was in Gangs of New York, he’s equally as good if not better in this one. I can’t say that I loved the movie, but it was certainly worth seeing. There’s no doubt it’s a good movie, but it’s not your typical movie. It’s over 2 and a half hours long, and there is a lot of story telling and not a lot of action.

I'm gonna Choke on 8/1/08

It’s been a long time coming! Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke is about to hit the big screen. OK, that’s not really news around these parts. But, the part that may be news to you is the fact that we now have a release date. August 1st, 2008. It’s still a bit away, but it’ll be here before we know it.

Chuck Palahniuk, for the 3 of you who may not know, is the author of Fight Club. Aside from Fight Club and Choke he’s written several other great books that are not your typical everyday stories and usually contain a fair share of fucked up characters. I have a hard time trying to decide which of his books is my favorite, but Choke is definitely one of them.

Choke was recently shown at the Sundance film festival and has received great reviews. Plus, here’s a short video interview with the director of Choke.

If you are unfamiliar with Choke, BUY IT NOW!

I hate being sick!

What a horrible way to start the new year. In the early afternoon on the first I started feeling pretty crappy so I decided to go lay down in bed for a while. I ended up sleeping for most of the afternoon and woke up feeling really, really sick. After a few hours of talking myself out of puking, I decided I would probably feel better if I just got it over with. So, I headed to the bathroom to force myself to puke. But, by the time I got there, my body needed no forcing. Vomit out the nose is no fun at all! Right back to bed I went. Happy New Year.

Since I had just taken 9 days off work (counting some weekend days), I didn’t want to call in sick on the first full day back. So, I set the alarm, got up, got dressed and headed on in. I was still feeling bad, but was going to give it a try. 2 hours later I was heading back home and to the comfort of my bed. I was back in bed by 9:30 AM and didn’t leave for longer than 5 minutes all day.

I ended up watching 4 movies yesterday. They were:

This movie is so damn funny. I’ve already seen it about 6 or 8 times. I’m pretty sure this is one that I’ll be able to watch over and over again.

The Departed
Awesome movie and a great cast! Even though I already knew the ending (everybody gets shot in the head), I could still watch this movie several times.

Transporter 2
What a huge steaming pile of poo this movie is. To give you an example, in one scene Frank sees the reflection of a bomb stuck to the bottom of his car that he’s forced to get in and drive. While driving he sees a crane with a hook hanging on it. So of course he hits a ramp that rolls his car upside down and the hook from the crane knocks off the bomb 1/2 a second before the bomb is detonated. Oh, and the car finish the roll in mid air and lands back on all 4 tires. The only thing worse is when I found out that they are going to make a sequel to the movie Crank, another Jason Stathom movie. At the end of Crank, Stathom’s character “Chelios” falls out of a plane and hits the ground. In my mind, that equals DEAD! But, not only does Chelios obviously survive that, here’s the story outline for Crank 2: “Chelios faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.” Wow.

Lucky Number Sleven
I have owned this movie on DVD for over 6 months, but for some reason I had never opened it. This movie was so good. I really enjoyed it. Good story, great cast and the interaction between the characters is fantastic. I have to say that I pretty much liked everything about this movie. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you do!

Thankfully I made it back to work today. I don’t know that I could have handled another day in bed.