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EmeraldSky
April 19th, 2008, 09:07 AM
"Matinee at the Pallette: Confessions of a Master's Rival"


Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I wasn't always the egotistical rival that a lot of you make me out to be.

Yeah, I taunted Ash a lot for much of his travels; but once he got to Houen and I lost interest in battling, I realized that he was something special. To be honest, I could see that he was special long before that fateful day we left Pallet. Before that day, he was not an enemy, but a friend to both me and Daisy. Looking back, it was my naive dreams of glory at being the Pokemon Master that drove me to become the egotistical better-than-you type that many of you now recognize me as. Those times are past, as I now make a living seeking to understand why Pokemon are what they are.

I do remember one event from my early years that made me begin to see Ash as a friend: the weekly Saturday matinee. I remember waking up early just to dash to the window just to see if Ash was coming up the front walk. Usually the ticket that was mine he received from one of our friends that had planned on going, but could not due to unforeseen circumstances. While Daisy watched cartoons on TV, I would keep my post at the window just to see if that familiar black mop of hair would arrive. Since our house was a quick walk from his, Ash didn't have far to go, and usually came without his mom in tow.

We'd say our usual "Hi, how are ya?"'s at the stoop, Ash would tell Gramps where we'd be and the time of our planned return. Course, Gramps would take time out from whatever he was studying to give us a little cash and a grandiose epic of his own memories of the matinee. However, we'd discretely take our leave no sooner had he said "When I was your age." Between us, we would have enough to pay for treats and funds in case of an emergency.

After a stroll into town and a left past our after-school hangout, a little cafe; we'd come to the theater: a majestic old-style theater named the Pallette. Unlike the megaplex a few blocks away, the Pallette was dedicated to giving patrons a movie experience not unlike how Gramps might have seen. I remembered him saying that besides the movie, you'd get cartoons, an episode of a serial, the news, and shorts of all kinds. To my then five year old mind, that sounded way more appealing than just the previews and the movie. Ash seemed to agree, as we returned week after week to see the latest flick, see how the hero escaped from the last week's peril, and more.

As we walked between the ancient columns and joined the lines of kids before the counter, I always took a minute to look around and admire the lovely decor. On top of the columns, there was also paintings on the ceiling, usually of Pokemon romping in their natural habitats. Off to the left of the ticket counter was a plaque that proclaimed the theater a historical landmark. That was a no brainer--Gramps had told me once that it was being built when he was my age.

Once we had gotten our tickets, it was off to the lobby. At first, Ash would resist getting any of the mouthwatering delights. It usually took either my insistance or the dancing candy bars onscreen singing "Let's all go to the lobby, to get ourselves a treat." that he finally relented. Oftentimes, he would returned buried in candy, popcorn, nachos, and Arceus knows what else. I guess even then he was a little impulsive--act first, think later. I was usually happy with some popcorn--besides, refills were free.

The matinee would commence with the previews, but I really didn't pay attention to those. If it was a movie about the Beast Riders or some other adventurous type, I'd make a mental note to come back when the movie in question premiered. Ash was more insterested in the movies about the trainers that won big in the League. Understandable, since he was, and still is, very determined to seek his goals. I've come to respect that now, being defeated by his Pokemon many times already.

But that's another story.

After the previews came the cartoons. Bugs Buneary and Daffy Golduck were my favorites, but Ash was a HUGE fan of Pippi and Red. A typical Pippi and Red cartoon went like this: Pippi and Red are traveling, Pippi finds something interesting, Red warns Pippi that it could be dangerous, the Pokemon that the item belongs to comes and beats the stuffing out of Pippi, Pippi continues after the item anyway despite Red's warnings, Pippi gets beat up several more times; each beating more painful and over the top than before, Pippi finally gets the item; usually with Red inadvertently helping, and then Red and Pippi would continue to whereever they were going. I couldn't help wondering how many times the poor Clefairy had been clobbered and yet he still lived for yet another short. Ash, on the other hand, just savored the silly over the top antics like a true fan, right down to saying Red's de facto catch phrase "Pippi! It could be dangerous!" at the proper time. In fact, I think the whole theater could pick out where we were--all they had to do was find where the loud guffaws were coming from. It got even worse when Ash received his League hat--he would almost become Red right there in the theater, right down to how Red wore his hat.

We would then partake in the shorts, usually of the Gym Leaders doing some kind of performance. Whether it was Misty and her sisters modeling pretty clothes, Erika interacting with an animated garden, Koga parodying a kung fu movie, or Brock playing his guitar and leading the theater in a singalong, you never knew what to expect. Sometimes, Gramps would appear with one of his lectures. I had to give him credit for trying, but the lecture would usually end in him getting attacked by his subjects. Even so, I couldn't resist laughing when he got burnt, froze, or shocked for the umpteenth time.

Next on the agenda came the serial chapters. We both liked these, as we had a little game going. Whoever could guess how the hero escaped the previous week's cliffhanger won a dime. If the prediction was wrong, the loser paid the winner the dime. If neither of us got it right, we wouldn't get a dime. The leader swung back and forth most of the time, but sometimes one of us would get a hot streak and take the lead, only to have the other charge back to even the score a few weeks later. While I could form a pretty basic idea of what would probably happen next, Ash would worry about the heroes all week, even at school.

Once we were told to not miss part whatever in this theater next week, it was time for the main feature. Be it a western, an adventure, or even a mushy romance, we'd get our money's worth every week. Ash would most likely still be worrying about the serial heroes, but he would pay attention when a fight, chase, or song occurred. If it was a slow week and not many people were there, we'd converse during one of the slow parts about life, plans, and Pokemon. If the movie was a cheesy snoozefest, we'd poke fun at it like on "Pokemon Anime Theater 5000", one of Daisy's favorite shows. We'd then depart, making plans to do it all again the next week and making our predictions for the serial.

I miss those days...I really do.

If Arceus wills that Ash and I meet again, I want to forgive him for the ego trip I once was on, and treat him once again to a matinee. Not as rivals, but as friends. I'll continue my work here, ever hoping that day comes. Until then, I can always dream.

Alli
April 19th, 2008, 09:38 AM
Well, you know I've been waiting for this one!

This is really good. You did the Gary narration just fine, and I found little grammatical/spelling errors.

Ash would tell Gramps were we'd be and the time of our planned return.

Where, not were.

Bugs Buneary and Daffy Golduck were my favorites,

-lawl-

If Arceus wills that Ash and I meet again, I want to forgive him for the ego trip I once was on, and treat him once again to a matinee.

Nice. Arceus.

Love it.

-Silver

EmeraldSky
April 19th, 2008, 10:10 AM
I try to fix errors, but every so often one will slip by. ::fixes::

Thanks for reviewing.