Friday, September 16, 2016

Do you have fish at the movies?

                               (Illustration by Robby Watson. See more of his awesome work on Instagram.)

Do you have fish at the movies?

This is a serious question. I'm asking because I'm personally interested in the snacks you eat at the movie theater. And I'm professionally interested that you answer the question grammatically correct since it's in one of the textbooks (Cambridge's Interchange Fourth Edition) I use in my English impact classes.


If you're reading this blog in the USA, the most common, grammatically correct answer is, "No, I never eat fish at the movies." That's the answer the textbooks most likely expects you to say, too. However, I'm sure most Americans would respond more naturally with, "Heck no! What are you - nuts (気違い) !?! Who eats fish at the movies!?!

And that's where things get interesting. Because I do. "I usually eat fish at the movies," to use the target grammar correctly. My local movie theater is located in the same shopping mall as a supermarket so I can easily buy fresh sushi from the deli and take it into the theater in my backpack. 

I've also been known to eat squid jerky (裂きイカ) and almond fish (アーモンドフィッシュ) - also from the supermarket - when the lights go dark. It's all part of the Japanese movie going experience.

Popcorn might be a universal movie theater snack, but candy isn't quite as popular here in Japan as it is in the USA. Japanese people are more likely to eat sweet snacks like churros or ice cream than candy.

"Do you have beer at the movies?" should be another question in the textbook since movie theater concession stand sell draft beer (生ビール) for your drinking and viewing pleasure while I'm sure most Americans have to settle for Coca-Cola or some other carbonated beverage (炭酸飲料) unless they sneak something in. 

So, loyal English impact blog reader, do you have fish at the movies? I really want to know. And I promise to check that all replies are grammatically correct.

John
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