Take it from someone who knows: Steady sippers with small bladders don't fare well at the movies. Until now.
With Runpee.com, restroom breaks can be planned ahead, thanks to suggested "pee times" for most new movies.
Created by nomadic software developer Dan Florio (he works from his RV currently stationed somewhere between San Diego and L.A., en route to Florida) after sitting "in desperate need" by the end of a three-hour flick, the site recommends scenes during films that can safely be skipped.
Florio looks for scenes that can easily be summed up in words "like a long car chase" or simply so unexciting they can be recapped without sacrificing drama.
Armed with a printout of break times for My Life in Ruins starring Canada's own Nia Vardalos, I went to my local theatre and downed a bottle of water during the trailers. I made it to the second pee-time scene/dialogue cue, about 70 minutes in.
But I didn't miss anything, because the website had filled me in: "The Spanish girls and the pick-pocket woman go up to Nico who is sitting outside at a table. The Spanish girls distract him while the other woman steals the keys to the bus. Georgia, Poupi and Irv then work together to swap the air conditioners between the buses. They then return the keys to Nico who never notices."
If that's not relief enough, Florio says his soon-to-be-released Runpee iPhone app has a built-in timer to count down break times with the click of a button. A successive version will signal cues by vibrating.
Anyone is welcome to contribute times, although Florio and his family list about 95 per cent of the entries. They go to the movies every weekend, sit in the back of the theatre and jot down times and make notes.
Unfortunately, Florio has had to give up the customary drink and popcorn.
"I can't get up and run pee," he says. "I've got to sit there and watch the movie."
Sheryl Steinberg is the author
of the novel Opportunity Rings