My wife and I went to see Madame Butterfly at the Vienna State Opera on the weekend. We had pretty good seats. We got some champagne beforehand, as we usually do at the opera, except she was more in the mood for a white wine spritzer and had that, and I had a whiskey (no brand given) because I was feeling macho.
The people behind us were loud, rude, stupid and very excited about the cruise they were booked on, apparently, because they could not STFU about it. One encounters such people at most public performances, including the movies, but this was a first for me at the opera.
They must have gotten free tickets from someone.
The lights went down, the warning to turn off your phone played, etc etc and still they jabbered on. I knew I had to do something.
The musicians finished tuning. The conductor came out, to warm applause.
Yeah, yeah, Cruise This and Cruise That!
Peace settled over my mind as I made a decision. I felt like a Jason Statham character right before a big action scene, you know, like, where he’s surrounded by all these bruisers in an auto mechanic’s garage — except I was surrounded by old people with canes, and younger people, and improperly-dressed tourists. Even the standing area way up at the top was full.
They were still talking — unbelieveable — when the music started playing, and they showed no intention of stopping. That’s when – right after the first note – I turned and said it:
Boy, did that do it. They didn’t say a peep until intermission. Sometimes you just have to take a stand.
We went outside in the intermission. On the way there, I found a big, fat pearl earring and gave it to an usher. If you’re looking for your pearl earring, it’s probably in a pawn shop in downtown Vienna by now.
We did not stay outside for long, because it turns out that’s where everyone goes to smoke.
So the air was better back inside. Good people watching night.
Great performance, too. Downer though, sheesh.