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M48ortal  (Level: 248.0 - Posts: 3733)
Mon, 24th May '10 12:05 AM


Just got back from the off-Broadway musical "Wicked." All through the show, while I'm trying to focus on the plot and singing, I can see people in front of me (and therefore a bit lower down), using their cell phones to send and receive text messages. At one time I counted 12 or more screens providing lighted areas which, to me, totally detract from the mood.

Does the current generation not understand the ethics of professional theater attendance? I buy four season tickets each year, and travel 400 miles to see each show. That's a huge investment for a semi-retiree. I think I'll start taking a pocketful of rubber bands to each play. Or maybe a pea shooter.

Chyenn  (Level: 200.8 - Posts: 1332)
Mon, 24th May '10 5:49 AM

you might take a hint from my dad's escapades in the 1940's when he was 12-15 years old.. when he went to the movie theater he carried a water gun filled with oil of wintergreen.. if he saw any young lovers "making out", they got squirted. he says the oil of wintergreen causes severe burning and itching on the skin. ...

Mplaw51  (Level: 176.9 - Posts: 1582)
Mon, 24th May '10 6:10 AM

Its become an addiction hasn't it? I was at a taping of a talk show in NYC a year ago and you had to show your cell phone was off by holding it up when you walked in.

I don't recall who the actor was, but he asked the patron to answer his "bleeping" phone which had rung a couple of times during a performance on Broadway. Incredibly, he didn't shut it off after it rang the first time.

Amyt  (Level: 132.4 - Posts: 240)
Mon, 24th May '10 7:19 AM

I share your pet peeve. To me, it is comparable to unwrapping a piece of candy or talking. I do wonder how people have so much to say that they have to text all the time. Just think how much they miss...and how much their actions detract from your experience.
I'll never forget when someone's phone went off in the very moving song from Les Miserables; "Bring Him Home."
Unbelievably rude...I leave my phone in the car.
Wicked was great; hope you were able to enjoy it anyway. Amy

M48ortal  (Level: 248.0 - Posts: 3733)
Mon, 24th May '10 8:00 AM

The young man in front of my wife pulled out his phone during "Popular," looked at the message, showed it to his girl friend, texted a response and then showed that to her and was going to send more when my wife leaned forward and whispered, "Please stop that." He stopped. My wife is a retired school principal. I can only imagine the messages he sent during intermission.

I hate to say it, but theaters need to be more adamant about turning phones completely off.

And today this comic:

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Mon, 24th May '10 6:20 PM

Yup, definitely RUDE behavior.

When we went to the theater to see "AVATAR" in 3D, we had to show that our phones were OFF as we handed over our tickets. I think it should be a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for ALL theaters and restaurants.

As paying patrons, we have a right to NOT to have the ambience of the venue destroyed by inconsiderate people.


Garrybl  (Level: 275.9 - Posts: 6605)
Mon, 24th May '10 6:40 PM

I'd like to see the tickets carry an acceptance of the right of management to ask you to leave if you phone goes off.
I'm not sure I've been to a concert/dance/play in the last five years where something has not gone off.
I'd complain louder about people reading messages except my companions cant be stopped from doing it (not my wife but still...)


Daveguth  (Level: 250.0 - Posts: 1636)
Mon, 24th May '10 7:38 PM

Kind of odd, but the first time I saw this was at Wicked about 3-4 years ago. The approximately 12 year old kid sitting next to me did it the entire show! I swear--he never looked up once. Worst thing about this was the fact that the kid was there with only his YOUNGER brother--mom and pop apperently dropped them off at this little $100+ day care surrogate.

But this leads me to a theater horror story from only a week ago. We had second row seats to see Jersey Boys, so my theater etiquette radar was even more sensitive. Now granted this was the LAS VEGAS version of the show, where most rules are tossed out the window, but they did hand out Playbills, and did ask the audience to not talk before the show. Well, two very drunk women in their 60s plopped down next to us and began talking continously. And they talked considerably louder than a normal speaking voice so they could be heard above those pesky performers up on the stage--even during the songs!

I tried my first line of attack--increasingly irritated stares, but that didn't work. Then I leaned forward to catch their eye and silently put my finger to my mouth as if to say "shush." Still no reaction. Then finally, at a rare relatively silent moment, I resorted to a reasonbly polite verbal "shush." They went nuts. Using foul langague, sort of like, but worse than "Who the hell is this guy to tell US to be quiet?" I didn't look their way. As the song finished, I clapped along with the crowd. The woman next to me stood up and shrieked an exaggerated "Shush" in my ear. Still didn't look at her. She talked non-stop for the remainder of the first ACT, mostly about that "a--hole thinking he could tell us what to do."

Luckily, intermission came soon and the management was quite willing to switch our seats. But the Sodden Sisters remained for the whole show, presumably to the irration of many other audience members and the cast.

Foogs  (Level: 264.1 - Posts: 848)
Mon, 24th May '10 8:28 PM

The word you are all looking for is "entitlement."

The women you describe, Dave, figure the price of
their ticket "entitles" them to do as they please, and
screw everyone else.

I get the same from my students. Paying tuition --
which pays my salary -- "entitles" them to do what
they want, even if it distracts others. I now have a
no laptops open during class policy, unless they are
working on an assignment.

M48ortal  (Level: 248.0 - Posts: 3733)
Tue, 25th May '10 7:27 AM

I had a high school student tell me one time, "My dad pays taxes. He pays your salary." I handed him a quarter and told it to give it to his dad and tell him to keep the change. I also told him that I pay taxes, too, but that doesn't make me self-employed. But that's another pet peeve.

Mickeym  (Level: 87.5 - Posts: 1803)
Tue, 25th May '10 9:21 AM

Ah, but my pet peeve is with me every week! It's the person who stops dead in the center of the grocery aisle to talk to their bluetooth or take a call or read their text, leaving you to either run into them spend minutes waiting behind them! Now I also make grocery phone calls, sure, but I find a quiet nook to do it in!

M48ortal  (Level: 248.0 - Posts: 3733)
Tue, 25th May '10 10:31 AM

For MickeyM and others with this peeve (including me.)

Mickeym  (Level: 87.5 - Posts: 1803)
Tue, 25th May '10 11:38 AM

Ha ha, great cartoon!

Chender  (Level: 190.3 - Posts: 160)
Tue, 25th May '10 1:06 PM

Perhaps I should be ashamed of this! I was followed into an empty lift by a young woman who, without making eye contact at all pressed a button on her mobile phone and started shouting into it as we ascended. Had she even raised an eyebrow or shoulder in apology I would have suffered in silence, but so far as she was concerned there was only herself and her 'phone in the lift. I was a captive audience, and furious. So I started singing, at the top of my voice - the poor woman couldn't hear herself speak.

Daveguth  (Level: 250.0 - Posts: 1636)
Tue, 25th May '10 1:51 PM

Just rememberd a great cell phone/live theater story. Last year, we saw "An Evening with Groucho," starring a fellow named Frank Ferrante who stays in character for the full show. Somewhere along the way, an audience member pulled out his ringing cell phone and answered it. Groucho/Frank marched into the audience, asked the man for his phone, tossed it to an usher at the back of the orchestra (about a twenty foot toss!), and said, "I'm sure the nice usher will be glad to give back your toy after the performance."

Winddancer41  (Level: 63.3 - Posts: 1113)
Tue, 25th May '10 8:12 PM

I also hate to be bothered by people talking at the show and any other form of entertainment, but as for me I have a handicapped daughter that we leave with sitters once in a while to get out for some us time, but what I do is put my cell phone on vibrate and if it happens to go off I will get up and go out to answer it. I just wonder if some of these other people even know they have that option or are they just wanting to look inportant. charlotte

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 25th May '10 8:22 PM

I hate settling in for a theatrical experience and then some ethnic-type family starts roasting a goat in the center aisle.

What is up with that.

Scrabq  (Level: 76.7 - Posts: 167)
Tue, 25th May '10 8:34 PM

Do they freely share their feast?

M48ortal  (Level: 248.0 - Posts: 3733)
Wed, 26th May '10 7:03 AM

Exactly how I felt during the show.

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