Wednesday, March 23, 2011

People who cough loudly during live performances

I'm sick to death of people coughing loudly during live performances. Whether it is music or theater, the these coughing audience members drive me nuts. They are rude, and the behavior is inexcusable. They should be escorted out of venue, and made to watch from a TV monitor in a basement room.

Case in point... I was at a concert tonight at the Kimmel Center. The performer was John Williams, the classical guitar player. Classical guitar performances are notoriously quiet settings, which is required for the subtle beauty of the acoustic guitar. At one point, just as Mr. Williams had finished a flurry of beautiful notes to end one piece... as the notes hung in the air, vibrating softly... and before he officially lowered his head solemnly to signify the end... in that transcendent moment of beautiful silence where the audience is temporarily transfixed before they burst into applause... three people started coughing really loud.

The audience of maybe 400 people had a dozen or so suffering from some form of tuberculosis. I wish. No, these hacking audience members aren't suffering from TB. They're just freakin' rude. The usual suspects are older white males, typically overweight, whose throats are apparently covered in mucus, or whose fat chests are pressing down on their lungs like a big dead weight. Occasionally the hacker is an oddly petite woman, in which case I'm dumbfounded. How is it that women can suppress burps and flatulence, but can't manage to not hack their lungs out during quiet moments of Shakespeare.

To be, or not to be, that is the question... COUGH COUGH COUGH
Whether tis nobler in the COUGH COUGH COUGH mind to COUGH COUGH COUGH
 suffer the COUGH COUGH COUGH...

Jesus H Christ!!!!!!! People... you're ruining it for everyone. We paid money here, I want my money back.

Ironically enough, the profile of the hacker (older white male, or oddly petite woman) is exactly the kind who go to quiet performances. They go to the Kimmel, or the live theater, or to acoustic sets at World Cafe Live. They go, they appear normal, they seem like quiet and sedate people... but the minute the curtain goes up, they start coughing. Why don't they go to a rock concert instead... then they could hack themselves into a coma and collapse on the floor and be trampled to death. Justice.

I refuse to believe that these audience members are innocent victims of the same coughing issues that affect all of us. The issue isn't so much that they cough, it's that they obviously are not doing anything to suppress the cough. We all know what a suppressed cough sounds like, and feel like. It's muffled. You hold it in. It's a tiny bit uncomfortable to hold it in, but you suffer the small inconvenience in order to not make hacking sounds that disturb others. You cannot possibly be holding in a cough when it is loud. If a loud cough is actually a suppressed cough, then I'd hate to hear the unsuppressed cough of these people. Would it be like a shotgun blast, or a car horn? No, no, no... the only conclusion that makes sense is that they're not trying, because they don't care.

In conclusion... Those who cough loudly during live performances are not even trying. They just don't give a shit about the rest of us. I think it's high time that the polite members of the audience take these rude people out back and put them out of our misery.

No comments:

Post a Comment