Sunday, September 22, 2013

Audience Etiquette

So, I'm in Perrysburg, Ohio, for the Sweet Adelines harmony weekend, and things are wrapping up. The coach hired for the weekend, the incomparable Jim Arns, is working with the Cleveland chorus, and I'm one of about twenty five people in an auditorium that's set up with 200 or so chairs. I'm sitting where I usually do in such situations: smack dab in the center of the auditorium, with my recorder set up on there chair in front of me and my iPad on my lap taking notes. I'm in my seat five minutes before the session starts, ready to go.

Twenty minutes into the session, someone comes in, walks in front of me and around me, sitting in the chair directly behind me; of course, not in any one of the other 175 chairs in the auditorium. They then proceed to embark on a loud, sustained coughing fit that lasts for the remainder of the coaching session. Thank you so much, person, for not only coughing on the back of my neck but also sharing whatever germs you have with me and my family.

People, if you are coughing, leave the auditorium. Coughing is loud and disruptive. Would you talk loudly to your friend, or talk on your cell phone? (If you would, ignore me. You're an ass, anyway.) If you wouldn't, then why do you think it's acceptable to make loud, hacking coughing sounds in public?

Going out in public, going to work, or whatever "noble" thing you're doing while your sick is not noble, and it does not show strength. It just shows that you don't give a crap about the people around you: either for their enjoyment of the show without also enjoying your hacking cough, or for their desire to stay healthy without whatever plague you carry around.

I know coughs; I have these wonderful hacking coughs because of asthma that last for weeks at a time. When I have to go out in public, I sit in the far rear of auditoriums, as far from people as I possibly can be. I certainly don't find the guy sitting in the middle of the room and sit directly behind him.

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Location:Fremont Pike,Perrysburg,United States