There was more than the usual amount of excitement at the theater this morning when we attempted to see the Met’s Eugene Onegin. We liked being able to breeze in 15 minutes before the start, not to mention order a Bloody Mary; it is a Russian opera so we thought vodka was a necessary accompaniment.
When the 10:00 AM start time came and went, the audience started to get restless. All was not happy in the pews. About 10:15 a theater manager came in to advise us that they were having technical difficulties. She assured us of their best efforts at repairs and went on to tell us that the problem was with the local equipment and not the satellite feed from the Met. She said that as if it would be reassuring. Actually, I would have preferred the problem were in NYC as this would more likely hold the curtain. SInce we were to be seeing a simulcast of a live performance, by the time the projector was repaired we would have missed much of Act I.
Needless to say, the ‘Friends of Dave’ were expressing their full-throated outrage at this personal inconvenience. My favorite was the gentleman who demanded a refund because, in his words; “I have to leave in 5 minutes”…. at 10:30? ….. the opera had been scheduled to run until 2:00 PM. Had the opera started on time he would still have missed more than 75% of it. One wonders why he came at all and why he felt the theater owed him a refund. Oh, that’s right…. ‘entitlement’.
As it happened, he got his wish. About 10:30 the poor beleaguered manager came back to announce that the technical issues could not be resolved in time and the performance was being cancelled. It was difficult to hear over the rending of garments and gnashing of dentures but the outcome wasn’t actually all that bad. The theater refunded the ticket price, gave us tickets to Wednesday night’s encore presentation free of charge, and gave us two passes for a future movie. That seemed more than fair to me.
We were ‘out’ the cost of the Bloody Marys but I couldn’t rationalize demanding a refund for those given that we did, in fact, drink them. Others saw no problem rationalizing this, however, including the gentleman sitting next to me who felt he should not have to pay for the quesadilla he’d eaten 30 minutes earlier. Truth be told, I wasn’t unhappy. Of course I’d had 1.5 Bloody Mary’s (mine and half the Harper’s Other Dad’s) so I was not too hard to please.
The cancellation gave rise to the first-runner-up moment in the ‘Friends of Dave pageant. A Scottsdale matron, aged somewhere between 70 and death, crashed her walker into the walker of an elderly gentleman she was trying to get in front of as both were exiting the theater. He was walking more slowly than met her needs. Besides, her walker had four wheels while his had two wheels and two tennis balls. A courteous person would have waited their turn to exit. Being courteous and waiting ones turn are concepts altogether foreign in FOD circles. At a minimum, social convention would suggest she offer a verbal, if insincere, “Excuse me” after the walker fender-bender. Social conventions are apparently not binding in the universe she sees herself as the center of. Her response was to keep walking at full speed while snarling over her shoulder; “I’m in a hurry”. And so she was.