Audience participation is the bane of my existence. I work hard, Mr. Rock Star Man. How do you know that I wouldn’t rather just sit back and listen quietly? Maybe I don’t want to dance. Maybe I’m too spastic to clap in rhythm and if you try to make me maybe I’ll become all self-conscious and distracted and weird. What are you, my mother? Do you think you can just boss me around? Issue commands for me to “start acting like I’m having fun” and I’ll just leap to my feet and start screaming? How do you know whether I’m having fun? And why do you keep saying you can’t hear me? Is it maybe all the hearing loss you’ve incurred over the years? Listen, I paid an ungodly amount of my hard-earned money to sit in a little plastic seat in this huge stadium and I didn’t do it so that you could spend all evening talking about how I’m not living up to your expectations. I’ll get up and dance if I feel like it, but right now I’m not feeling very effusive, so can we just get on with the show?
I should be in charge
Overhead bins are the bane of my existence. When did this nice little space, meant to allow one to tuck a briefcase full of important papers or a to lay out a coat out that one didn’t want to smush under the seat, become a God-given right, a government-granted entitlement for self-righteous travelers toting “carry-on” suitcases the size of baby grand pianos?
Airplane aisles today are full of people roaming around with their baby grands while you’re trying to get situated. They put their greasy paws all over your stuff: what, you’ve put your coat in the space above your head? What a waste of space! Let me just smush it into a tiny ball and put my baby grand on top of it, even though I am sitting 14 rows behind you.
And then of course when there isn’t enough space for their baby grands, they get snarly and start abusing the flight attendants. Obviously, they have organs for donation / the crown jewels / the solution for cold fusion inside that bag and it simply cannot be checked. The truth of course is that they are too lazy and self-important to wait for their checked baby grands at the other end of their journey.
The irony is that the whole category of “sky check” was invented to placate these people. A flight attendant with a soothing voice talks them down from the edge, convinces them to surrender their baby grands for sky check, and gives them a lollipop while they conduct Very Important conversations on their cell phones. When we have landed the whole lot of us must wait for the baby grands to be unloaded before we can deplane, which on all my recent trips has taken at least as long as waiting at the baggage carousel itself. But hey, I know that cold fusion will benefit us all, and so I’m doing my part for science.
But I’m telling you, if you’re too short to reach the overhead bins to begin with, and if you expect me to catapult your baby grand up for you and be a party to the smushing of my own lovely coat in the process, think again, lady. Items may shift during flight but one thing that won’t is my stone cold heart.