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Subject: Problem neighbours, or "My bout of fisticuffs"
From: Andrew Cooper <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Nov 1995 13:03:12 GMT

text/plain (64 lines)

I wrote:

> P.S. Did I tell you the one about the jewellery-jangler whose
> wrist I slapped during LUCIA and whose son requested a bout of
> fisticuffs outside during the interval?

and Alain Letort wants to know:

> Andrew, do tell more!  I'm dying to know how this turned out!!
> What was your answer to the man's "request for a bout of
> fisticuffs" ??

I declined.  He was taller than me.  He was rather taken aback. This
took place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where men are men, though this
chap was wearing a very elaborate ruffled dress shirt (it was the
early '70s).  I told him that his mother had ruined the first act of
the opera for me (she didn't even jangle in time to the music) but
he insisted that I had besmirched her honour.  The said mother, and
my companion (across whose craven body I had had to lean to
administer the said slap) stood by quivering with embarrassment.
For the rest of the opera, we moved up a circle to some empty seats.
At the end, we hurried away, casting nervous glances on all sides.
Not one of my finest hours.

Rather unsurprisingly, I can't remember a thing about the
[appropriately enough, Scottish Opera] performance, except that the
first and last scenes had beautiful misty Scottish-glen sets and I
think the Enrico was Delme Bryn-Jones, whose voice packed up soon
afterwards.  Rage and fear do funny things to the memory.

Now, why doesn't one of you entrepreneurial types manufacture a set
of fluorescent cards for all occasions.  I'm sure they'd sell like
hot cakes to fellow listers.  How about a set of twenty:

1.  Please stop your companion snoring
2.  Please turn off the alarm on your watch
3.  Please put your watch where I can't hear it
4.  Please don't unwrap sweeties while the music is playing
5.  Please stop whispering
6.  Please stop tapping your feet
7.  Please don't sing along with the music [for use during Vilja O Vilja]
8.  Please close your mouth while chewing gum
9.  Please stop rattling your jewellery
10. Please stop jingling your coins
11. Please turn off your mobile phone
12. Please tell your kiddie to sit still and keep quiet
13. Please remove your hat
14. Please make less noise if you must eat during the show
15. Please try to suppress your cough
16. Please blow your nose more quietly
17. Please don't applaud until the music has stopped
18. Please stop invading my body space
19. Please stop wriggling
20. Please don't talk during the orchestral bits

With "as it is spoiling my enjoyment of the opera" added to all.

Andrew ([log in to unmask])

Andrew Cooper, Assistant Secretary, Consortium of University Research
Libraries (CURL), Brotherton Library, University of Leeds,
Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.    Tel: 0113-233-5527    Fax: 0113-233-5561 my

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