Ward and I recently went to a couple of shows. We bought our tickets months ago and had been looking forward to them. The first was a concert by John Prine. In case you're not familiar with him, he's a songwriter/singer who is great at telling a story and evoking emotions with simple words and a clever turn of a phrase. He's also a masterful guitar player. The concert had no special lights, no hanging from the ceiling, no dancers--just a man and his guitar occasionally joined by a bass, mandolin, or another guitar. To me it was magical and I loved it.
Unfortunately, so did the man sitting beside us. He was having the time of his life. He was dancing in his seat, singing along, and clapping vigorously. None of this was a problem even though we were in a small theater. The problem was his whistle. It was very loud. In fact, it was ear piercing. My ears literally hurt every time he did it--which was frequently because he obviously loved John Prine. I know that I was not the only one who was bothered. He got plenty of looks, and people were holding their ears all around him. Yet, he went along his merry way whistling with all of his might. I guess he was in the zone. He turned an otherwise wonderful concert into a painful one at times.
A week later, we saw a production of Ave Q. Ave Q is a Tony-award-winning musical loosely based on a Sesame Street format with puppets and actors. However, it is not for kids as it has adult themes. We also enjoyed this show very much. Except, for the problem with the woman sitting in front of us. She was not loud like the whistler. She was loud in another sort of way. It was her perfume. The smell of it was so strong that I had a headache by intermission. Another perfect show ruined by someone in the audience. Okay, maybe ruined is too strong of a word, but the overpowering perfume smell certainly distracted from the enjoyment of the show.
Now here's the question. Would you have done anything to change these less than optimum situations? Or would you have just come home and fussed about them like I did?