Sunday, 11 September 2016

An Open Letter

An open letter to the obnoxious fan who sat behind us last night at the John Prine concert.

Dear Friend,

It was so nice that we could share in the collective experience of seeing Mr. Prine in person at Massey Hall last Friday evening. I'm not certain if you are aware of the fact that since Mr. Prine has suffered two bouts with cancer over the past several years, this tour is one that has great meaning for his fans. My Husband and I have waited over eight years to see him in concert again and we have had to endure several missed opportunities, including a cancelled show due to his ongoing health problems. So it was with great pleasure that we forked over a tidy sum and endured a painfully uncomfortable venue (I think that the springs from my seat are forever and permanently lodged in my right buttcheek) in order to watch and listen to one of our all-time favourite singer/songwriters perform live. We were even more thrilled when local favourite Ron Sexsmith was announced as the opening act. We were filled to the brim with honey and oil as we took our seats and couldn't imagine anything or anybody fucking with our mood, that is until you and your partners showed up and blew our illusions to smithereens. 

I am totally incredulous of people like you. Your insularity and self-centredness are astounding. It wasn't bad enough that you arrived twenty minutes late. Ok. Maybe your boss is a total fuckwad and couldn't find a way to let you leave on time. Or maybe your husband wasn't all that psyched about seeing John and you couldn't drag his aging hippy ass out of the house in a timely fashion. But there were 3,000 of us who did manage to find our seats before 8:00pm despite our personal problems or our shitty days. But no worries. You come first.

It wasn't disrespectful enough that you chatted noisily about your misery and apparently your even worse commute to Massey Hall during the entirety of Ron Sexsmith's eloquent solo set. Isn't it a least remotely possible that some in a crowd of 3,000 actually preferred Ron to you?

It wasn't horribly rude enough that you yanked the back of my already uncomfortable seat in order to squeeze yourself into the packed row.  Late and a fucking menace all rolled up into one tidy little package. Thanks for trimming my hair as you passed through.

Wasn't it miserably impolite enough of you to come in baked and blitzed? God forbid you should have a filter for your arrogance or that you should use your indoor voice. I think they heard you up in the second balcony. 

And that was just the beginning of our suffering.

There was that time when you decided to stand and leave during a critical moment of one of John's most sensitive songs, Hello in There. You decided that that particular moment would be an appropriate time for a refill on your G & T and to purchase a concert tee to cover your middle-aged spread. Thanks for ruining a favourite of mine.

There was the constant verbal molestation of the poor man to play his song Paradise that you barked out in a voice so loud and shrill as to remind us of cats copulating. My ears are still ringing from your tenor. He actually responded to you at one point by stating "I promise you that I'm singing as fast as I can." Imagine my disappointment when he gave into your constant haranguing and closed with the bloody thing.

There was the running commentary that you insisted on giving about each and every lyric as though you were scrutinizing them for a fucking thesis. Tell me something. How is it even possible that every line can be your "absolute favourite of all-time"? 

Madam...people like you are why I have tended to shy away from audience-driven experiences over the last several years. You seem to think that it is perfectly fine to behave at a public gathering as you do in your basement at home. You may think that you have every right to enjoy yourself as you see fit given the fact that you paid a hefty price for the ticket, but here's the thing. You don't. Your right to behave like an asshole ends where my rights as a  co-audience member begin. You see, I too paid for a ticket and nowhere in that transaction did it state that a drunken moron behaving boorishly behind me was included in the price. 

I am not a confrontational person and I probably would have suffered in silence were it not for my friend who confronted you at least once verbally and also with a few death stares lasered in your direction. It brought some emotional relief and we were at least able to laugh, but you are one of those rare individuals who lack any self-awareness. God forbid that you should have altered your behaviour.

I don't know you and I hope we never meet again. I obviously can't stop you from attending other public gatherings, but I do hope that at least you give some thought to what we said to you and that in your zeal to have a great evening, you hopefully understand that you really screwed with at least 4 other people's good time. 

My High Holidays are coming up so I will attempt to forgive you your multiple transgressions. As John, himself would say...

Father forgive us
For what we must do
You forgive us
We'll forgive you
We'll forgive each other
Till we both turn blue
Then we'll whistle and go fishing
In heaven.

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