Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Dear cellophane wrapper guy,

There you were, in the row behind me, or the row behind that, at Abravanel Hall. By the way, do you mind if I refer to you as "guy"? It's possible you were female. But it doesn't really matter, Mr. or Ms. Wrapper: because at the Chinese pianist's recital, during the Andante cantabile con espressione movement (written in 3/4 time) of the Mozart Sonata in A minor, K. 310, you began to disrobe some sort of comestible that apparently came wrapped in the distinct crinkly crackle of cellophane.

I didn't look back to see who you were, or to imply anything, really. I thought to myself, come on. I thought, really? What comestible emergency decrees that one fiddle at some length with a piece of something wrapped in a long-winded piece of cellophane, during the middle of the slow movement of a piano sonata?

And then I thought a compassionate thought. Cough, I thought. Maybe cellophane wrapper guy had a cough, and he tried to suppress it, and in desperation, during the Andante cantabile con espressione movement, he fished a cough drop from his pocket and couldn't unwrap it fast enough. I thought how all of us in that grand, crowded concert hall were occupied with our own humanness, with our little ailments and discomforts, all of us hoping that the music would lift us, enrapture our attentions, make us fly. Poor cellophane wrapper guy. Trying not to cough. We all do our best.

I thought this compassionate thought until the Presto movement began. 2/4 time. Speedy and percussive and spine-tingling, accompanied by the aleatory music of cellophane wrapper guy, opening his second comestible.

I have to tell you, cellophane wrapper guy: I laughed. Not out loud, because it was Mozart, and Abravanel Hall, and because of dignity and all that. I wish I could say I was not amused, but it was just so ridiculous.

I'm sorry you didn't stay for the Chopin Ballades after the intermission, a little sorry at least, and I do hope you feel better soon, if indeed it was a cough that ailed you. I suggest, however, that, in preparation for your next concert-going experience, you practice unwrapping your future cough drops like a ninja. A Mozart-listening, Chopin-respecting ninja.

It's about the music, man,



  1. I once had a similar encounter with a cracker-eating fiend at the ballet. Alas, unlike you, HT, I didn't have any compassionate thoughts. I was too busy trying to fish the saltine crumbs out of my collar. *sigh*

    Glad you enjoyed the Mozart and that you stayed for the Chopin!

  2. A Chopin-respecting ninja <----best thing ever.

  3. I'm pretty sure this is an episode of Frasier. Like, you could be a comedy writer.



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