Rick and I recently went to see, “Billy Elliot” on Broadway… that show about an 11-year-old boy who dreams of being a ballet dancer.
First of all, it’s incredible. Second of all, it will make you feel like a complete failure – because you’re watching this kid on stage who is so fabulously amazing that you realize you’ll never have 1/100th of his talent at anything. And what on earth HAVE you done with your life?! But other than that downward spiral of self loathing, the show is flawless.
And even better than the show was the guy sitting behind us. This guy was CRAZY ENTHUSIASTIC.
After every musical number, he would aggressively clap and yell out in a thick New York accent,
“Bravo! Bravo! That was a show stopper! What a show stopper. My God!! My God!! Did you see that?! What a show stopper!”
And then during the second act, he ENTHUSIASTICALLY chewed gum. Super loud. Cracking and popping and snapping away.
At first, I, along with a few others, just looked back at him to give the ole, “Seriously? Are you really chewing gum that loud? I didn’t even now it was possible to chew gum that loud. For gosh sakes, Billy is dancing up there! Can you shut the hell up and give that boy some respect?” look.
But Mr. Bravo was not one to pick up on subtle clues.
I sort of shy away from stranger confrontations… especially in New York City. But I figured that some guy attending a musical about a boy ballerina is probably not going to spit at me or kick my arse. It’s a judgment call.
So I turned around and said ever so politely, “Can you please stop chewing your gum?”
And he mumbled, “I’m sorry” and got rid of the gum.
Look at me.
I may not know how to pirouette properly or be a candidate for The Royal Ballet or be on Broadway but hot damn, I’m changing the world one loud-gum-chewing-theater-goer at a time. Hey, it’s something.