Two, three or even a group of inconsiderate blankety blanks (insert "preferred nomenclature" here) will invariably stand up and start dancing (cheering, drinking, talking) at a rock concert, a comedy show or a ball game, not caring that they are blocking the view of everyone behind them--and never sitting down through the entire show.
(Before the predictable age-ist comments come out of the woodwork, let me specify that the following has nothing to do with age. I have felt this way since I was in my 20s. It's not about whether you're old or young--it's about respect.)
I think I can speak for most ticket-holders when I say that we did not pay big bucks to watch your latest dance moves or listen to your drunken sing-along, for that matter. We didn't pay big bucks just to hear the event. We can do that at home on our iPods and TVs. Part of the deal is that we paid to see the event! We bought expensive tickets so that we could sit, watch, listen and enjoy the event along with all the other paying public who are present.
In my best "The Sopranos'" Paulie Walnuts voice: "Hey! You wanna stand up da whole time? Get yourself in da mosh pit! Or go out and shake your thing in da freakin' aisle! I paid ta see dese guys!"
I don't blame the selfish "standers" totally. The promoters, club owners and license-holders could end the controversy quickly and easily by just selling tickets in designated "standing" or "sitting" areas.
Or, they could let people know as soon as they enter the venue that there is to be no standing during the show except in designated areas and except, of course, for standing ovations. That would solve the problem.
But that would be too easy and it would defy the way things are normally done.
When I rule the world, this will be my decree: For bigger shows at large venues, fans going online for tickets would read that "Seats currently available for this show are in designated standing (or sitting) areas only." So then it becomes a no-brainer. The buyer decides how badly he or she wants to be there and then makes the decision to buy or not to buy. At least then you would have a choice.
The way it is now, you can either stand up along with the selfish boneheads to watch the show, or you can sit and smolder as you gaze at the high-def 3D view of their dancing posteriors and hope they eventually pass out from exhaustion.
I doubt if the problem will be resolved very soon. I just wanted to say what most of you (young and old who are staying at home) have always wanted to say.
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.