Thursday, May 9, 2013

Miami, Always Trying to Keep It Classy.

A couple of years ago Miami was voted 2nd rudest city in America.  Working from home I don't always get the chance to fully embrace my own Miami bubble that basically disregards all else except my immediate gratification.   So last night I went to the Arsht, Miami's spectacular performing arts center.  The show was typical "Broadway Across America" and it truth, it wasn't bad. Gratefully, it wasn't the usual inane "family fare" that forced me to stay away for so many years. I mean how many times can one see Judy Taymore's Lion King? But I digress, I'm really here to talk about the patrons.
In particular, I'm talking about cell phone usage. Recently, at a movie theater in Broward, there was an announcement that said people who use cell phones will be removed from the theater. Hurray!  I know people might think it's common courtesy not to text, play Bejewelled, or actually answer the phone while at a show.  In Miami, it's a birthright to do these things at any time during the show....for long periods of time.
The tickets were expensive, so I'm sure that gives people the right to answer the phones. Like "hey, I paid for these seats, I'll do whatever I want while I'm here." It's Miami. It's not like anyone here is going to do anything about it anyway. The thinking is that maybe if you let your neighbor do it, you get a free pass sometime later in the show to do it yourself.
Now, imagine the baby is an iPhone
I had scored some amazing box seats for the show, just above the stage, set back a bit. Sadly, there was a woman(actually many people) who through the entire show had her cell phone on. Non-stop. I'm sure she was doing important things....closing deals, gossiping, sharing recipes and winning Words With Friends and getting high scores on Bejewelled.  I'm sure her Facebook postings were riveting. What was funny is that she was hunched over trying to create a light proof "phone bubble" made of elbows, cupped hands and her breasts.  Kind of the way a mother might huddle over her baby during a lion attack.
Yes, I I really don't
So Intermission came and I heard several people talking to the ushers asking them to do something about it.  You got the typical Miami usher half-smile shrug that says: sorry rich guy, I don't speak English and I would do something about it, but I am a part-time minimum wage employee and I don't really care. Then the usher would go back to texting.
So during intermission I confronted the "phone bubble" lady. Her husband was with her.  I asked her to stop using her phone....not nicely...because I am a native of the 2nd rudest city in America.  I know from experience that the white guy saying politely"please don't use your phone" is the equivalent of asking a dog not to pee on the fencepost.  So I raised my voice and made sure that everyone around could hear: "YOU WERE USING YOUR PHONE THROUGH THE ENTIRE SHOW".
The couple's response "Well the guy next to us was texting too."  REALLY? That was their defense. Not even a denial.  So fucking lame.  Of course, they were ready to engage me in an argument...and believe me I was ready....but it was a night out at the show and I did not want to be ejected for "rudeness".  I was just keeping it classy, you know.
Very little phone usage in the theater after my outburst. That was classy too.