There are a lot of things you just shouldn’t do as a fan. Walk across the aisle during play. Knock another man’s beer over. Shout really dumb insults that result in groans and not laughter. Lecture the people in your row about what is happening, despite the fact that everything you’re saying is totally off base.
And oh man, does that last one piss me off.
But what has always bothered me more than anything else, what always gets my boxers in a bunch, is when people leave the games early. I can’t friggin’ stand it. If you paid the money, stay until the end. What, you don’t want to hit traffic? C’mon, that’s a part of the experience – instead of bitching about it, throw on some sports talk radio and shoot the breeze with the people you went with.
It’s about the ride, people.
I only bring this up because a friend of mine recently was invited to the Flyers game against Nashville, and, with five minutes left, and the Flyers up 3-1, one of the people she was with decided it was time to go. Now, the Flyers ultimately won the game…but a 3-1 lead, with five minutes left, is no guarantee. A win is likely, but it’s hardly written in stone.
Any real fan stays – simple as that.
So, I was curious. What other trepidations in life would I compare to this? What other transgressions reach such maddening levels of idiotic indifference, such unfathomable degrees of false fandom? Consider this a Pundit List of sorts, since I haven’t done one in awhile.
Walking out of the theater in the middle of the movie for another soda, or because you have to take a leak
You know what? YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED! I’ve had to drain the ol’ liz before at the theater, but I didn’t walk out, disturbing the theater and costing me precious minutes in a movie I had paid somewhere in the vicinity of 30 dollars to see. Nope, I just held it, and cursed myself for not performing a preemptive piss. I learned my lesson. And if you are going to get your friggin’ free-refill of popcorn and soda – stop pigging out, damnit! Just stop it.
Leaving a concert before the encore
All you are doing is cheating yourself. Sure, I’ve seen some mediocre concerts, I’ll admit it. But hell – it’s a huge part of the experience. It’s the game they make us play for adoration.
“Okay, okay, listen – we want to play a few more songs. You want us to play a few more songs. But, you know what? Let’s mix it up a bit, let’s add some, you know, suspense and what not. So, we’re just going to go to the back here, maybe chug a beer, perhaps blaze a bowl, wipe off our sweaty brows, do whatever we rocker types enjoy doing. Maybe we’ll just allow your applause to fill our egos full of helium so that it will slowly rise into our brains, expanding our heads and lifting us off of the ground until we float about with the clouds we were destined to stand upon. But after a few minutes, we’ll come back, and totally rock out a few songs, adroitly saving at least one hit and one surprise, perhaps a cool cover or an unexpected song we rarely play from the olden days for our long-time followers.”
And it pretty much always works like this. But the thing is, you’re still hyped from the show, the energy is still pulsing through the veins, and you just want a bit more. So, you get clapping, catcalling, yelling for the band to come out, until you’ve whipped yourself into a frenzy that is laden with energy both from the performance and from the anticipation for whatever they’ve got left. Sure, the whole thing has become arbitrary and contrived and totally unoriginal; but it’s still fun as hell, and you should never leave before the encore. Unacceptable.
Cutting the night off short
Leaving the party before midnight. Bouncing from the bar before last call. Turning down the after party invite. Going home instead of doing the late-night diner trip. Sure, there are excuses for these – maybe you are working the next day, or you’ve made other commitments for the evening. I get that. But if you’re free the next day, and you’ve already made the effort to go out, then do it up right, for God’s sake. Maybe this one is just me, since when I go out, I like to make an all-night experience out of it. My thinking is that you never know when the Big Guy’s gonna turn the lights out on you, so you might as well make the best out of the time you got. Or, as Cake put it:
“As soon as you’re born you start dying / So you might as well have a good time.”
This can also lead to some blurry recollections from foreign locations once the sun has risen – but hey, at least you know you weren’t bored, right?
Oh, by the way, this one also applies to leaving family functions too early. That’s super lame. Especially if my Grandparents are reading this.
Giving somebody blueballs
Right – don’t think I’ll expand on this one too much. Especially if my Grandparents are reading this.
Clapping before a song is over
I know that your heart is in the right place, but please, please don’t start clapping until you know for a fact that the song is over. Especially – ESPECIALLY!!! – if you are at a musical. Don’t screw up a performer. To me, instead of signaling your respect for the actor/actress performing the song, you aren’t paying the song your full attention, and hence start clapping at a pause because that’s what you figure you are supposed to do. This also seems to happen a lot at instruental recitals. Don’t screw up little Sally, who’s just trying to get through “Three Blind Mice in C Minor.” That’s totally weak. It’s less drastic at a rock show, when the band is doing the long pause before they nail the totally dramatic, hair-whipping, guitar-smashing, drumstick-twirling finale of sonic emotion that leaves them drained and leaves your arm hair standing on end. That’s such a wild moment of raw energy that a few yelps and rocker screeches are to be expected. But don’t you dare do it at a play…you wait, damnit.
Reciting lyrics or movie lines before they happen
Listen, I’m proud of your expertise and prowess in whatever movie or show or song you are watching/listening too. But you know what? It’s annoying as hell when people do this. Just like it’s annoying being with Johnny Impatient when he leaves the game and leaves you wondering what the outcome is, this is annoying because it totally destroys the suspense of the moment. Don’t do this to people – it’s cruel, especially with movies. I had a guy take this one a step further, essentially revealing the entire plot of “The Sixth Sense” to me before I had ever seen it. Yup…I knew the bastard was dead the whole time. I’ll never know if I would have figured it out or not.
Why me, God? Why me?
Alright, that’s all I got. I’m sure I missed a few. Which means I should probably put Writing blog posts and missing comparisons for the topic on hand to the list. And I would, but for whatever reason, that one just doesn’t seem to bother me that much…