I watched the woman, standing out of her seat and self-indulgently dancing, while blocking the view of the stage for all those seated several rows behind her. I was as captivated by her selfish exhibitionism as I was Jackson Browne's soulfully heartfelt music emanating from the stage. I thought, based on recent concert experiences, why isn't that damn woman blocking Carol and I?
When I first arrived as yet another of southern California's transplants, I had a strong feeling music concerts would be in our future. So many venues well within driving distance. I was right. Our Year of the Concerts began in July with Jethro Tull. With most of the crowd on Social Security, it was a sedate bunch, their mobility limited by bad backs, joint replacements and adult diaper rash.
Then came the Paul McCartney show at Dodger Stadium, a bucket list item for Carol and I. By the time the sub-mental Millennial seated behind us had poured her third shower of beer on Carol and several others in our row, our bucket was full. Appeals to security proved a waste of time (the entire episode consumed nearly a hour of the concert), and when I finally unloaded on the brain dead wastrel, then complained to security a second time, "Eleanor Rigby" could choke on the stupid rice for all I cared.
We figured the Turtles's Happy Together show a week or so later would draw the same demographic as Jethro Tull had - less the few who didn't make it till the end of the month. Once again, though, we found ourselves hailing security to sit some fans in front of us that apparently had their cortisone shots earlier that day.
At this point, I'm beginning to develop a genuine attitude about the consideration and inconsideration of the American public. There was a growing sense that some (and it only takes one if they're in the row in front of you) seem to think a ticket is an entitlement to behave as if the concert was a private one put on for their singular indulgence. I realize I'm revealing a crotchetiness that Carol has found a new sense of mission to dampen, especially when I start musing of the historical benefits of the Black Plague.
So it was amidst contemplation of fleas and rats and the loss of a quarter of the world's population at the time, that I continued to watch, as this woman at the Jackson Browne concert ignored shouts to sit down, and then ignore security's gently delivered request for her to stay in her seat. Instead, she shouted epithets at the people behind her, and at one point, defiantly shook her spreading butt (in white jeans, it appeared as a small screening room) at the rows behind her. That proved to be the gesture that brought the curtain down on her evening, to the general applause of those affected.
Elton John looms ahead on the concert calendar, and we are prepared for the worst for that cross-generational rudefest. I'm prepared to spend the evening watching the concert literally unfold on someone's backside. We're wearing something weatherproof for the beer spray as well. But I will stand my ground, and be comforted by the fact that after Elton comes Herman's Hermits and a return to the geriatric set, again, less those who couldn't make it to September.
Then, I think I'm done. I have Pandora on my TV.