The problem with wanting to go to an Operetta at the local theatre (and no, it's not what you would think. I happen to be very fond of the odd Gilbert and Sullivan. Despite being teenaged. They have a lot of clever, witty wordplay, doncha know) is that lots of other people want to go to. Lots of other people who are of a certain age. Lots of hard-of-hearing, brittle-boned, infuriatingly slow people of this certain age, which hovers at about the 80 mark.
They all know the music inside out and back to front naturally. Which is fine. Just not at a low hum in my ear, vibrating at just under the actual note and causing an under the skin irritant. The man next to me (a small, solid, leathery chap) insisted on intermitently deciding to hum the odd phrase during the opening medley, flitting between under the breath mindless noise and launching into out-and-out accompaniment. The whole thing was entirely unrecognisable as what was actually being played up on the stage. But he was content, chuckling every so often, and obviously thinking himself a true Gilbert and Sullivan connoisseur.
We, in our youth (and that is including the menopausal mother) were sandwhiched between coachloads of geriatrics, which meant that it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get in or out of our seats. No matter how apologetic one is, the guilt is still instilled within you when you are forcing the poor dear to ease their aching frames, uncomprehendingly slowly, out of their imprisoning seats. That is if they see or hear you wanting to get past in the first place. Polite coughs just don't cut the mustard in senile situations.
I was spared the humming in the second half. The man didn't turn up next to me. I hope to God he didn't suffer a stroke during the interval.