ON SECOND THOUGHT
BY JAMES LOGUE
I attended a public concert the other night and, as many of you might understand, I was annoyed by people talking during the performance. I just don't get it. Why do these people come to a concert if all they do is talk?
I know there are experts trying to explain such behavior by lamenting the coarsening of our society and blah, blah, blah. I don't want to hear explanations. I just want these people to quit talking.
Of sure, you could turn around and give the talkers a dirty look, but you'll likely get a dirty look in return. You might even be disgusted enough to shush them, but that rarely works, either.
I have, however, come up with a pretty effective way to stop people from talking at public events. I always carry with me a ball peen hammer. After a dirty look and a shush, if the person is still talking, I whack him with my hammer.
Now please understand that I don't hit these people on the head. That can prove fatal and in many jurisdictions it's against the law.
No, I give him a good tap on the kneecap. And when he opens his mouth to scream, I stuff an old, smelly sock in it.
Generally, no one is aware of what happened because the smack on the kneecap is usually done in time with the music on stage. One year, at a Christmas concert, I tapped some guy on the patella just as the percussionist did the whipcrack during "Sleigh Ride."
My ball peen hammer treatment works about 99 percent of the time. There's nothing like the excruciating pain of a fractured kneecap to stop a conversation.
I say it works 99 percent of the time because sometimes the recipient is unfazed. One night during a movie I rapped some woman on the knee only to discover she had an artificial leg. I guess the joke was on me.
Please understand I'm not suggesting we all carry hammers with us to public venues. There are many of us who might consider such a remedy too extreme.
Some others might be a bit squeamish about inflicting bodily harm on a fellow audience member.
I just bring this up because this is what works for me. A good whack with the hammer and I can enjoy the rest of the show.
Next week we'll talk about my clever way to discourage people from talking on a cell phone during a performance.
News Editor James Logue, who really doesn't carry a ball peen hammer and who really doesn't whack people on the knees -- although he'd love to sometimes -- can be reached at 626-1031 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org