Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA

A unnamed friend of mine (you’ll see why later) loves to go to the Symphony, so when they had an extra ticket I thought to myself “Hell I’ll bite, might as well expand my horizons and all that, after all I hadn’t been back in a couple years after a Pixar orchestra event, and we’d be seeing Handel’s Messiah which is a more true symphony experience.”

This meant I’d have to leave work earlier than normal and brave the ridiculous traffic. Ended up getting there after it had started and waited with the rest of my people, the horribly uncouth tardy attendees, in the lobby till a mid-intermission. Once we’re let in I show the usher my ticket and he points to the very front row. Great. Not only am I uncouthly tardy, I have to do a walk of shame to the very front of the orchestra hall for all the crowd to see. Yay.

Once at the front row, my friend has the aisle seat and I the seat directly to the left next to a family with 4 children. I am seated next to a young heavier set boy who doesn’t quite fit the outfit he’s wearing, but bravo to his family for bringing him to the orchestra, even if I notice that he already looks bored out of his mind.

The music starts and the singers begin, but I am elbowed by the boy on my left. I look over and he’s scratching his balls. WOW. SERIOUSLY. He had elbowed me just because he wasn’t aware of his own personal space. Nevertheless throughout the remainder of the orchestra I spent my time pondering a couple things:

1. Do young men really need to scratch their balls like 50 times in the course of an hour? On average that’s really close to almost 1 scratch or adjustment a minute. But why am I counting?
2. Should I ball scratch shame him in public? Or would that blast his adolescent self esteem into oblivion? Making him need psychological help in his adult life?

In the end I chose against public shaming, even though it’s the way I was brought up. However, I don’t think I now remember at all what happened in Handel’s Messiah without looking back at the Playbill.

As we were leaving I would tell my friend about this incident and give the child the nickname Scratchy McBalls. I like to use Mc as a prefix for anything negative usually to give it more of a fun connotation. It wasn’t so fun being elbowed throughout the whole event, but at least it makes for an amusing story to retell. Can’t say I want to go back any time soon, a pity for my cultural awareness.

Orchestra: Great.
Acoustics: Fantastic.
Memories of Scratchy McBalls: Priceless.

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