One of my many fantasies (of those that don’t involve handcuffs, whipped cream and Denis Leary) is to be an advice columnist. Seriously, is there no greater joy than telling people what to do? Imagine having people actually asking you for guidance! That would be a dream come true.
Did you happen to see Dear Abby’s column in last Sunday’s paper? If you did, I bet you thought of me. Here's how it went.
DEAR ABBY: My son and his girlfriend decided to go to an afternoon matinee. Two older women sat down behind them. When the movie started, one of them began a loud, running commentary to the other.Here’s Abby’s response:
After a few minutes, my son and his girlfriend moved to seats four rows farther down, but they could still hear the woman explaining step-by-step what was happening on the screen. He turned around and made a shushing sound, and in a loud voice she responded, "My friend is blind and I'm explaining what's happening on the screen."
Other people changed seats, too. My son understood how a blind person might want to enjoy hearing a movie, but her companion should have told her this was a public place and she would have to wait until they go home to have it explained in full, or wait for the DVD to come out so they could talk at home while it was on.
Abby, wasn't it rude to destroy everyone else's enjoyment of the film?-- SUZANNE IN LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIF
DEAR SUZANNE: Yes. Your son should have taken the problem to the theater usher or manager. Many theaters are equipped with special descriptive audio for blind patrons. If that accommodation was not available, the blind person and her companion should have sat toward the front of the theater or in an area that was less crowded so they didn't distract other audience members. Also, movies with descriptive audio can be obtained at the local library.Dear Abby seriously thinks blind people should wait until the movie is available in the library?
Here’s how I’d reply if I had my own internationally syndicated advice column:
DEAR SUZANNE: Congratulations on doing such a fantastic job raising your son. Clearly he knows proper movie theater etiquette and I applaud his shushing initiative. Yes, it must positively suck to be blind and not know if there’s a bug on your food or when you’re done wiping in the bathroom, but that doesn’t mean everybody’s ten dollars should go to waste. My beloved Stepdaddy is aurally challenged; imagine if my mother shouted each line of dialogue for his benefit? The situation here could easily have been averted had the woman simply said to her friend, “Hey, I’m blind, not deaf!” and then asked her to relay the essentials of what’s transpiring on screen in a whisper.Now it's your turn. How would you respond to Suzanne?
And what problem can I help you with? HA-ha-ha!