This happened to me, or I should say to us, today when we went to the cinema to see the much talked about film, The King's Speech.
So it was my heart leapt for joy when we entered just 5 minutes before the scheduled start to find an empty and very large auditorium.
Oh joy. Oh rapture.
We settled into our seats in the centre of the auditorium, sure as we could be that the theatre was unlikely (to say the least!) to fill in the few minutes left.
The minutes passed by. The seconds ticked down. The tension was palpable.
Then, just as the first adverts started (as a rule I hate adverts, always remembering what Hilaire Belloc said of them, and always wondering why skateboarding, skydiving and mountaineering sells - ahem! - 'ladies items' or why car adverts so very rarely tell you anything useful about the car they are selling) in walked a couple...
Cue the ominous music!
Now - oh faithful and patient reader - let me ask you one question. With an entire cinema theatre (or 'screen' as it's called in these here days) to sit in, where do you think these two people chose to sit?
A few rows away? A few seats off?
They sat directly behind us!
I suppose it could have been worse, but only if they'd sat in front of us with Carmen Mirandaesque fruit hats on, smoking Old Holborn in sailors' pipes with the worst halitosis since mangy old dogs drank out of portable toilets at a music festival!
As it was they sat right behind us. I know I'm repeating myself, but even now I can't believe they sat where they sat. I mean, to quote that great sage of the 20th Century Bart Simpson, aye carumba!
It would be bad enough if the story stopped there. But oh no.
Worse was to come.
They proceeded to break four of the ten 'Code of Conduct' rules as detailed above.
They began as soon as the film began.
- They ate. Loud enough to notice. Sweets and what sounded like biscuits. Munch, munch, munch.
- They rustled. Sweet wrapper after sweet wrapper was unravelled. Rustle, rustle, rustle.
- They kicked my seat (I don't think purposefully, but nonetheless, the seat was indeed kicked).
- Last but not least shoes were removed.
I was tempted to move, but the film had begun and the upheaval of us moving might have annoyed my familial companions and I more than the drip, drip, drip of Chinese water-torture style cinematic misdemeanours I could hear and feel.
I was tempted to turn around and request they behave in a more civilised fashion, but the fear of them refusing, or ignoring my courteous supplications and me "blowing a fuse" as a result was too much for me to contemplate, and so I thought silence was the better part of valour, in this instance.
The film itself was superb and a joy to watch, moreover for the struggle of an individual to overcome his personal shortcomings, albeit with the added ingredient of the Royal Family and its environs in the 1930s in the shadow of the rise of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It deserves all the plaudits it receives and the awards that will surely follow.
Would that those attracted to view it at their local multiplex behaved in a fitting manner for such a cinematic treat.