This is the story of how I died on Monday night.
Cass and I got tickets for the ballet. I was elated. He was dubious. We got dressed up. A navy dress that took flight when I spun around, and a sharp suit.
It was a classy evening out. We sat in the theatre, barely fathoming how great we were at this Adulting business. The curtain came up, the dancers chasséd on. The ballet dancers were impeccable (St Petersburg, for anybody interested). The lead swan had the kind of majesty little girls wish you could bottle. Her feet were more extended than my future. When Act 1 ended, I looked to my left to find Cass still in his seat. He hadn't left yet. A good sign. The curtain came down after thirty minutes of jeté and pliés (ballet terms, don’t mind me). We sat in patient, British silence.
I was smiling faintly. I adored the ballet. I truly adored it. There's just nothing quite li-
A man in front cleared his throat. He extended his neck and then, alarmingly, began to shout.
"WELL... EITHER THEIR MICS ARE BROKEN OR THEY'VE FORGOTTEN THEIR LINES!"
Oh my god. Everyone froze. A couple of people laughed. Most of us went so rigid, you would have thought they'd just announced a compulsory colonoscopy during the interval.
I died. Really. I died. My insides shrivelled up. Heat rose to my face. The cringe was overwhelming. The embarrassment shut down my organs by one by like a nuclear attack. I looked at Cass, who was wondering whether heckling was common practice at the ballet. He could tell by my bulging eyes that this was Not Normal.
This is the part of the story where we meet my hero. You see, somewhere, in the sea of alarmed onlookers, a man took it upon himself to save the sanctity of the ballet. Clearly boiling with anger, he shouted -
‘Shut up you blithering fool!’
It was delightful. I wanted to kiss him.
When the adrenaline rush of Mr Save The Day wore off, the cringe came back and for most of Act 2, we drowned in our embarrassment. I'd made a pretty big deal to Cass about how the ballet was a sophisticated and well-to-do event. Clearly, nobody else got the memo because we then had to endure sarcastic ‘it must be finished’ claps from Mr Jokes Alot when one of the act intervals lasted too long. He heckled some more. The people in front tutted. The lady on my left farted.
Like I said, ladies and gentlemen, a classy evening out.