One of a number of annoying things my husband has perfected recently is his desire to sing along at concerts.
We go to quite a lot of concerts and I always think that a ticket is so that I can hear the performer sing. But apparently not. Instead that ticket opens up the very likely chance that I will get to hear the performer with my left ear and my husband with my right.
And I know which ear is the one I want to cover over.
I have never been a fan of contrapuntal polyphony (I just wanted to dazzle you with my musical knowledge) or for that matter of duelling banjos. But here I sit, surrounded by many notes often working against each other (the meaning of contrapuntal polyphony – now who said this column wasn’t educational?).
It makes me want to stab him with the concert program or accidentally spike him with a stiletto. It’s lucky for his sake that I am now of the era of sensible shoes and stiletto heels are things of the past. It is also lucky that programs are not made of cardboard with reinforced metal corners.
I try to control this urge to cause him pain (and so far successfully), but after a little while, when the glares are not noticed (to give him his due, it is usually dark), I have to further interrupt the concert with a fevered and terse conversation asking him to stop singing.
I ask this not just for me, but for all the people around us who have paid good money for their tickets, assuming they too will get to hear the performer and only the performer for this outlay.
It is usually this fevered conversation however that gets the looks from the neighbouring patrons and not the tuneful howling at every chorus (to give him his due, he has a lovely melodic singing voice).
The problem is that while he is quietly joining in, I am controlling my own urge to do the same. I love it when we get to that part when they invite audience participation and I have free reign to belt it out.
Meanwhile, the lyrics just churn around my brain, a reminder that I have retained many ‘baba-doo-bas’ and ‘yeh,yeh, yeh’s’ over a lifetime.
Perhaps it is time to let go and send a duelling chorus across the neighbouring seats for all to enjoy. I will know whether this acceptable or not, when I get stabbed with a stiletto.