1. At a concert.
2. During and after a movie, especially after a blockbuster that half the population is waiting to see.
When you go to hear music...
Let's tackle number 1. I know you think, "It's a concert, it's loud, who cares if I talk?"
The person within earshot who paid 35-50-100+ bucks a ticket, that's who. For humungo outdoor festivals (Bonaroo, Lolla, Pitchfork, Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, etc.), we're going to relax this rule a bit. But when you are at a concert in a smaller venue (think The Aragon in Chicago, The Fillmore in San Francicso, or Ravinia), or if everyone is seated, shut the eff up.
Etiquette Bitch just got an earful yesterday from a young bride who was whisked off on a romantic date to an acoustic concert. This being a special occasion, her husband popped for front-row seats,. The concert took place in a theater, where everyone had a seat. Seat. Theater. Think about it.
Said performer was the bride's favorite, and she was enjoying the show until the brainless bimbo behind her kept yapping away about: shoes, pedicures, hair follicles, the mold in her kitchen. Young Bride asked Brainless Bimbo to keep it down; Bimbo was not happy to oblige. Bimbo bitched.
A similar thing happened to me at the Joe Henry show at the Old Town School. A table of LP Trixies were seated to my right, and couldn't be bothered to shut up all night--- they yapped away through his whole set, thinking he would break into some Madonna tunes. (How do I know? They left the second Joe finished "Don't Stop," the one Madonna song he penned.)
So what does a well-mannered person do in this situation, when the boors all around you are being rude? Go get an usher, or manager. Hardly seems fair--why should you have to be inconvenienced and miss part of your favorite act due to someone else's rudeness? But go get someone -- it'll be better than you trying to shush them, and getting only a smug "nuh-uh" in return. Trust me -- I tried.
After the movie ends...
Okay, number 2: It's summertime. Many highly-anticipated movies are out right now. When you are leaving the theater, or out having drinks or dinner post-show (yes, even days after), please, please, please for the love of all good entertainment, keep mum about What Happened to Carrie or How Indy Escaped.
Other folks who are dying to see the coolest film have not gone yet. Please keep your voice down.
If you are one of those slow-goers, like myself, feel free to kindly, and politely, lean over to The Spoiler and say, "I'm sorry, forgive me for eavesdropping, but I couldn't help overhear you talking about [Carrie/Indie/Hulk/IronMan/Crappy Drew Barrymore Film]. I haven't seen it yet. Can I just ask you not to say anything please? Thanks."
If this doesn't work, walk away, or stick your fingers in your ears and go "nah-nah-nah-nah."