Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tell me about it

Collectors of 911 lore always enjoy hearing my story from just after 9/11/01, when the nation was in the grip of anxiety from people mailing anthrax to others.

And then some joker started sending emails to others, with the message that by opening the email, the addressee had been exposed to anthrax.

And some of those people called 911 to report their exposure.

So you understand the level of concern that unknown powdery substances can bring about in Americans, and justifiably so. Biochemical warfare is a scary thing, and who knows where the next attack might take place?

And that's why the person involved in this story needs to go sit in a corner (of a jail cell) and think about his foolish actions.

A man whose opera mentor recently passed away brought a vial of his cremains to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. And then, during the second intermission to the afternoon performance of Rossini's "Guillaume Tell" ("William Tell"), he sprinkled those ashes into the orchestra pit, forcing Met officials to cancel the rest of the show as well as an evening performance of a second opera.

The New York Police Department said they know who the man is, that he is from out of town, and John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner in charge of intelligence and counterterrorism, said the disposal of ashes at an opera house may violate city codes but, "I don't believe at this point that we see any criminal intent here."

One person attending the show requested medical attention, and the general manager of the opera, Peter Gelb, said, "We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met. We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them."

The investigation meant that the Met had to cancel that evening's performance of another Rossina opera, "L'Italiana in Algeri," ("Algebra is Even Harder in Italian"), another Rossini opera, because of the investigation.

So the well-dressed audience filed in from the intermission, and so did well-equipped NYPD tactical officers.  Shortly thereafter, an announcement was made that there was a delay caused by technical problems, and then, the announcement came that the audience could leave without having to sit there for the fourth act. And people in the seats who were all ready to shout "Bravo!" at the end started hollering that they wanted their money back. 

Just like when a ballgame is rained out, disappointed ticketholders will be allowed to come back another time.

Maybe the Met will hand out William Tell bobbleheads to being the crowd back. 

They had not performed that opera for more than 80 years until this season, which means that while the hit song became known to all as the theme from the "Lone Ranger" tv show.

All cultural references aside, what sort of unthinking goof thinks that spreading the cremated remains of a human being in a public place is a good idea?

No comments: