Friday, May 22, 2009

Get those coats aff the chairs!

You know those concerts where the seats are not numbered? So people come in early, and spread their coats or programmes over the chairs next to them for their friends, who often cruise in at the last minute, and sometimes not. I once remembered a little old lady in Russia, sitting in the front row, defending the seat next to her to the death. The only occupant of the seat was her handbag, and lots of home-grown (or park-grown) flowers, with which she rushed to the stage, every time the conductor dropped his baton - between movements 'n all.  The next day I saw her outside the supermarket, going through bins looking for empty bottles.....

This is intensely irritating. It would appear, as the German Fono-Forum states, that in Germany at least this contravenes the law, the Buergerliches Gesetzbuch (for my German readers). I wonder how that is phrased in the law: 'Though shalt not place thy coat across the seats of others?'. It's about a person occupying more seats than they paid for, I think.

Of course it takes a brave soul to actually take a seat on which someone else's coat has been placed. The way to do it, apparently, is to approach the seat and the person who took it and thank them for keeping it for you. That takes them by surprise. If you have trouble, get the hall attendants to help you. Probably will work better in Germany, given the legal situation. But you could try it elsewhere....