Part two of the Miss Margaret Moneypenny’s Etiquette Guide to the Apocalypse series.
Now that society has begun to rebuild itself, you may have noticed our cultural institutions reemerging from the rubble. The monthly concerts in tribute to our Dear Leader were of course the first of these, and since attendance has been made mandatory, we think that now would be an excellent time to brush up on concert hall protocol under the new regime.
Before you Leave
Dress casually. While in years past cocktail attire was preferable on opening night, these days such blatant displays of affluence will mark you as one of the bourgeoisie and you may find yourself gunned down in a dark alley faster than you can say “Batman’s parents.”
If any of your children have survived past the usual rate of mortality, please leave them with a caregiver over the course of the concert, preferably one who can be trusted not to sell them into slavery. Or, at the very least, one who will be willing to share a portion of the profits with you.
At the Concert Hall
If you are late in arriving, you may be asked to wait in the lobby and later escorted into a vacant seat at an appropriate moment. You may take your assigned seat at intermission. If you complain about this policy you will be conscripted into lavatory duty after the performance. If you complain about this policy you will be detained indefinitely in a dissenters prison. Children left in the care of a babysitter may be sold into slavery if they are not claimed by a relative within 48 hours.
It’s advisable to unwrap lozenges before the performance. Patrons who make any ambient noise during the concert such as fidgeting, coughing, or the rustling of candy wrappers will be tranquilized by the nearest usher and billed for the cost. Those talking will be shot. (With a silencer, for obvious reasons.)
Clapping is encouraged for the entrance of the Concertmaster, any soloists, and the Conductor/Concert Maestro. You may also clap between movements and at the end of each piece. Please save all texting for intermission, but you may tweet your appreciation for the performance to Dear Leader at any time. This is acceptable because the cellphone light from tweeting is totally different than when you send a text. Those sending texts will be tranquilized (or shot if the tranquilizer supply is running low.)
After the Concert
Remember to tip your musicians. Symphony members used to be paid in part by federal funds from the National Endowment of the Arts, but that was eliminated in the years preceding the Great Purge. Now their participation in monthly concerts is mandatory, so they wouldn’t be eligible for monetary compensation anyway. Their reward is their devotion to Dear Leader, as well as the privilege of not spending their days in a dissenters prison. They are, however, accepting donations from the audience so be sure to toss some spare change in the hat they pass around between movements.
If you recognize a symphony member after the performance it is impolite to ask them at which subway platform they play in their off-time. That information can be readily found on their twitter account.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the symphony or a long time fan, everyone should enjoy these monthly tributes to promote unity and prosperity under the new regime. Now that you know the basic protocol of the symphony you will be able to attend the concerts with confidence!