Kevin Williamson is a theater critic and a writer for the National Review. This does not make him a hero. What does make him a hero is that he took action on an impulse that plenty of us have battled from time to time: physically separating the loud, obnoxious, moviegoer who won’t turn off their damn phone from said phone.
In Williamson’s case, we’re talking theatergoers here. But the principle remains the same: When you’re at a play, turn off your phone you self-absorbed butthole. I promise you that nothing you’re doing is that important. Promise.
As he tells it, the night began with a couple of annoying women who were “talking, using their phones, and making a general nuisance of themselves.” The audience was watching a performance of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and two women with “too much makeup and too-high heels, and insufficient attention span for following a two-hour musical” were preventing everyone from enjoying the show. Or at least preventing Williamson, as he was seated right next to them.
Williamson claims his date spoke to theater management during intermission, whose assurances that the situation would be taken care of wound up being hollow.
I’ll let him take it from there:
The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.
So I minded my own business by utilizing my famously feline agility to deftly snatch the phone out of her hand and toss it across the room, where it would do no more damage. She slapped me and stormed away to seek managerial succor. Eventually, I was visited by a black-suited agent of order, who asked whether he might have a word.
Williamson tells Gothamist that some rude Googling on the device is what eventually prompted him to remove it from her possession. He was eventually kicked out and says that “there is talk of criminal charges.”
Whatever happens, we salute you. No, I’m not going to suggest that every annoying movie or theater attendee who refuses to follow simple rules and courtesies should be separated from their iPhones – but if I happened to be one of the crowdmembers enjoying Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 that fateful night, well, let’s just say the play (which he says was quite good) wouldn’t have been the only thing to receive a standing O.
Of course, as of now, this is a one-sided story.