Guymon Oklahoma refers to itself as the cowboy capital of the world, but Guymon also has a nice little community theatre that puts on three or four shows a year. Last evening my wife and I decided to attend the Guymon Community Theatre musical production of Willy Wonka. Right after we sat down I noticed an unusually hyperactive child sitting, standing and jumping all around only a few seats to my left with only empty seats between us. So I’m thinking to myself, “Self, why is it that whenever I come to the theatre the loudest most obnoxious kid in the house sits either right behind me, kicking the back of my seat, or the kid sits in my row right between his oblivious parent and me?” The good news was that there was not a child wearing cowboy boots seated right behind me, nor an adult wearing a ten-gallon cowboy hat seated directly in front of me, and those empty seats to my left could fill in before curtain time.
As I sat waiting for the show to begin, I thought back on the time a few years ago when I was talking to a business acquaintance about a show I had gone to see at the theatre. He said he did not like going to the theatre himself, and although his wife used to attend, she was never going back to that theatre again. Thinking that perhaps she had grown tired of kids and cowboy hats, I was curious to know why. So I asked. It turns out that some guy in the seat directly in front of her had turned around during the performance and glared at her. This upset her so much that she and her son moved to different seats during intermission, and determined never to set foot in that theatre again. I just had to know more, so I asked him. Had his son been unintentionally kicking the back of this poor man’s chair, slurping air out of the bottom of his empty coke cup with a straw, or something like that which might explain this man’s angry glance. He was confident that his son was too old for behavior like that, so that could not have been the cause; that guy was just being rude. He went on to tell me that after his wife changed seats that the flash photography she was taking turned out much better. Upon learning all of these facts, I agreed with him that his son was far too old not to know how to behave in the theatre during a live performance. Of course, I truly am quite certain that this man’s son was well behaved.
Then just before curtain time, the empty seats finally filled in with theatregoers setting down between that unattended youngster and me. The assistant director went up onto the stage and announced to everyone to turn off all cell phones, and then he strictly forbid the audience from using any flash photography as doing so might frighten the Oompa-Loompas. I turned off my cell phone and chuckled quietly to myself. The lights went down. My son who was directing the orchestra raised his baton. We sat back and watched, listened and experienced a delicious presentation of a great musical, Willy Wonka. It was a fantastic night-out at the Guymon Community Theatre. We had terrific seats, could see and hear perfectly, and we enjoyed the entire show without distraction, never noticing a single unattended kid, or cowboy hat.