I stand behind the bar in the same dirty black pants, the same stained white shirt and bow tie. Good thing they can’t smell me.

They schedule me to work just under forty hours, so no overtime. The theater can’t afford it, they say. Looking at how these crowds are dressed, I find that hard to believe. You never saw so many Rolexes and diamond tennis bracelets.

Come intermission, they’ll pile out like cattle, line up to buy a plastic cup of merlot or chardonnay for ten bucks. Then it’s back to the second-rate orchestra and the same tired ballet.

Friday Fictioneers


12 thoughts on “Culture

  1. Oh boy, this one gave me a flashback to my youth, serving Grey Goose to the Rolex set, peeling off the change stuck to the table when they left, and working 32.5 hours a week, because any more than that and they’d have to pay me health insurance.

  2. In spite of the expense and the wealth of some of the patrons (I’ve attended symphonies when I was rather poor), I understand that such places are heavily subsidized.

    • Yes, they are heavily subsidised. But we wouldn’t have opera at all without the subsidies. Would that be a good thing? Personally it would sadden me. I go whenever there’s a touring company in Plymouth, and always come away feeling spiritually nourished. I’m definitely not rich!

  3. “Good thing they can’t smell me”—I loved that. High society seen from the perspective of someone who doesn’t quite make the grade. Irony. Resentment.

  4. You capture the interval drinks rush very well. And the price of the drinks. And (very occasionally) the standard of performance. At least in Plymouth we seem to get pretty good performances from touring companies.

  5. As someone who loves culture and is from a working-class background, I find this incredibly authentic. Even though a lot of the posher people are nice, you meet a couple of snobs along the way. This story made me smile. Great job.

  6. Reminded me of Frasier and Niles, the epitome of snobbishness for me, though they just made me laugh uncontrollably at their antics, I can imagine how people at the other end of such snobbish behaviour might feel.

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