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March 11, 2014

Mr. Audience Participation

Hi. I’m Mr. Audience Participation. You might know me from such events as concerts, movies, plays, ballgames, meetings, presentations and speeches. You might also have seen me on Facebook or YouTube. I love to shout out my own personal observations whenever I feel like it. The audience and performers really seem to love me!

Unlike the old, boring days, everything these days is audience participation. And that’s really great, because that means everything is about ME!

One of my favorite things to do at concerts is to shout out the names of songs I’d like to hear, even though the artists have put a lot of thought into their set lists and the order of songs. I’m pretty sure they want my input! I also like to wait for a quiet, especially poignant moment during a song and yell out what I’m feeling in that instant, which is frequently “Yeah!” or “Hell yeah!” or “We love you!”

Because why would the audience want to hear the heartbreakingly beautiful voice of, say, John Prine singing an exquisite song like, say, “Hello in There,” when they could also hear me, Mr. Audience Participation, shouting such insightful commentary as “Woo-yeahhhhhh” or “Dear Abby?”

When it comes to TV, I like to enhance the experience for others by loudly speculating on what’s going to happen in the next scene or offering my advice on a better way to direct the show. People love watching TV with me because I’m such a good participant!

And you should see me in meetings. I’m a master of speaking under my breath while somebody else has the floor, offering running commentary on the merits of the speaker’s points to co-workers sitting nearby. I’m also great at extending the meeting by asking off-topic questions that just seem to pop into my head from nowhere. I guess that’s why people love the meetings I’m in so much.

I’m also super fun at the movies. From the coming attractions to the end of the movie, I am apt to chime in with anything from “Wow!” to “No way!” to “That was awesome.” If you think “American Hustle” is good, you should see it with me loudly whispering “I’m going to the bathroom — want me to pick up some Junior Mints? They’re very refreshing — ha ha ha.” Sometimes I even google stuff on my phone to research something that happened in the movie and then report what I found out. I’m that considerate.

And you should see me at ballgames! I inspire the athletes by telling them what bums they are and by occasionally pouring beer on them. I’m especially fun to be around at little-league baseball and soccer games because I generously share my opinions with the umpires and referees, many of whom are kids themselves. They never get tired of my colorful quips like “What are you, blind?” Sometimes I don’t know how I keep coming up with these doozies.

And my helpful participation isn’t just at live events. I also love to visit news and entertainment websites and offer my insightful comments. For instance, sometimes I’ll come across a story written by a top journalist who has researched her topic thoroughly and has interviewed several experts on the subject and then in the comments I’ll write something like, “Read the Bible, you idiot!” Or “Try checking the Constitution, ya moron!” That really livens up the discussion. People also love to friend me on Facebook because I will go through their photos and tell them what’s wrong with their dogs and kids.

The most amazing thing of all is that I really don’t have any special knowledge or talent and yet I am extremely confident in my views, even though most of the time I have only a superficial understanding of the topic at hand. But sharing my opinions loudly is the least I can do in this age of audience participation. No sweat!

Maybe you know somebody like me who always knows just what to say in the middle of any artistic expression, performance, meeting or other event. If you do, please leave a copy of this LEO lying around and maybe they’ll read this and knock that shit off. Because audience participation is my job. I’m Mr. Audience Participation!

OK, gotta dash. I’m late for a wedding and guess what: I know some reasons those two should not get married! Ciao!

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