You’re too young to burn

We’ve had season tickets to the Takacs Quartet for a number of years. These sold-out concerts are in a 500 seat theatre at CU, and somebody pretty much has to die in order for someone else to get tickets.

Every year I call the box office and beg for seats on the aisle; this year we got them. Our new seatmates watched the transfer from wheelchair to seat, and the subsequent removal of my wheelchair, with interest; during the intermission (for which they had to climb over me), the gentleman of the couple asked, “What do you do if there’s a fire?”

“That’s a problem,” I replied. My husband, who prefers not to participate in controversial discussions in public (or private, for that matter, but that’s another topic), said, “It’s not a problem, I would just get your wheelchair for you.” Considering it takes a good 10-15 minutes for the auditorium to clear out at the end of a concert so that he can do just that, I allowed as to how that might not be a very good plan, pointing out that not only did that make me a second class citizen who gets to be rescued only after the ambulatory have made their escape, it also endangered him by potentially requiring him to re-enter a burning hall. “We’ll just hope there’s no fire, then,” he replied, hoping to end the conversation. “That’s not a plan,” I said.

“I’d carry you out,” our new acquaintance said, “You’re too young to burn.”



  1. mdmhvonpa

    Now, if he was a true gentleman, he would have quipped that you are much too young and pretty to get burnt up. :)

  2. Katja

    Hey, I take my compliments where I can get them!

  3. Angela

    I have the same problem when attending the theater. However, sometimes it’s better to transfer to a better seat than to deal with the “wheelchair seats”, which are often a parking spot somewhere at an extreme side of the theater where I can’t see half the stage. It’s a catch 22 situation.

  4. Katja (Post author)

    I talked to the house manager – turns out there are two wheelchair seating areas (created by unbolting and removing existing seats); both are in the first row at extreme stage right and left (ie, very undesirable seats). One of these is already being used by a season ticket holder who uses a wheelchair. The other is also sold, but she informed me that those people would be reseated if I say that I “need” that seat.

    Like you, Angela, I decided I’d rather have good seats than accessible ones. I did, though, have a good talk with this woman – she had not had the opportunity to think about wheelchair users’ concerns before. When I told her that being separated from my chair made me nervous, she asked what my ideal solution would be. “Ideally, I’d be in my wheelchair,” I said.

    “You mean in your seat with your wheelchair near you?” she asked.

    “No, in my wheelchair – that way I’m mobile and able to evacuate independently in case of an emergency.”

    I think she heard what I was saying.

  5. Patricia Tryon

    Sheesh, Katja, with that header I figured we were off into some kind of fundamentalist tract from my childhood!


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