In honor of the man whose cell phone went off during the softest part of a performance of Mahler’s 9th Symphony by the New York Philharmonic recently, and thereby causing a national brouhaha, we revive “10 ways not to have your cell phone ring during the softest part of a Joshua Bell concert.” Substitute “Mahler 9” for “Joshua Bell” and you should be good to go.
1. Take the battery out and hand it to Esa-Pekka Salonen.
2. Bring along your portable drill. Drill a hole all the way through the cell phone, approximately an inch from the top (watch out for sparks; we suggest safety goggles). Thread a nylon strap through the hole and tie it around your neck.
3. Talk on your cell phone while driving to the concert and get in a crash.
4. Refuse on principle to attend Joshua Bell concerts.
5. Pretend for the two hours of the concert that you aren’t as important as you think you are and leave the cell phone at home.
6. Ask your wife (or partner) to wear her (or his) sexy stiletto heels to the Joshua Bell concert. Just before the Joshua Bell concert begins, as a piece of performance art, put your cell phone on the floor and have her (or him) smash it with her (or his) heels. Sweep up the pieces and put them in your pocket.
7. Call someone you know before the Joshua Bell concert begins. Let them listen to the Joshua Bell concert over the cell phone. You don’t hear them very often.
8. Roll the cell phone up inside your program (you were going to drop it anyway) and set the whole thing on fire.
9. It’s time to clean out your closet. Plan to do it the day of the Joshua Bell concert. It’s a big job. There are boxes in there with stuff from college, old love letters, oh, and that thing you thought you had lost. Gather the clothes (70’s bell bottoms, polyester leisure suits, Members Only jackets, the t-shirt from the Combat Rock Tour — it’s been a really long time) together in a garbage bag. Hmmm, you might as well take them right down to the Salvation Army — no better time than the present. When you get back you realize you forgot about the Joshua Bell concert and it’s too late to go.
10. All you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules. Then, hold the cell phone between your knees.
Still as funny as ever. And no, I’m not biased, thank you very much.
Ooh, I was at a concert where E-PS said the “take the battery out” line to some poor person whose phone rang at an inopportune moment. Of course, following that demand is a lot harder with an iPhone . . .
We were at the same concert apparently.
I heard him say it twice, once during an interview or pre-concert lecture (not sure which), and the other at that concert. Phone rang just a few measures into whatever he was conducting, right?
Yes … just a few measures in, the way I remember it. He seemed, uncharacteristically, peeved.
This is hilarious! I will show this to Joshua Bell today.
Let me know what he said … if it was nice.
This musician blogs about both Mahler and being interrupted by a cell phone:
Beyond that, I can’t help but feel a bit of gratitude when I think of the various elements (both human and inanimate) described in her piece: The young adults from a Latin American country playing music so unfashionable among a large portion of their peer group (at least age-wise) worldwide, visiting the States to help their mostly older counterparts in LA, the “french fries” organ and its player perched at the top of a space greatly expanded to fit a larger than normal contingent of performers, the audaciousness of playing within a short period of time just about all the compositions of a remarkable composer, and a young conductor who is bringing some new interest to what has been mainly an old man’s game.