DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I attended a concert by a very famous singer, everyone was very excited, and as the artist took the stage, the audience rose, cheering and applauding.
Usually by the second song, the audience settles down and takes their seats, but not this particular crowd. By the fourth song, just about everyone was still standing. Shouts of "Down in front!" started coming from the patrons in the rows behind my friend and me, and we immediately sat down.
Problem was, everyone in front of us remained on their feet. We sat for a bit, and then because we couldn't see anything, we rose again, angering the people directly behind me, who started hurling insults and expletives.
I turned around and explained that I couldn't see anything because everyone else remained standing. When I turned back toward the stage, someone behind me called me a fat pig and slapped the back of my head.
I threatened to have them arrested, but I did sit down. My friend, now out of spite, remained standing until everyone in front of us finally settled down when the artist finally did a slow song.
How could I have handled this better?
GENTLE READER: Having not responded to the threat of arrest, the people behind you demonstrated that they were immune to reason. This may be why they did not notice your problem with the people in front of you.
Miss Manners suggests gesturing toward those who are standing and blocking your view, and then getting out of the way and looking out for some official who might intervene, if not arrest them, if things turn more violent.