A-Venters Assemble: Age of Ultra-jerks


New member
Forgive me, I just need to rant amongst colleagues for a moment. I went to see the new Avengers movie today, a treat to myself having spent a week in the hospital at my wife's side while she awaits surgery. I enjoyed the film immensely, and it had the appropriate amount of smashing and explosions to take my mind off my wife's woes for a few hours. What that says about me, we'll leave to the darkness of the movie theater. ;-)

At the end of the film, I got up to leave. A large, old man moved past me in the aisle and said something under his breath. I said, "what?" He repeated: "Thanks for coughing through the whole movie."

I couldn't believe it. Luckily I got mad fast enough to retort: "Yeah, lung conditions can be that way." I don't know if he heard the not so printable title I bequeathed him on the way out the door, but I hope so. I also hope his wife heard it, and that her old man was hassling a disabled person. Nice catch, lady.

I was hopping mad, and though I am a peaceful sort, I looked back at the exit to watch him come out and marvel (har har, no pun intended) at him. Even confront him? I was tempted, something I never do. When someone his size, with a green shirt emerged and walked in my direction. I met his gaze and glared at him, then wondered if it was the same guy. If not, sorry innocent guy!

After a soothing rant on Facebook, I decided that he had done me a favor by letting me know that he was, a) an ableist jackass, and b) too profoundly irritated and distracted by my coughing to enjoy the movie, which is exactly what he deserved. I would never have known if he hadn't helpfully informed me. I am hoping I can join him for the new Star Wars movie.

I mean, really. If he can't be inspired by my heroic journey through life, that brought he and I together to watch a film on this fateful day, who needs him? I have zero patience left for ableism and ignorance. It's pretty easy to be decent to other people. Evidently this guy never learned how. I'm not sympathetic to his movie-related plight in the least.

Thank you for letting me vent.



New member
I don't know, I understand arguments from both sides.

He probably didn't think you had a lung condition, just maybe sick. If you're sick the general consensus would be to stay home and get better as to not contaminate others'.

Living with the disease myself I've struggled with how much my coughing bothers others. Will I stop living my life because of it, No, but it is something I'm aware of. When I watch movies I try to eat/drink during the movie, it seems to help with my coughing. In the end though it just can't be helped.


New member
Yes, I too can understand it both ways. I had to give up going to symphonic concerts years ago because I could not control my coughing adequately enough to be there (and WHY do people feel they need to bathe in perfume to attend symphony?, but thats another topic). Anyhow, I take pretty extensive precautions for movies, may some would help you... a decent bolus of prednisone several hours prior, chewing a narcotic right before to relax the airways, alupent inhaler, ice-cold drink, Tussin cough syrup, and if all else fail, I simply leave and do a nebbie in the lobby (I have a pocket portable). If all this does not work, I give it up as a bad job and figure I should probably be home resting anyhow :p

Leaving is really disappointing, but I have always worked very hard not to make my illness other peoples problems, especially those who have paid good money, as I have to attend an event, and may equally have had a rotten day and really need to forget their troubles. I detest imposing upon others.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, and I sympathize with that having had similar reactions when I absolute could not escape the situation, but I would be just as annoyed as the elderly gentleman in his situation. It's also why I only attend movies that have been out ages and have almost no audience. It's a great way to get private showings and I dont have worry about disturbing others.


Super Moderator
In this day and age, a silent audience in a movie theater is relative. My last movie theater experience was "The Imitation Game" nearing the end of the run at first tier theaters. I figured out that movies and movie theaters were a group experience when theaters didn't vanish after HD videos home theaters rivaled the quality of movie theaters.

The crowd seeing the new Avengers movie has GOT to accustomed to a little noise and the whole idea of The Avenger's is based upon the underdog hero! I am sure a cough would have been noticed in "The Imitation Game", but the theater wasn't so full. Lots of space between other people.

There is good manners for all audience events. Theaters spell it out interspersed with the previews and advertising. I seriously doubt that you had a loud or excessive cough or you wouldn't be ranting. It's a textbook example of passive - aggressive behavior. Take a cheap shot and run. It sort of goes with people getting exactly what they expect. They go see a slam, pow, zap bang movie just knowing someone is going to ruin it for them? Certain things like biological reflexes are common amongst all humans. It's allergy season and undoubtedly sniffling and the occasional cough from post nasal drip from that audence didn't drown out the movie.

The next time somebody pops off about your cough, thank them for listening. I went through a stage when I expected my fellow movie goers to unwrap their gum or candy before the movie started and absolutely wouldn't brook talking, gum snapping or vacuuming up the dregs of a soft drink. A lot had to do with the movie and at least when and where I grew up, how long it had been playing.

We learn everything from two perspectives. We learn the lesson to be taught and we learn at least one person's method of teaching that lesson. When the impression made by the teacher over powers the message, you have problems. Total strangers insert themselves into your life more like a nervous tick, acting without a sense of where they are and who are they to presume to tell you anything let alone you ruined their movie experience. Jeez

Rant On,



New member
The movie isn't school or work. Everyone chooses to go to a movie. If one does not want to be around others who are coughing, then stay home and bit torrent that latest flick.

I agree wholeheartedly with guitarboy. You are right and justified.

In any context, random strangers only reveal their true ignorance and self-centredness when working up to make asinine comments such as you encountered.

I'm not going to stay home because other people are uncomfortable with my cough.

Should you be uncomfortable with my cough, then you should stay home!


Active member
Many years ago, I stopped attending live theater. I am extremely selective of the movies and the day and time that I will attend, if I do at all.

It is not the function of the population of the world to adjust their lifestyle or life pleasures to my disease. Rather, it is my responsibility to not burden them.

The individual in the OP likely thought that you were spreading your flu germs throughout the theater. While I clearly understand that you cannot spread CF with a cough, I also understand that we can spread everything that others spread when they cough.

I remember attending a live performance and a Mother and Daughter. sitting a few rows in front of where i was sitting, sang loudly along with every song. At intermission a person sitting directly behind this couple spoke up and asked them to hold down the volume of their "sing-a-long", to which the daughter replied, "they like us to sing along". Even if that were true, everyone in the theater paid to listen to the performers and not to this couple sing. Much like this man did not pay to hear you cough. The man in question was not rude, you were.



New member
Many years ago, I stopped attending live theater. I am extremely selective of the movies and the day and time that I will attend, if I do at all.
It is not the function of the population of the world to adjust their lifestyle or life pleasures to my disease. Rather, it is my responsibility to not burden them.

That's a bit much. While one should take good effort to cough as little as possible rather than a "I'll cough when, however loud and much I want because I've got a chronic condition" attitude, when it's unavoidable it's okay to cough no matter what others think of it and we have every right to live, to get out there and have fun.

Yes one should take as much precautions as possible. Personally I clear out my lungs beforehand and I've learned to suppress my cough triggers to the point where I will only cough when I absolutely can't breathe anymore. So if I don't have to talk that's going to be pretty infrequent. Then I usually suppress it in my sleeve/hankerchief.

But I wish others would take similar precautions with the stuff that annoys me about them. They should get rid of their beer bellies, loud voices, tiny brains and ugly faces before they go places where I can run in to them. So that brings us back to the point that to live in a free world means people are going to be annoyed by each other. Others don't hide so neither should we. Life's short. ..phew I managed to avoid saying yolo this whole post!


Active member
But I wish others would take similar precautions with the stuff that annoys me about them. They should get rid of their beer bellies, loud voices, tiny brains and ugly faces before they go places where I can run in to them.


Why don't you tell us how you really feel.



New member
A little bit of self awareness goes a long way. So does a little bit of tolerance. It seems like both are needed more and more often.


New member
I think there will always be rude people. Could the man in the theatre complaining had some tolerance? Sure. At the same time, I believe it's my responsibility to not ruin other's paid experiences. If I'm sick and coughing a lot, I don't go to theaters or other places where people pay for enjoyment. If I feel a coughing fit coming on, I'll politely excuse myself. Yes, people should be more tolerant of people with illnesses. But that doesn't mean I should be rude and expect people to be accepting.


New member
I would have to agree that we have to be aware of how annoying our coughing is to others- especially in situations where everyone is in close quarters. The general assumption when people hear someone cough is that they have a cold or flu and naturally don't want to be near that person. So I can't fault the guy for being annoyed at you when he didn't realize your situation. Maybe if you said sorry, but I have a degenerative lung condition that causes this not because of a flu or cough, he might have been sympathetic and apologized himself. Yeah, we have a lot of difficulties with this disease but unless you plan on going around with a shirt saying "Hi, I have CF but don't worry, my cough can't spread it to you.", don't expect a stranger to understand. We deal with a lot of issues, this is one of them.