IN a darkened cinema auditorium in New York, an audience, enraptured, was watching director Steve McQueen's latest film, 12 Years A Slave.
Except for one woman, who decided her time would be more profitably spent texting on her BlackBerry.
Eventually, a female patron seated behind her, unable to tolerate the distraction a moment longer, tapped the miscreant on the shoulder and politely asked her to desist.
At which point the texter hissed icily: "It's for business ...enslaver! "
Her identity wasn't known at that point, although one eye-witness did describe her as a "mysterious blonde in black-lace gloves", which makes her sound like someone in a Jack Vettriano painting.
The mysterious blonde was later revealed to be none other than Madonna.
Tim League, CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse, a Texas-based national cinema chain, took to Twitter and posted: "Until she apologises to movie fans, Madonna is banned from watching movies @drafthouse."
Mr League later explained that the tweet had been intended as a joke and that he was merely "bringing the issue to the fore". As of yesterday, the ban was still in place - though Me League has also had the grace to admit that it probably wouldn't have too much impact on Madonna's life.
As it turns out, the Alamo Drafthouse has a zero-tolerance policy towards people who text during movies. A couple of years ago, a female customer who had been ejected for texting during a film rang the chain and left an angry, whiny, expletive-laden voicemail protesting her treatment.
The chain naturally incorporated her message in its pre-film announcement about using mobile phones.
The Alamo's stand is a small blow against this sort of anti-social behaviour, which is usually but not always done by people old enough to know better.
People who text or chat loudly in cinemas are enough to bring out the Victor Meldrew in the most mild-mannered of cinema-goers. A Toronto film blogger recently rang the police to complain about texting and emailing during a screening for press and film industry people. A bit extreme, perhaps, but you can see where he's coming from.
In the meantime, journalists who rang Madonna's office for a response have been met with silence. Maybe they should try texting her instead.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.