November 18, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on November 17, 2018

Too many evenings spent on the couch vegging out, not going out. Why is that?

Years ago, I used to work in the evenings, but now, after getting through another hamster-wheel day, it just doesn’t feel right. Relaxing on the couch in the evenings seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do instead. Maybe it’s also an aspect of aging. That whole EverReady Bunny thing stops go-go-going somehow.

It’s the climate and our built form, too: that you’d face a cold winter night if you went out; that you’d want to drive if you did, even though you’re only going half a mile; that nice places are few and far between; that everything is just a little too noisy and not furnished softly, so sounds bounce off and reverberate from all the hard surfaces. Ah, yes. Noise. It’s by design; I hear it’s what people want: noise and more noise.

Who came up with this stupid “open kitchen” design trend that has overtaken practically every restaurant? The bars, cafes, and especially the restaurants are now mostly all “open,” so that all the noise of all the busy workers – cooks, baristas, et alia – assault the ears …even though work and workers is kind of the last thing you want to be reminded of when you’re just trying to chill someplace that doesn’t happen to be your own couch. You can’t get the customized thing you want, so you stay home. You can’t hear yourself think in most restaurants or coffee shops because people are screaming their heads off when they converse, trying to be heard above the “open kitchen” din and the “eat-to-the-beat” supercharged music, so-called.

So you stay home and watch some detective procedural, preferably British, on Amazon Prime or Acorn, because if you want to hear people screaming, it may as well be murder victims or the innocents who discover the bodies. In Victoria, in the Empress Hotel, there used to be a bar called The Library. It was perfect: hushed, quiet conversations, intrigue, wheeling and dealing. Didn’t last, got eliminated years ago, perhaps by the tsunami of hip, so-called. Who knows? Were it to exist today, it would have to be called The Body in the Library, because I guarantee people would be screaming. Everyone who is out and about is always screaming, except those of us watching, picking up the clues so carelessly strewn about.

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