Suggestion for Pubs: Turn It Off.
There have been many accusations thrown around that I am indeed actually seventy-five going on twenty-five, which I can understand given my tendency to complain about the things that only the elderly seem to care about. I suppose it’s enough for some of my more progressive friends to wish death panels would get the go-ahead already. That being said, this recent post got me thinking about one such pet-peeve that I believe could be universal, that being a request for silence while I am eating or drinking.
“Music at dinner is an insult to both the cook and the musician,” Mr. Chesterton tells us, and I know that the Inklings made it a point to find a pub which had no radio (and later avoided the TV). While music performed by a live musician is certainly preferable, even more so in a pub, I echo Chesterton when I ask that the pub be made a refuge from the television. Pubs were meant to be a place of conversation and a communitas which we see disappearing from the life of modern men; we let the Italians have their piazzas, and we might even join them when on a holiday in Italy, but we in the rainy and cold climates prefer the warmth of smoke, a fire, good friends, and endless pints. Staying on the parallel of the piazza and the pub, I wonder if any one would be alright with somebody dragging a flat screen by the fountains in Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere simply to watch the Italian equivalent of “Bones” or “Survivor”. It would be the ruining of a stage and would be seen as tasteless as a reading of A Modest Proposal in the nursery.
So it is that I beg my pub owners to give me just one hour of silence, filled only by the
sounds of conversation and perhaps fiddler or two. Let us be like my favorite of Pubs, McMenamins Little Red Shed, where we will have cigars and beer serenaded by the cracks of burning wood, rain on the room and laughter from each tiny corner.
Thanks for allowing me time to rant, dear reader.