Last evening Susie and I went out to dinner at a local restaurant in Carrboro which has a lovely outdoor covered eating space. We had a very tasty dinner that was to a considerable extent ruined for me by the music constantly playing in the background which made it almost impossible to have a conversation at the dinner table. After asking the waitress to have the music turned down (which she did, to her credit) I asked at the front desk, when we left, why they had music at all. The answer, which did not make much sense, was that they had not had complaints.
My experience of nightspots is rather limited, to put it tactfully, but it is my impression from the movies and television I have seen that young people like to go to places that are so noisy that it is impossible to hear what the person next to you is saying. I am mystified by this preference as I find it quite literally painful to be in a place with so much background noise that I cannot hear what others are saying. It is for this reason that I hate cocktail parties and other such events.
I reflected that I have never been to a restaurant in Paris where there was music playing while people dined. What is more, restaurants there seem to be constructed in such a fashion as to deaden rather than amplify the noise so that even when tables are placed quite close together it is possible to have a conversation.
I am obviously in the minority on this one so I have no hope of ever changing anybody’s behavior but I would be curious to learn what the attraction is of this sort of background noise.
Astute readers will discern that I am trying hard to distract myself from the godawful news in the world by searching desperately for trivial matters to comment on. I believe the standard reference here is to the quartet playing on the deck of the Titanic.