hands-on-earsWhile Someone and I ate this morning at Einstein Bros. (as is our wont) the ubiquitous background music suddenly blared out “Black Dog” by Led Zepplin.  This evoked a bricolage of emotions in Urs Truly: annoyance and mild upset* but mostly curiosity.  Mo and Elmo seemed contempt to play pleasant nondescript tunes – so why the change to cacophonous tunes to please thems too old to rock and roll but too young to die?

Background music! It is everywhere. The genera is often purposely chosen to set a certain mood. Slow-tempo soothing tunes help to relax thems at spas, but they also to get shoppers to stick around and spend. In contrast fast-moving tunes get people to go faster; busy restaurants wanting to turn tables use these tunes to move people on.

I still vote for no music but silence. I am one of those old-timers who finds silence lovely and not a blot that needs covering up.  Loud music in public areas promotes everyone to talk louder, adding to the Kingdom of Noise. Bleh.

There is one fascinating exception to the need to have music everywhere: public toilets. These are oddly silent. I don’t know why restrooms are the exception to ‘music everywhere’ approach. I don’t know about the ladies loos but the gents’ are often quite too good at resounding noises. The sounds of male effluvia reiterate loud and clear. This is where I vote for the insertion of background music – any. I warmly welcome Mr. Plant’s Black Dog or anything playing over the silence. I’ve heard rumors the ladies loos are not silent as they talk to each other. If so, I wonder how successful that is to cover up body noises.  Alas, men would rather eat rats at Tewkesbury than talk to each another while standing at a urinal or (worse) sitting in a stall.

Getting back to breakfast, it was difficult to converse due to the distraction provided by Mr. Plant shouting over head and by my internal slideshow of memories of middle school lunch hours.  Afterwards, I went to the restroom to wash my hands. It was dead quiet. There was a sign up saying in a euphemistic way to mind the fact what noise happens is easily echoed.  Life is strange but true.

*This is what is referred to as a ‘trigger’ in PTSD. I was in Junior High School when I first heard this awful tune. Oh the pain.

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