#Music To Eat By

Foreground Music 

when the server asked me

a third time

what I wanted

I knew it was time to leave

I came to eat

not shout

I would have asked

for the music to be turned down

then thought

do I want to eat in a place

where the music is so loud

where the customers

are happy with the sonic blast

to distract them from their food

all of them hunched over meals

not looking at each other

did they order via smart phone

I decline to order & leave

I am clearly not 

their target demographic

not their desired patron

I’m used to this leaving

when music is too loud

when too many TVs are on

when the service is too slow

is this discernment

or impatience

is it unfair expectations

or is this entitlement

not that it matters to me

or to them

no one comes running after me

to ask what’s the matter

is there something we can do

to make your experience better

as I leave

they don’t even hear 

the door shut behind me

This piece is at least three years old now & the incident goes back even further. It wasn’t the only time I’ve experienced this sonic toxicity. Most recently it was on a Sunday morning, on a socially distant walk with a friend along the Danforth, with everything, at that time, closed thanks to covid. We passed a ‘pub’ – which wouldn’t have been open then anyway but their patio sound-system was echoing along the empty street.

I understand that music allows patrons to carry on private conversations without being overheard, that music can create a welcoming ambience, that some companies specialize is marketing music that make people eat more, shop faster – but if it so loud one can’t even order it defeats its purpose.

I also realize some people love loud music & when I moan about my dislike of it I am seen as a crabby old coot. Whatever. By the way it doesn’t matter what type of music – hip-hop, Tibetan death metal, Bach, jazz – too loud is too loud. Is there a study that says loud music improves the taste of food? 

I have left restaurants when the music was too loud – I’ve walked in & left when there are too many big screen TVs on, usually on different sports channels – red flags that I don’t even want to see the menu before deciding. Yes, I know being able to afford to dine out is entitlement & there are more pressing issues in the world & my life but you know, everyone enjoys peace & quiet. 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at a quiet cafe – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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