The scene: lunchtime today at Mr. Sushi in the Tower District. I’m meeting two colleagues for a business lunch/interview. When I walk in, they’re already seated, and I notice that the big-screen television behind the bar is turned to the live Michael Jackson memorial service.
The sound: the TV is turned up to an astonishing volume, with the voice of the speaker on the podium pounding out with something close to sonic-boom enthusiasm.
The problem: I say hello to my colleague sitting directly across the table, and when she replies, I catch about 15% of what she says. We raise our own voices, and pretty soon it sounds as if we’re in a shouting match.
The request: When the server asks for our drink order, I ask, “Do you think you can turn the TV down a little? It’s too loud and we can’t even hear each other talk.” She gives me a vague look and a barely commital nod.
The result: The sound is turned up even more.
The outcome: We leave and go to Irene’s across the street. As we head toward the door, I tell the server, “It’s just too loud.” She looks at us as if we’ve just proposed a law against moonwalking.
The snippy comment: Isn’t the “All Michael Jackson All the Time” onslaught today going just a little too far?