The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Easy Money, Easy Women, Easy Listening

Bit and Bitter

[Bit and Bitter Ryan "two-bit hustler" Hamilton and Ryan "festering canker of bitterness" Honaker]

We stand here in moral outrage. Although we have no morals in the conventional sense of the word — or any sense at all for that matter — we bask proudly in the warmth of the fire of justifiable righteous indignation and the glow of a social cause that on't require us to put ourselves out in any way. What has caused our proverbial hackles to raise? The crime against society known as "Easy Listening" has proved all too pervasive, and we stand as the sole champions calling for its demise.

Easy Listening, also known as Elevator Music, has been proven to be the cause of all of modern society's ills. Would we have poverty if there were no Elevator Music? Would there be violence or graft or teenage pregnancy? Can we conceive of war without the angry, inciting tones of Easy Listening, echoing the rhythm of the soldiers' marching in its percussionless beat? Actually, looking back over that sentence, we realize that it didn't make much sense. We were trying to say that Easy Listening causes war. That's it. War is caused by Easy Listening. Let's just accept that as self-evident and move on, okay? Thanks.

Easy Listening (specifically engineered for those who find listening too difficult) comes in two pre-digested forms: OG (original) compositions and instrumental cover songs. This first category is sometimes called Modern Jazz, even though it sounds nothing like any kind of Jazz ever produced and Miles Davis would personally kick the untalented butt of anyone who claimed that it was. The second type is specifically designed for those who find the sound of the human voice too traumatic and overbearing a force to be dealt with. These are the people who say to themselves, "You know, I really like that new Stevie Wonder song — except for the Stevie Wonder part. I wonder if we could take him out and replace him with, say, an oboe. That way his voice won't interfere with the voices in my head. Red Rum. Red Rum."

Even though we candidly call it Elevator Music, we realized today that neither of us has actually ever heard it ever being played on an elevator. But even assuming it was at one point played on elevators — and we must emphasize that this cannot be proven — why? Who decided that changing floors was such a significant event that fanfare was needed? Why is there no music in stairwells? Or on escalators? Shouldn't we play music anytime an NBA player jumps really high? Is there some minimum change-in-elevation requirement, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, requiring the playing of something soothing?

We're pretty sure that music of some kind is played in dumb waiters; we just can't hear it. Because only food rides in dumb waiters (and the occasional midget in a zany slap-stick comedy), only food can hear the music. It works on the same principle as a dog whistle. Brilliant, huh? We're pretty sure that there's a master's thesis in this if someone out there is willing to do the research.