Monday, January 12, 2009
I just realised the real reason the Atheist Bus slogan - 'There's probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.' - is so annoying. It's that 'enjoy'. People are always telling me to enjoy things. 'Enjoy your cheesecake with custard and organic pork gravy!' they trill in restaurants. If you buy anything, you are instructed to enjoy your computer/newspaper/boiled egg slicer. And not buying anything is no solution; then they just shriek 'Enjoy your day!' I think this only started a couple of years ago. It is obviously an American import. What gap does it fill? I suppose there is no conventional form for the seller to celebrate the conclusion of the deal with the buyer. Silence would be alarming, implying, perhaps, that the buyer is a sucker and the seller doesn't care. But there's something weird about the way 'enjoy' is scattered about the place. It's awkward to this English ear. 'Enjoy your life' is the worst of all because it is arrogant and implies that there might be some other life I could enjoy more... or less.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:34 am