I often visit libraries. It’s mainly because I enjoy observing people, stalking them through my dark sunglasses. I walk down the aisles of bookshelves, my pony-tailed-super-slim silhouette cutting a vaguely scholarly figure- I like to think to myself that people imagine if I’m real or not. On the odd occasion I’m walking down yet another aisle where I spy a children’s group reading novels- Nabokov, Pynchon, and so on. This is all fine, I think children should start reading novels as soon as they can- none of this sycophantic rubbish they teach in schools these days. The first book I ever read was War and Peace! Now it’s all “Generic character’s first day of school.” Who really cares about generic character’s first day of school, hmm? I would find this very boring, even as a child. I do not want to know about some mediocre child and their mediocre school and their mediocre lives. It is a bore, no?
Anyway, I saw these children wearing ball gowns whilst reading these authors. Shamefully, the mothers were in sweat suits. This is not my point though (the mothers are beyond help)- my point is ball gowns. It is inappropriate to wear these things in a library, reading. Does an archaeologist wear a ball gown when they are on a dig, hm? Books are very much like a dig- and one should dress appropriately. I hope you’re dressed for this book, dear reader. I hope you’re dressed for I, Karl, dear reader.
On the other side of all this, we have those poor souls (if they haven’t sold them yet) who dress like they are gardening when they are at the opera. I don’t go to the opera too much- I normally go to smirk at the nouveau riche, with their over-applied makeup and handbag-husbands. Over-applied makeup is as much of a sin as dressing badly for the opera, by the way. Anyway, when I do go to the opera there’s almost always a couple who dress like they have been struck by the flu just after they’ve been gardening. It is horrid. Worst of all, it is an insult to the performers of the opera- they take hours to get ready (days, if they are a prima donna), and these people dress as if they were just out feeding the chocks? We are not in provincial France anymore- there is no river cottage for you here. To be chic is to be appropriate (among other things), and one can never be appropriate as a farmer at the opera- even if it is one of these Philip Glass operas that go on for years. If it is a Philip Glass opera, one should dress in black and white.