Ever been entertained and didn’t know it?

Since out-of-towners are coming to our place for Thanksgiving, we can safely state that we’re having company.  That potential assertion–that we’ll be “entertaining” for the holiday–is sadly not a sure thing.  We might overcook the vegetables, or choose activities for which our visitors are not in the mood, or (Heaven forbid) fail to notice that a plumbing catastrophe of the sort that only transpires when guests are present might be developing at this very moment.

So, our houseguests will be hosted; whether they deem themselves “entertained” is really their decision, isn’t it?  It’s the same sort of judgment call that advertisers frequently fail to acknowledge in their use of another e-word.  “Enjoy” is often used in preference to “eat”, “wear”, “use” and similar consumer-ish verbs in a manner that strikes me as either amusingly overconfident or bossy.

As you take possession of that steaming cup of liquid and prepare to exit the counter, you’ll likely spot a caution that the “beverage you are about to enjoy” is hot.   And while it’s a safe bet that you will in fact drink or consume said liquid, I submit that the purchase price entitles the consumer to determine what if any level of enjoyment has been attained.    

Last week, library staffers viewed an online tutorial preparing us to technically support a new database product (coming soon).  Not only will your library patrons love this service, we were assured, but it’s easy!  All you have to do is click, download, and enjoy!  This command sequence ignores a crucial step: how about simply listening or viewing?   

In the past few days, I’ve been amused and enlightened on occasions such as these:

  • A patron requested a detailed map of the Chisholm Trail. She needed to know whether the route included Rising Star, Texas. Not only do I now know there’s a town with this wonderful name, but the conversation also included a real Texas ghost town: Thurber.

  • Thanks to a brief free-channel opportunity, I finally saw Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. Now I want the soundtrack and am anticipating a great performance by Bridges in True Grit. I noticed that the library copy of Crazy Heart (novel by Thomas Cobb) is no longer with us so have re-ordered.

  • A fellow librarian recommended a fabulous Indian cookbook featuring loads of helpful photos and less emphasis on curry: Pure and Simple: Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine.

Let’s go ahead and use the e-word:  I enjoyed all three.

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