Saturday, February 7, 2009

WHAT I HATE TODAY: Your daily dose of negative energy

Today I hate people who go for walks in the park while reading a book. This seems like a perfect example of ruining two pleasurable activities by combining them. How is it possible to concentrate on anything with greater literary merit than Us Weekly magazine while looking up every few seconds to make sure you're not about to walk into a tree? And what is the point of walking in the park if you can't enjoy the scenery? Haven't these people heard of iPods and audiobooks?


  1. The 17th century Zen master Bankei actually spoke about this. He said (I'm paraphrasing from memory): "Look at this man reading a book while eating. Does he not enjoy either activity to do it alone?"

  2. Although I no longer walk around reading (back in the pre-iPod / audiobook day, I would read while walking to elementary school), I have to defend reading while eating alone. If you're alone, eating is pretty boring. In fact, it's more of a chore than a pleasurable activity. So, I say, "Why not read while eating, Bankei, why not?" Sure, you might miss your mouth a couple times, but maybe it's a really good book.