I’ve started reading Bellweather by Connie Willis. It is very funny. The main character is a sociologist who studies Fads and How They Start. In honour of the main character’s main concern, each chapter starts with a description of a famous fad from history in a pseudo-dictionary style. The first chapter begins with the Hula Hoop (march 1958-June 1959). Here’s the entry on coffeehouse fad, which made me laugh, particularly at the end.
coffeehouse (1450-1554) – Middle Eastern fad that originated in Aden, then spread to Mecca and throughout Persia and Turkey. Men sat cross-legged on rugs and sipped thick, black, bitter coffee from tiny cups while listening to poets. The coffeehouses eventually became more popular than mosques and were banned by the religious authorities, who claimed they were frequented by people “of low costume and very little industry.” Spread to London (1652), Paris (1669), Boston (1675), and Seattle (1985).
Seattle, a little late to the party.
Right. Back to reading.