Small Talk

By: Kurt Luchs

The world is getting smaller — have you noticed? We have, and we say, “Keep shrinking, world!” Small is beautiful. Small is affordable. Small takes us inside and throws away the key. Smart money says small is here to stay. Dumb money doesn’t say anything.

Small means boarding up those big garish picture windows, those achingly obvious views of decay. Small means gazing only through the security peephole — and then only when you’re sure there’s no one waiting outside the door. Small means being mean, for the fun of it. Keep them waiting. Don’t look through the security peephole, not even to smile at how poorly they’re dressed. Instead, play that mail-order ambient recording of party noises — drunken laughter, glasses tinkling, cocktail chatter — and don’t answer the buzzer. Make them think you’re having one kind of fun when you’re really having another kind.

Insiders are saying almost nothing about small. Why should they? They don’t want you to know. They want you to keep feeding your fish the recommended amount of food, as opposed to a smaller amount, an amount that fits your needs. You have no idea how silly this makes you look. Try thinking small for a change. Give your fish only a taste of food — a pinch — and you’ll notice the difference in them. And in you.

Small rugs are in — flimsy synthetic rugs that cover nothing, do nothing. Honest rugs that refuse to pretend they can do the job, that slide out from underneath your loved ones, causing them to crack their heads on your exquisitely small nonfunctional plumbing fixtures.

Small drinking glasses are in — have you heard? We thought not. Who would have told you? Smaller shot glasses are very in — monogrammed little cylinders of solid glass with a tiny depression at the top to hold the liquor, to be moistened with the liquor. Also, slightly concave wineglasses that spill more than they can hold. Very in.

Entrees have given way to hors d’oeuvres. Not the fulsome, almost nutritious hors d’oeuvres of the past, but small hors d’oeuvres — indiscernible specks at the ends of toothpicks. Specks that cannot be eaten without puncturing the tongue, in a small way.

Wall decorations, too, are smaller, more focused. Stuffed mammals and reptiles are out — too big. Also, endangered birds of prey — way too big. But insects are just right. Not real insects, of course, but life-sized rubber replicas with hidden suction cups for adhering to the smooth surfaces in your life.

We could tell you where to find them, the places where all the best people are shopping — those in the know. We could tell you.

But we won’t.


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