Ear Assault: When Did Louder Become Better?

Ear Assault: When Did Louder Become Better?
Many people I know (including my husband) have attended one or more performances of Cirque du Soleil. They all raved about the experience. Not being a fan of circuses, I wasn’t all that interested. Then came the announcement that Cirque was coming to my town. In my mind, this was fate. I wouldn’t need to travel to see a performance (I don’t travel well for any reason). Instead, the show would be practically at my front door. After discovering an online discount of 30 percent on ticket prices, I secured tickets for my husband and me. As the date neared, I actually became excited about the prospect. I reasoned that my childhood distaste might have matured to an appreciation for, or even delight in, the talent of the performers. The day came, and I happily went off to the event. It was a cool day in Southern California, with temperatures in the low 60s and the wind blowing. Anticipating a long walk from the parking lot to our seats, and being prone to feeling cold at any time, I dressed warmly. As soon as we found our seats, I regretted my choice of apparel. It was warm and humid inside the tent, the temperature rising uncomfortably as the arena filled with people. I quickly shed a layer of clothing. Then came the overwhelming smell of popcorn. The 4:30 p.m. performance time was especially enticing to popcorn enthusiasts whose dinner hour was about to be delayed. As families with garbage can-size containers of popcorn passed nearby, the scent from their open buckets wafted over us. The overly warm temperature added to the
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