Apparently there’s an annual “Boring Conference” out there:
When I got to the venue, the young lady at the welcome table informed me, with an air of genuine sympathy, that I’d missed some very boring stuff already. The day had kicked off with conference organizer James Ward’s keynote on supermarket self-service checkouts, (with an emphasis on the phenomenon of “unexpected items in the bagging area”). Then a former postman had given a talk on letterboxes and the neglected problem of protective bristles, and there had been a very well-received presentation on discontinued IBM cash registers. I regretfully agreed that all this did sound extremely boring and proceeded to the large neo-Georgian auditorium, where an audience of about 500 mostly twenty- and thirty-somethings were listening with careful amusement as a dapper young man talked about toast. There was a large screen behind him on the stage, and he was clicking through a series of photographs of toast slices, ranging from the entirely burnt to the effectively untoasted, in order to demonstrate what he called “the confusing, non-regulated series of toaster settings on the market.” His manner of weary, slightly apologetic pedantry seemed to be going down exceptionally well with the audience, and a detailed graph mapping various popular toaster models along a continuum of bread-toastedness drew some delighted laughter. (via Arts & Letters Daily)
Talk about taking the idea of enjoying something “ironically” to the next level. At least one of the banalities discussed is amusing in a depressing sort of way:
A guy called Greg Stekelman, who announced himself as 5-foot-4½, talked about his obsession with celebheights.com, a website devoted to determining, and bickering over, the heights of famous people. (Sample comment from contentious thread on Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine: “Nothing but jealous short guys on here. This dude is a strong 5’11, almost, if not 6’0” in the morning.”
I suppose this was bound to happen eventually.