I’d heard of Britain’s annual No Music Day before the Times‘ writeup, but not Pipedown International, a group devoted to eliminating piped-in music in public places:

“Think of the misery of shop workers forced to listen to the same tape over and over again, especially at festive seasons,” said Pipedown’s founder, Nigel Rodgers. “According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, an average shop assistant hears ‘Jingle Bells’ 300 times in the few days before Christmas — enough to go mad. And it’s the same in restaurants and hotels: bad for the customer but worse still for the staff.”

I can relate with that average shop assistant. I was reminded of my employment in a retail establishment that played one two-hour disc of music for four weeks at a time when I was in IKEA the other day and discovered that I still know all of the words to Jessica Simpson’s “With You.” Christmastime was especially dire, what with the forced repeat listenings of Luscious Jackson’s “Let It Snow” and all.

Too bad Pipedown International appears to be an army of dicks:

At an individual level Pipedown members carry printed cards to give to store and restaurant managers, graded in order of approval from “Thank you for having no music” to “Your music has lost you my custom.” More sweepingly the group exists to lobby Parliament (where it is currently promoting a bill to ban Muzak from hospitals) and speak to the senior management of larger retail companies.

I just imagine a mustachioed man in a bowler coming up to a counter, slamming down a card that says, “Your music has lost you my custom,” and then waiting for the person behind the counter to read it and look back up so he can have eye contact when he says, “Good day!” before huffing off.

Like, passive aggressive much, Pipedown International?