A popular Halifax cafe and bar found itself in a firestorm of caffeine-fuelled controversy Tuesday after declaring itself "screen free" after 5 p.m.
I'm a caffeine-fueled (only one "L," fraud news) passive-aggressiveness machine.
Lion and Bright cafe, in the city's hip north end, recently posted signs informing patrons of the rule, which requires work-related screens such as laptops and tablets to be put away during the evening.
Yes, "work-related." It's critical to my corporate fast-track salt mine that this thing is on, all the time. I'm not crushing imaginary candy on there, no sir. Hard at work all the time, you better believe it.
"Close your screens, meet your neighbours! Lion & Bright is now screen free after 5 p.m. daily," the sign read in a photo posted to Facebook. An asterisk at the bottom of the sign said: "Includes Kindles, tablets, iPads, etc."
Try out some of that so-called human interaction, if your "tablet" hasn't already made you completely inept at it.
The rule sparked a debate online, and while a few people were receptive to the change, others declared it "pretentious."
It still hasn't been called "vacuous" but it's probably only a matter of time.
A Twitter user named Simon Leither said: "Well, I know where I won't be going. I can manage my own device usage, be a social human being and engage with people on my own terms."
I don't need your phony RULES, man. I'm a free man and a hero. You just lost a Twitter user named Simon Leither. Now what. Yeah, that's what I thought.
Another Twitter user named Philip Moscovitch said: "Weird for a place that has tables specifically reserved for people who are working, and that is full of people working all the time. "
From now on "Twitter User" and maybe "former child" will be replacing the degrees I've earned on my C.V.
The backlash prompted the restaurant to issue a press release late Tuesday afternoon apologizing if the rule came off as "patronizing and haughty."
Apologizing for haughtiness? What kind of "Twitter User" would even care? Many such cases! Sad!
"This was not our intention," the release said. "Being committed to openness and building a safe space for community to gather, we have taken the constructive feedback and have decided to edit those signs with a clearer message."
It's now impossible to take any action or to not take any action without offending huge chunks of an atomized, dying civilization.
It said the rule was "strictly for the benefit of our clientele to enjoy the dynamic space and offerings we've created in the community."
"I was just trying to help you!" as you're forced in front of a wall riddled with bullet holes and dried blood.
In an interview Tuesday afternoon, owner Sean Gallagher said the rule has always been in place, but had not been advertised previously in a clear way.
We have always been at war with iPads.
"We had no idea it was going to be a bold move, but it's turning into one on social media, which is interesting and insightful," Gallagher said.
I feel like I'm, you know, learning a lot.
I can manage my device usage.
He clarified that the rule does not include things like smartphones or reading a book on a Kindle -- only devices being used for work purposes.
This is Paul Ryan levels of backpedaling and groveling.
"It's a work hard, play hard philosophy," said Gallagher.
I believe in following my own star and all that.
HotBlack Coffee in downtown Toronto has not offered Wi-Fi since opening last year, in an attempt to foster a community atmosphere. One New York City chain has decided to do without at most of its outlets as well.
In New York we don't play, sucker, so all the coffee marks meekly accepted this new reign of terror.
Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.