Held Hostage by Hospo

I have a problem which it’s time to share.

My recipe for a happy life involves spending as much time as possible on things I either enjoy or that are good for me (or others).

While I don’t, for example, particularly enjoy going to the dentist, I accept it’s good for me. On that basis I can make the appointment, pay the bill and move on. I’m pretty happy with that.

Clearly a fresh-from-Colonial Bakery lemon cronut is not good for me. It is, however, an example of an intervention so divine I’m prepared to lift heavy weights in penance.

Work is also good for me (since I often work for myself that can sometimes be fun too). Win-win.

Unhappiness occurs when I find myself engaged in something which is neither fun, nor good for me (or anyone else I care about). The level of unhappiness rises when the non-fun non-good-for-me activity also costs money (and time, I have a real bug bear about time).

The best example I can give here is Hostage Hospitality.

Hostage Hospitality is where an event you want to attend – like a concert, show or sporting event – is coupled with a hospitality offering you would never voluntarily engage in.

Your bags have been officiously checked on entry to make sure you are not packing your own refreshments and you are stuck paying too much for something you won’t enjoy, which isn’t even good for you – and – it often comes with a lot of time wasted standing in lines.

Big unhappiness factors there.

Adding insult to injury, you have already paid a ticket price to enter with the best intention of having fun.

The true nature of the rort hit at a concert last year when a friend made it to the front of the queue of the licensed kiosk.

“I’d like”, she began, “a local craft beer.”

“You’ll just have to have something else,” was the laconic response (it didn’t quite happen this way, but feel free to imagine the server indolently filing his nails at this point and leering down at her).

She was forced into a “choice” which involved paying too much for a drink she wouldn’t enjoy, which also wasn’t good for her. (And she, generous soul, bought me one too.)

No more I say.

If these establishments aren’t prepared to cater for me, I’m no longer prepared to carry on funding them.

I refuse to spend money, and half an hour in the gym, mitigating the effects of a beer I didn’t even enjoy.

From now on the only thing I’ll be drinking at Hostage Hospitality venues is water… from the drinking fountains provided.

In this new model I won’t be chancing my arm on understrength beer in plastic cups served with undercooked sausages.


I’ll be eating and drinking before going to the venue – or maybe after. Possibly both.

The food will be amazing, the beer will be flavoursome and I will be giving my money to businesses that appreciate my custom and care about what I like.

Come to think of it, it will probably be cheaper. How much happiness factor does that deliver?

If enough of us do this and the law of diminishing returns kicks in, those Hostage Hospitality Hosts will become interested in our happiness factors – and how happy will we all be then?

Back to The Pursuit of Hoppiness June 2017

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