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Generation X : Tales for an Accelerated Culture


When we bought their hotel, we just kept the name they'd chosen. Claire exclaimed happily that it was "perfectly abhorrent!" Dag remarked that it had "a ring of an endless woodland loop about it—"

("Imagine you're walking through a beautiful wood. It's so peaceful, light dappling around you through the canopy of cedar trees, that you walk for hours without noticing where you're going. It's late afternoon before you realize you're lost. Luckily, there's a signpost to guide you – just over there. Serendipity. The charmingly rustic little sign, a piece of wood carved into an arrow and carefully hammered into the ground, reads the Cosy Cove Retreat.

"Perfect. You can ask for directions, or even stay the night. You set off in the direction that the sign suggests, but an hour later, to your dismay, you're right back where you started. You can see that same sign, except now its twee qualities seem to taunt you. You set off once again, cursing under your breath and finding it hard to enjoy the dappled light, which is beginning to dim into twilight, anyway.

"Each time you head off in the direction the sign points, you end up right where you started. Finally, you collapse into a heap, exhausted and holding back tears. You know you're here for the night. It's cold and bleak and you remember some story a boy scout friend of yours once told you about bears in wooded areas.

"'The Cosy Cove Retreat.' As you sit shivering, you roll the words on your tongue obsessively. You'd like to lie in hotel sheets and exchange chit chat with the overfriendly owners who insist on calling you 'Bud'. You yearn for the Cosy Cove Retreat and, just as quickly, you begin to loathe it, sensing it must be a mirage, a trick sent to befuddle idle walkers.")

True to Dag's macabre story, the hotel did have a Norman Bates quality that we were loath to renovate away. However, there was some structural work to be done, and if the place needed to be torn apart, we figured we might as well redecorate as well. By this point, we were two months into our Big Adventure and we were beginning to feel like we'd taken a couple of loop-the-loops and the rollercoaster's rotting wooden struts were ready to give way, sending us plummeting to our deaths. Needless to say, our nerves were a little frayed. Also, I was beginning to feel that our 'brainstorming with alcohol' mode of making business decisions wasn't common practice for a reason.

"I think!" Claire said, punching out her exclamation point by pounding the tequila bottle against the table, "we should decorate each room as… as an hom aaaage to our favourite artists. We could fill a room with sunflowers and another with melted clocks…" She beamed. "It would be." (Pause for effect.) " Lovely. "