I Want Some ‘Excitement’ in My Life

In which The Author goes in search of physical
and emotional stimulation

One of the most overused words in the English language in recent years must be the word ‘exciting’. It used to be reserved for genuinely stirring experiences, such as big-budget films or spectacular fairground rides.
I’ve looked up ‘excite’ in The Chambers Dictionary (11th edition, 2008) and it’s defined thus:
to cause to become active; to stir up (people, feelings of any kind, etc); to rouse, esp sexually; to energize; to produce electric or magnetic activity in (phys); to sensitize; to stir emotionally; to raise (a nucleus, atom, molecule, etc) to an excited state.
The London Dungeon was exciting, when Sam H. and I visited it some years ago. Unexpected things happened now and again, and we experienced all the physical effects that we anticipated. The London Dungeon can legitimately be described as ‘exciting’.
Now, however, the marketing people seem to have decided that ‘exciting’ is the favoured word for 2008, and have devalued it accordingly. In recent weeks I’ve seen it used to describe retail jobs, shops, and even a survey being conducted at my local surgery.
Well, I’ve got some sad news for the management of St David’s Centre in Cardiff, following an uncontrolled experiment which I conducted last week.
I regret to report that neither my adrenalin or serotonin levels increased while I was walking past the Post Office. As far as I can recall, neither my heart rate nor my breathing became elevated in response to the external sensory bombardment caused by the proximity of mobile phone shops and clothes shops. My erectile tissue remained stubbornly flaccid throughout the entire journey from Queen Street to Working Street.
Despite the best efforts of the town planners and marketing people, I failed to be excited by the St David’s Centre experience.
Maybe the much-vaunted ‘excitement’ took place at the atomic level instead. Measuring the variation in the charge of the electron outside Dorothy Perkins would make an interesting experiment for some physics students. I’ll suggest it next time I’m talking to one in work.
The last episode of Doctor Who was genuinely exciting. It left me physically drained, psychologically disturbed, and in a very emotional state.
Coffee shops just don’t have the same effect. Can we have some perspective, please?
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