It's not often that anyone - still less a journalist - puts in a good word for those of us who don't much like talking, find even the most agreeable conversation something of a strain, and would just as soon remain silent, thanks very much. But in today's Telegraph, one Lucy Mangan utters a heartfelt plea for understanding on behalf of the irredeemably laconic and taciturn.
We are suffering more than usual at the moment, thanks to recent political developments. As she puts it, 'Brexit and Trump have not just increased our engagement with the world at large, which is a terrible depredation on our need for psychical and actual solitude, but also increased the threat of just-bearable small talk mutating into unbearable large talk - loud, impassioned, and with no end or resolution ever in sight - to frightening proportions.... For the naturally extrovert, these are glory days. The rest of us curse the sunny hours we wasted not fixing the roof of the lead-lined bunker that we need to hole up in during these controversially apocalyptic times.' Hear, hear.
I would provide a link to this piece, but it counts as 'premium' content on the Telegraph website, so you'd have to pay. Members of the Telegraph's wonderfully persistent sales force keep phoning to plead with me to sign up for this paid content, but I ain't going to do so for the sake of the occasional gem (as Virgil put it, Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto).