Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Things are Best Left Unsaid

And here I am, trapped in another monotonous conversation with a coworker. A few things of note about myself:

A) I am not a friendly, “Hey! Let’s talk!” kind of guy.
B) I am terrible at small talk
C) I probably have little to no interest in what you’re going to say to me

I know, it sounds elitist, but facts is facts. I can count the people whose company I enjoy for more than 5 minutes on my two hands. Okay, maybe a foot as well.

But the point is, I’m just really not into hanging around and chatting about whatever. But I’m also not very good at asserting myself (ergo, AWFUL) and therefore end up in many situations I’d be happier avoiding. This conversation is one such example.

It’s not that I’m rude, hostile, or excessively patronizing to those I talk to, it’s just that I cannot feign interest in anything for more than a minute or two.

But where this tale gets interesting is a little further down the road. Let’s get started.

Here is the dialog as it progresses:

Not Me: Hey, man, have you heard of this new Nintendo Wii thing?
Me: Yeah, I stood in line for 17 hours the day they came out for mine.
Not Me: Right, right. So, have you played it much?
Me: Well, yeah, I bought it and all. I’m kind of a gamer.
Not Me: I saw a video of some kid playing the baseball game. It looked fun. Is it?
Me: Yeah, the Wii’s a blast. I prefer the bowling myse....
Not Me: Right, right. So, is it good for families?
Me: Yeah, it’s a great family system. It’s a blast all around. It’s a total blast to get a few guys, some beer and nachos and just let everybody flail around like drunken idiots.
Not Me: Right, so, what you’re saying is that anybody can play, right?
Me: Sure. My mother, who has never really played a game in her life could pick up a Wiimote and figure out how to play in a few seconds.
Not Me: So, in other words, you’d have to be pretty much completely incapacitated to not be able to play, right?
Me: Yeah, that’s a pretty fair statement.

Okay, remember how I said it would get interesting? Let me italicize this next statement for emphasis. Again, this is EXACTLY where the conversation went at this point.

Not Me: Yeah, because I know this guy who was in a terrible car accident and has been in a coma for the last two years. He has two daughters, one of whom has never even heard his voice. They’re always asking their mother when Daddy’s gonna wake up.

What. The. Fuck?

Seriously, how are you supposed to keep that conversation going? That’s just a WEE bit of a curve ball, don’t you think?

“Yeah, I hate when that happens”. Would that be appropriate? “How about them Braves?”

Like I said, small talk is not a strong point of mine, but usually if somebody’s going to derail the conversation with something really out there and weird, it’s me. But at least if I did it, I wouldn’t make the other person feel bad for being alive.

I shit you not, the conversation almost immediately turned to people who had been in motorcycle accidents and lost limbs. Get to know me well enough and you’d find that that’s normally a conversation I’d LOVE to have, but with the right person at the right time. And this just ain’t it, man.

As I stood there pondering how the hell I was going to escape this conversation, I played through endless scenes in my head of what could possibly be more inappropriate. A few that I managed:

• Arriving at a funeral with a spinning bowtie and a nose that honks when I squeeze it, constantly making bad jokes while honking and twirling.
• Waiting around a factory for some sort of horrific accident, only to run up with a foghorn playing “Wah wahhhhhh”
• Opening a daycare that caters to scaring the shit out of your kids with evil clown masks while Faces of Death plays in an endless loop on the television

I was really afraid I’d be trapped in this conversation for a long, awkward time, but fortunately another Not Me came by to ask Not Me a question and Me got the hell out of there.

Once my face came to a screeching halt on the gravel, I was able to stand up and feel the meaty flap of skin hanging down where my mouth used to be. I could touch my teeth through my face!

Oh, wait, is now not the right time for that?


Anonymous said...

Right, Right... So what you're saying is, the Wii is a tool of death that will leave you in a coma.

Bonez said...

Right, right...
right, right...
what did you say?

oh yeah, right, right...

Doesn't he realize how stupid that makes him look and how disrespectful it is of the person that is Me who is speaking? He's obviously wrapped up in his own thoughts of what he's going to say next and not giving two synapse snaps to what the eff you are saying.

E said...

Right, right, so what you're saying is...

I'm gonna go with no, I don't believe he realizes he's doing it. Some of us just think differently.

You've gotta wonder how many awkward silences he's caused over the years.