That’s all it is. It’s being in a place at a time. Notice how I didn’t say right place at the right time? Because, as we’ve come to experience, what’s right for one can be very wrong for another.
It’s all about seeing an opportunity, big or little, and grabbing it. The fact is, there are more little opportunities to grasp. The sad fact is those are the ones most people let pass. I’m talking about things like seeing a very large guy you know in a line talking, probably being very polite because all he wants is his blessed coffee, and sneaking up behind him and loudly asking,
“Would you just finish your damn order and get out of line?”
Now that’s quite unexpected, if the instantaneous stillness is any indication. There is fear and expectation and shock throughout the assembled faces. In what must seem like an eternity to many the large, trust me when I say, menacing gentleman turns around looking for the rude bastard who’d say such a thing.
The anticipation is electric as he looks down, way down into my face and laughs his ass off grabbing me.
“Ya stupid bastard!”
Time begins to move. People breath. The person at the counter is relieved because she knows they’re approaching their limit for assaults in the premises for the month.
Lines are a great place to screw with people. Any place where there’s a something to distract them will work. Doing something unexpected for the situation is also fun. I was in a greeting line to see someone I’ve known for years. People are being very respectful, as you’d expect when greeting someone of her stature, but I could tell she’s really not connected to the moment. Maybe she’s tired, maybe she’s bored, maybe she’s drunk, I do not know.
When it’s my turn to shake her hand I do but she doesn’t look at me. Someone else has got her attention and will not let it go. So I speak loud enough to be heard by the people closest,
“Man, you’ve come a long way since your days as a Vegas hooker.”
I’ve put items in shopping baskets. Let’s see how the husband explains the condoms to his wife for thirty years. But he doesn’t have to because, just before it breaks into a big fight, I make sure he sees me waving and laughing. The wife, still pissed thinking he’s only distracting her, turns and, okay, sometimes that one doesn’t go perfectly, but, most times we all end up laughing.
It’s not about embarrassing anyone or getting anything over on them. It’s just throwing a little shock to their system. Not like a taser, more like a hand buzzer.
I was in a store with a guy in a wheelchair who asked me to get something. In a crowded aisle I said,
“Get it yourself you lazy prick.”
He’s spitting up lung matter and people are furious. It may have been helpful to me that he was there to protect me.
I’ve taken things they’ve paid for off counters; told cashiers the person behind me was paying; stood way too close to a person in line; got into their car when they’re putting things in their trunks; just stupid things, really. It’s all about seeing that tiny opportunity and doing or saying something people would like to do or say but, the forces of society or good taste prevents them.
It’s about nothing more than having fun. Sometimes I’m the only one having fun but that’s way above a sitcom average.
I’m in a bar when a friend walks in with someone. We exchange friendly greeting when he turns to introduce me to his friend. I stick out my hand saying hello but he doesn’t offer up his hand. Reason? Doesn’t have one. So, thinking quickly in a situation that must happen to him ten times a day, I say,
“Wow! Are you in a Def Leppard tribute band?”