It might be normal and, although it happens to me quite often, I find it odd. I wonder how many other professions have people come up and ask what they’re working on?
“Hey, Doc, what are you working on?”
“Well, today I took shards of glass out of a drunk frat boys face after he head butted a glass table. Then I had to reposition an eighty year old ladies uterus, which had fallen out, into her. . .”
“. . .thank you very much. That’s all for today, Doc.”
But I’m asked it quite a bit. I don’t know if they think I’m going to regale them with a tale so immense even I thought it was entertaining. But I’m not. If I’m working on something long it means I’m not done with it. So talking about it is difficult. But if it’s what I do mostly, boring writing for businesses, edits and punch-ups, or greeting cards it’s not a very interesting story.
“So, Chris, what are you working on?”
“Well, today I wrote greeting cards for 40-45 year old woman to be given to them by a 30-35 year old female friend. The tone has to be mocking but not insulting.”
Have you ever heard the sound of someone’s eye blink? I have. And it’s always after I answer a question like that.
So what should I talk about? A recent thing? An old thing they may not have heard? A bowel movement? Because I know I’m always working on one of them.
Usually, because this is how my brain works, I rattle off some wise ass answer. The reason is it’s easier for me. It’s never an answer they want. Many times they get angry. But I do it because it’s the first thing that comes to my head. A wise ass anwer is always the first thing that comes to my head.
A couple of hours ago someone was talking to me and asked the question. I get that queasy feeling in my stomach, my head gets numb, more so than usual, and my brain’s put up the no enter sign. It’s decided to go solo on this adventure. Any sense of decorum is gone. Any chance I’ll be embarrassed for the person has evaporated. There is no chance I’ll care if this person ever speaks to me again.
“What are you working on, Chris?”
A second passes. I don’t know what I’m going to say but I can feel it coming. Have you ever thrown up in your mouth, just a little? It’s like that. Only it tastes better.
“I’m pitching a show sort of like Naked And Scared.”
“Oh yeah,” they say thinking they’re getting a scoop. “What’s it called?”
“Scared To See You Naked.”
I think they cried a little.