I was at a place where people had unfettered rights to speak. I agree, I should have known better. But I have a good excuse. I was forced to go. I can’t say it was all bad. 99.999% of the people were pleasant. Enough. But isn’t there always one? One person who’ll spoil our non-asshole having fun?
It could be the pontificator. The person who considers himself an expert on one subject so tries to inject himself into you like Bill Cosby. Totally unexpected and unwanted. It never matters if this person is right or not. They’ve spent their valuable time learning something so they feel it is your duty to be there as they unload. Again, much like Bill Cosby.
It could be the passive aggressive whisperer. This person may actually have nothing to say but that won’t stop them. And, because they know, as a human, it’s a natural response to try and listen when others speak, you’ll strain to hear their barely audible murmuring so they’ll have your complete attention.
But usually it’s the loud person. No matter what this person says they feel it’s so important it must be bellowed as loudly as an air raid siren. I’ve had the misfortune of being around many of these people and, in my experience, what they are screaming is never important.
But boy do they say it! And they never stop. I think that’s what’s so amazing. It’s the verbal equivalent of a runaway freight train. Oh sure, it’s going to stop eventually, but you’re never sure where or when. And, when it does, the aftermath is devastating. Because you know, once they catch their breath, they’ll have another train with a newly packed load ready to go.
I’m standing there having what could be described (by others) as a pleasant conversation. A person is telling me about something they did, had done to them, was thinking of doing or had to postpone from doing. As I said, others may have found it pleasant but, to me, it was a series of minor inconveniences that was partially to mostly their fault that they wanted me to agree it was not anywhere near their fault. Some people like that kind of conversation. I muddle through. I give them my divided attention and they seem fulfilled when they inevitably see someone who hasn’t heard this tale and leaves.
I like to be there for these people for as long as they want to speak. Not because of any true desire to hear how Janine at work is a total bitch who has the boss wrapped around her press on nail fingers so never has to do any work. But because I know the alternative is worse.
Case in point, after the person I was just talking about left she was replace by a guy who has a revolutionary, life altering diet he wanted to tell me about. Which made me want to tell him about my life altering diet which is not to eat everything in the fucking building. But his was much more, as he said, revolutionary so had to tell me all about it. For forty-five minutes. I shit you not. Do you want to know what his diet was?
Please, let me. I need to get it out of my head some way. Thank you. And I promise I’ll sum the forty-five minutes I’ll never get back in three to four seconds (depending on how slow a reader you are). And here it goes:
His diet was totally designed around your blood type.
I wish I was joking.
But even a tale that ludicrous wasn’t holding my attention. He was being overpowered by a hurricane called The Bloviator. She was holding fort directly to three people who were shoulders against the wall trapped. The force of her windy speech was keeping them from unpinning themselves. Her physicality was making it impossible for anyone to have their legs go limp and snake out of there. They were trapped but everyone else in the building was, to a lesser extent, engulfed by this beast.
Another person, who had his eyes locked onto this beast, walked up to us and said,
“Man, is she loud or what?” The person who was talking to me knew this woman and said,
“She’s always like that. She thinks she’s the cats meow.” I watched as those who could covered their ears and move to a, hopefully, safer distance. Feeling pity for those trapped in her verbal vortex I responded,
“Isn’t it amazing that those who feel they’re the cats meow are actually what comes out of a cats ass?”