Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Am I that guy?

Ok, I admit it. I am one of THOSE people. I am the guy that will strike up a conversation with perfect strangers while in line or on a plane or something.

I mean just standing in line is pretty boring right? So lets have a chat and make the time go by. In fact, I have had some truly wonderful conversations on airliners with complete strangers.

So last night I stopped for groceries on the way home from work. This fella in line behind me starts off with an innocent, "Heh, look at that, pumpkin flavored Peep's for Halloween. You know I just don't care for pumpkin."

In life there are "cusp" moments where your life can go one way or the other and the decision you make in that second could impact you for the rest of your life. The shitty thing about cusp moments is you never know it's a cusp moment when you are actually living it. It's only when you look back and reflect that you can say AH HA! Right there, at that moment if I had just done this instead of that my life would be markedly different right now

Looking back now, I can see that the next sentence from my mouth was a horrible, awful mistake. A true cusp moment. O lord how I wish I could relive that cusp moment and say NOTHING. The words that doomed me? I replied, "Yeah, I'm not that crazy about pumpkin myself."

Oh…….My……..Gawd! That was a major mistake! What possessed me to say something like that? To utter such words of power? Because those simple words empowered my new line buddy with free license to ramble on non-stop from one topic to the next, slowly spiraling down into the depths of insanity for the next 20 minutes. I swear, this guy has mastered the art of inhaling while talking because not once in the next twenty minutes did he stop talking long enough to take a breath. Amazing. If only he could use his powers for good.

He started off innocently enough on the genetic composition of Peeps and why they don't taste so good. Which led directly into an in-depth discussion of food coloring which then led to an example of how the most evil of the dark cabal of food colors are actually of red dyes #2 and #5 and how they are made from crushed tropical insects which eventually led to the vast conspiracy of the food moguls in general who deliberately fed us these particular insects so that we will crave more of their food and thus enrich them to the point that they can complete their dark plans against humanity. Thank God the checker got me bagged and cleared before I could learn about that master plan.

By summing up his diatribe in three sentences I am sparing you the dear reader from the interminable detail that the oral presentation of his masters thesis in conspiratology entailed.

I heard it, now I can't un-hear it! Oooooo, please make it stop.

So I had to wonder, am I that guy? Am I the guy that starts talking in line then just won't…..SHUT…..UP? Uhhhhh, maybe. :(

Now as a nerd, I am often deaf to subtle hints that most humans pick up on. At least on a plane if you have reading material I will get out my book and shut up to let you read yours. Lines are a different story though. People rarely brings books to lines. So, are my line companions silently screaming at me to shut the hell up? I don't know but after Satan's little conga line at the grocery store last night I will be more attuned to my vict, er, companions in the future.

So how about you? Do you enjoy a line conversation (assuming it is somewhat sane of course) or would you rather stand and contemplate the universe in silence?



Michelle said...

This was really funny :)

I work with a guy who constantly goes on and on and on about anything and everything. He's super nice but I don't even want to talk to him because he is incapable of having a 2 minute conversation. He is in customer service and EVERY.SINGLE.CUSTOMER that calls gets his ENTIRE life story. His cubicle is right outside my office. It's lovely. ;)

Anyway - I think it's perfectly ok to strike up random conversation with strangers. I do it a lot. However, know WHEN to shut up. That's my two cents :)

Manic Mom said...

I may be the She-Rob. I strike up conversations with complete strangers ALL THE TIME! Why not! Like you said, isn't it more fun to say something in an elevator instead of sitting there waiting for your floor. Life is way too short.

And, you start talking to someone, inevitably, there is something that connects the two of you. I won't go into detail about the woman I met at the jewelry shop who I am POSITIVE when we both were living in another state, I am sure I had met her before, or had a conversation with her before, or, anyway, see what I mean. I just can't stop myself.

And have you ever tried to microwave a PEEP? Don't do it.
Trust me on this one.

Rob said...

Michelle- I think I know that guy! :)

MM - You do realize that to any male your warning about microwaving peeps is a dare, right? I can not wait to microwave a peep now, even better would be to convince a male friend to do it in his microwave!

Manic Mom said...

Triple dog dare ya!

And you should photograph it and then blog it. Or even better, do a youtube... WAIT, I bet there's one out there already....

Manic Mom said...

OK there are a million of em!

Here's one:


Manic Mom said...

And this one too:


I need a life!

Rob said...

>>Triple dog dare ya!<<

"A minor breach in protocol by skipping the double dog dare, but still it was out there."

It's about time to get that DVD out of the closet again! :)

Michelle said...

The Grand Plaza @ St. Pete Beach. VERY expensive and HORRIBLE customer service. Whatever you do, don't stay there! :)

Swishy said...

It depends on who the conversation's with :) I will vouch for Manic Mom--she TOTALLY talks to EVERYONE! And I love it! It's so fun.

And I love Peeps!

Melek said...

peeps rock. but i didnt know the halloween ones were pumpkin flavored...not sure about that. i stick with straight marshmallow (or whatever the white filling is).

as for conversations, i'll strike them up in the dog park (there's always the dog to talk about), or in as i pass by someone in a store, sometimes while waiting in line... but generally only when i'm moving...that way, i can't get trapped into a conversation about the chemical make-up of a ring ding or how the fall of Britney Spears will lead to the rise of the next new teen star...or whatever.

Andie said...

I, too, also talk to random people in lines. I don't care, I just talk to someone because it makes the time go by faster. but, if the next time you are at the grocery and you are approached by a dude like that, pick up the closest tabloid on teh rack and start reading. ;)

Rob said...

Picking up scandal sheet and starting to read would work on ME but I don't think it would have even fazed "food coloring is the path to world domination" guy!

Crazymamaof6 said...

i am a line chatter. but i can take a hint and if i feel like they aren't chatters too i let it grow painfully silent.

Paper Propaganda said...

nope, i like convo in lineups too! um, but not of the insane nature!!

mumple said...

As the cashier, sometimes "that guy" is one of our customers, and no matter how much he creeps us out, we can't say, "Well, goodbye now" because we're wearing the God-awful work smock and it would be "rude"

And, some of us attract 'em and then they stalk us. If you're the guy who started telling me that locator chips in people are against your rights, yes, you're "that guy." If you're not, I'll have to let you know later.