Saturday, April 3, 2010

We all know this guy

How often has this happened to you:

You're doing some yard work or washing your car. The guy a couple houses down is about to get into his car, but he notices you and shouts out, "Come on down and do mine when you're done. Heh, heh!"

I've decided that this type of faux-witty small talk occurs more often than we think. It's a form of communication where neither party is any better or worse afterward. No new information is conveyed, and it's usually a guy delivering it. It often concludes with a self-satisfied laugh, a "Heh, heh!" We rarely have the opportunity to say anything in return, since the guy usually walks away or gets into his car or yells out his window while driving by.

Here are some other examples:

1) The guy in the elevator at work—"Stayin' outa trouble? How goes the battle? What's the scuttlebutt in your department? I heard Marge is doinkin' Ray. You workin' hard or hardly workin? Heh, heh!"

2) The guy who walks up from behind you while you're talking to someone else—"Don't listen to this guy. He's a serial bullshitter. Heh, heh! Hey, man. What's up? Give me a buzz. Dont' be a stranger."

3) The weather complainer. This can happen almost anywhere—"Dude, what's with this weather? Is this Seattle or Fairbanks? You bring this with you when you left the house this morning? Heh, heh!"

4) The guy who approaches you and your wife. This could also happen anywhere—(Addressing your wife) "Hey, gorgeous. I see you brought your Dad. Heh, heh! Don't listen to this guy. He's wanted in four states for boring people to death. How you guys doing?"

Usually these guys are people you are acquainted with, but don't know very well. And after they've said their piece and disappeared, you look over at your friend or spouse and say, "He just talked to us for five minutes but didn't say anything." Sometimes we see them coming in time and can duck behind something or act busy.

Wow. I hope I'm not that guy.

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