Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Every Member Of My Family: Are you hungry?
Me: No thanks.
EMOMF: Want me to pack you a lunch?
Me: No thanks. I have a long bus trip to work, and I'll sleep through most of it.
EMOMF: I packed you a lunch anyway.
EMOMF: It's two sandwiches.
EMOMF: I remember that you don't like condiments so I've slathered them with mayo and tomatoes, which you have hated since you were six.
EMOMF: And a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. Two because I know you don't like diet soda.
Me: Of course.
EMOMF: And I put a king sized box of crackers in there.
Me: It's just a two hour trip.
EMOMF: And a tin of almonds.
EMOMF: You liked last night's steak, right?
Me: Yes. Thanks.
EMOMF: I packed four of them in your suitcase.
Me: I have to go to work. They'll go bad.
EMOMF: I froze them and when you get up, I'll wrap them in plastic and your towel.
EMOMF: And cookies.
Me: I told you I'm not going to be hungry.
EMOMF: We should leave the house by 630. Should I wake you up at four?
Me: No. Not ever. No.
EMOMF: It's 315, why aren't you up yet?
Me: I set my alarm for five. Go away.
EMOMF: It's 330, are you awake?
Me: This is why I don't visit very often.
My Lawyer: "I believe, your honor, that the victim's final words were 'Shouldn't I get 20% off this paper bag, since your store is having a sale?'"
Judge At My Murder Trial: "I find the defendant Not Guilty. Case dismissed."
My Lawyer, To The Press: "He opened the conversation by asking if the store was open, even though it was full of people, the lights were on, there was music playing, and a giant open sign in the window. He then proceeded to ask the price of every book in the store, even after my client showed him where the prices are listed on books. The victim died in front of his nine year old daughter who testified today that 'Daddy had it coming. Mommy and I have been wanting to kill him for years.' This whole trial was less about punishing my client than it was to serve as a warning to the horrible kind of people who think the victim's behavior is at all tolerable in modern society. We won't be taking any questions, as questions are what got us into this mess to begin with. Thank you."
Dude: Him? He bugs me out.
Me: Why? I think he's kind of cute.
Dude: Why are you attracted to men who move like they're descended from lizards?
Me: I'm not.
Dude: You are.
Dude: Are we still hanging out for New Year's?
Me: Nah, I've got plans.
Dude: With who?
Me: I'm hanging out with some of my exes.
My Dad: There's cream cheese in the fridge in the garage.
Me: When did you buy it?
My Dad: It's still good.
Me: Dad, this cream cheese is older than my cats.
After watching a romantic comedy where two people in love who don't communicate well eventually get their act together and fall in love, I think "It's been a while since I've talked to--" and the lamp over my bed fell on my head, so, message received, I guess I won't be awkward calling anyone in the near future.
My father turns the channel to National Geographic just in time for us to overhear the phrase "and that's where they found the penis of unknown origin."
And then the show was over.
That's how you write an ending.
On my way home from grocery shopping, I see two nice, matching bookshelves with "Free" taped to them. I'm alone, and they're super heavy but only about a block from my house. It takes me three rest periods to get the first one on my porch. I go back, pick up the second one and carry it fairly comically to my house.
A guy in a black pickup pulls up next to me as I enter the fenced in portion of my yard. He watches me put the case down so that it's not visible to the street.
I walk into the house and hear his door open, so I step back on the porch.
He gets back in the truck.
I sit on the porch and stare at his truck. After a couple of minutes, he leaves.
The lights on the porch are motion detectors so they turn off while I'm still sitting here and truckerfluffer drives back around, gets out of his car, opens my gate, sees me sitting here and turns back around, gets in his truck and drives off.
If I see those plates on my street again, best believe I'm slashing those tires.
Random Loiterer: "I'm looking for a gift for my wife. She's into Serious Literature."
Me: "Any books in particular?"
Me: "Does she have a sense of humor? Kate Beaton has ser--"
RL: "Nothing like that. Serious Literature."
I go through the store picking up different types of books I believe might appeal: The Graphic Canon, Daytripper, Maus, Persepolis, Unwritten, Monstress, Arrival, several biographical comics, some Chris Ware books, Joe Sacco's work. Nothing strikes his fancy.
RL: "Thanks for your recommendations but none of this seems like what she reads."
Me: "Well, what does she read, specifically. Maybe I can find something similar--"
RL: "Do you know Fifty Shades Of Gray?"
So, if you see the corpse of a man who's been thrown from a very tall building, know that while it may Look Like the guy who defines Fifty Shades Of Gray as Serious Literature, that's just an amazing coincidence. Clearly, I let him walk peaceably out of our store without buying anything, and didn't murder him in the slightest.
Random Customer: Do you have any Lumberjanes t-shirts?
Me: One. It's a woman's XL.
RC: I could fit three of my ten year olds in that.
I hand him the shirt.
He hands it back.
RC: I'm not going to make them all share one shirt at once.
Me: I don't know what kind of family you have.
He left without buying anything.
Random Customer, who had not even offered so much as a hello: "My grandaughter is a genius She's five. She goes to the Waldorf School, and she isn't supposed to be reading but, of course, she is. She's been reading for years. Today's newsflash is that she loves comics. She reads like an adult but she's still five, you know. So what do you have for five year old geniuses that isn't too immature?"
I bet this poor genius will shit herself until she's twenty.