Sunday, January 10, 2016

302. Conversation

He wandered in while I was working on the computer at our downtown condominium. I really didn’t want conversation but he seemed distraught, at least his chosen personage—a young man of color—seemed distraught.

“What’s up?” I said.

“That’s it,” he said.

“What the heck?”

“There you go again,” he said as he slumped into a chair.

“Are you jackin’ me around or what?”

“Aargh,” he said.

“Why don’t you just chill for a moment,” I said.

“That’s it. I can’t,” he said.

“What’s bugging you,” I said. “Spill.”

“I haven’t understood a word you have said since I came in,” he said.

“You’re sh…,”

“Please don’t,” he said, interrupting. “I’m confused enough already.”

“I can see you have a burr under your saddle,” I said.

“First thing you said when I came in,” he said, “was ‘what’s up?’ as if you couldn’t look there for yourself.”

“The scales are falling off now,” I said. “You don’t like our lingo.” I was beginning to have fun.

“It’s not that I don’t like it,” he said. “It’s just that I’m having an attack of confusion.”

“What set you off?”


“What jerked your chain?”

He ignored me. I tried again. “What’s making your mattress so lumpy?” I thought for a moment that he might cry. “Your Idiom Distilling Intergalactic Operational Translator isn’t working, is it? Gone on the blink again?”

“IDIOT,” he said.

“Bingo,” I said. He looked at me funny. “So what,” I said, “has your undies in a wad?”

“Do you mean for me to enlighten you on the cause of my current distress.”

“Give the man a cigar,” I said.

“I don’t smoke cigars.”

“About your troubles,” I said. “Lay it on me.”

He sighed. “It started as I descended in the elevator. It ended with my being called into the Manager’s office and threatened.”

“Get out of town,” I said.

He ignored me. “This quite attractive young woman entered the elevator on the 11th floor. She was, how do you say, stunningly beautiful.”

“A Ten,” I said.

“No,” he said. “A female.” He stopped and thought. “I forgot. You don’t have multiple species categories here.”

“Oh,” I said. “We do, but we don’t admit it. Let’s just say she was a Ten.”

“Whatever you say,” he said. “Anyway, I had been confused by your language habits since I left you to go walking. Remember what you said to me?”

“Uh, no.”

“You said, ‘See you later alligator,’ as if that might make some sense. I couldn’t get it out of my heads.”

“Let’s don’t talk too much about your multiple heads,” I said. “Anyway, I see,” I said. “So I gave you a verbal ear-worm.”

He looked at me, started to speak, and didn’t.

“Go on,” I said.

“So I transitioned,” he said, “into research-mode.”

“Uh oh,” I said, “dark clouds on the horizon.”

“Where?” he said, turning to look out the windows.

“Never mind,” I said. “So you were out to gain insight into our speech patterns?”

“Precisely,” he said. “Then the elevator stopped on the first floor and my troubles began.”

I nodded. “Trouble follows a seeking mind,” I said. “What happened?”

Big Dope always says that silence is golden.
I think I know what he means, now. - C.W.
“It was a simple matter of clarification,” he said.

“Fill me in.”

“As the door opened, this, this …”

“Goddess,” I said. “I know who you are talking about, but don’t let my wife know.”

He nodded and continued. “This young lady turns to me and says, ‘Have a nice day,’ and started to exit.”


“I simply said, ‘Would you really like to see me have a nice day?’ And, as you are fond of saying, all hell broke loose.”

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