Thursday, December 5, 2019


As usual, Big Dope has caused me a problem. I'm not sure I'll ever understand Earthlings. How, you might ask, did this one occur? It happened this way.

We were in our weekly what he calls "personality improvement project." This one centered on establishing conversations with strangers, you know, being a conversant person. He was stressing how someone should "genuinely interested in the other person."

I'm not, usually, but I played along.

"Don't," he said, "do your usual thing and start explaining space travel dynamics to strangers."

"Why not? They need to know about it."

"Simply show an interest in them. Say for example, a stranger in a waiting room comments on the bad weather we're having."

"Okay," I said. "That's an excellent opportunity for me to explain how the natural thermodynamic meteorological boundaries are collapsing due to climate change and allowing the polar vortex to sweep down upon previously protected areas."

"Uh. No."

"Why not?"

"That will clash with what they believe from their favorite TV show."

"So what then?"

"Ask a followup question. Maybe, 'Oh did you have plans for today that depended on good weather''?

"Why should I care about their plans?"

"You don't. You're just trying to be friendly."

We then had a long discussion on the topic of followup questions. That's what caused the problem. I explained it to him after the police left. Here's what happened.

With all the new training in my head, and shaped like a young businessman with a mustache and short beard, I entered the elevator in their condo building. A very nice lady was there. I nodded and we descended. What I didn't know was that we were descending into Conversation-Hell.

As we neared the ground floor, she nodded my way and said, "Have a nice day."

All I said back was, "Would you really like to see me have a nice day?"

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