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Refuge for the rational.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Psychokiller, Qu’est-ce que c’est? 

A list of rules for one of my co-workers to live by :

The mouth is always open. That’s the first thing.

I think I almost had an aneurysm when you put your schmutzy hands on my scone and broke a piece off while asking me if you could have some. I would have said no, you know. No one likes someone who chews with their mouth open. There’s the smacking sound and the bolus. That’s disgusting. I understand it’s difficult to speak while chewing, but you should consider silence a viable option.

The second thing is this:

“…you’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything…”

And this results in personal moments of weakness when I picture your head under the wheel of a truck. It’s easy to sort of fade out like that while you talk. I’m trying so hard not to be an angry person anymore. But you make me crazy.

And despite what must be atrocious table manners and conversation, you invite people to dinner parties every weekend. Invite is probably not a strong enough word; aggressive attempts at coercion may be closer.

“Sorry, can’t come, I’ve got a midterm on Monday”
“Well, you can just stop by for one drink”
“No, I really can’t, I have a lot to do and my brother’s birthday is the next day and…”
“It’s ok, we don’t mind if you just pop in”
“Ok, I’m really sorry. I can’t be there.”
“Just stop by, no big deal”

Exasperated is a weak word. Social assault. Watch out.

The third thing is “…when I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed…”

I’m what people like you consider shy. In turn, I always thought that people like you, who know people everywhere you go, and who are (overly) friendly and talkative, are socially successful. Now I realise I have the upper hand in that game.

First of all, communication involves two people. Interrupting other people’s input with “Yah…Yah…Yah” and rapid eye movements that indicate impatience and inattentiveness is not the way to acknowledge what they are saying. You chose to talk to me, so I assume I’m supposed to reciprocate with actual speech.

This also means that you can’t just talk about yourself. You may want to briefly entertain the idea that you actually aren’t very interesting—it’s not like you’ve ever climbed a mountain or done anything meaningful, and no one gives a shit about your having to ride your bike to school in the snow because of some lame commuter challenge. And it’s Australopithecus you dumb fuck, not Australiopithecus. I am an anthropology major, dammit.

And this brings me to my fourth point, “…say something once, why say it again?!

If I hear that hilarious story about the toilet paper one more time (which would make it four), I may have to throw something at you (shitty TP, I hope, only because it would be a close match to your pathetically literal sense of humour).

The least you could do is have the courtesy to notice when I patronise and respond to you with mere tolerance. When you overheard me talking to E about going out the other night, you made some wry remark about not being invited. What did I say? Nothing. Precisely. I blinked. Subtlety clearly is not your forte.

You would have to be a philosophy major, it's just too perfect. All that pontificating can certainly get in the way of actually understanding the material though, can't it? Remember that conversation we had about dog shit? I believe we had somehow stumbled upon the subject of the folly of humans and their constant need to over-analyse. And I mentioned a story I'd read in an ethnography about an anthropologist (Narayan) who worked in India. A Holy man told her that when common people stepped in shit, they would exclaim "oh, shit!", kick it off of their shoes and continue on their way. Academics were the kind of people who would step in shit and have to pick it up and sniff it before concluding what it was. You made a priceless reply that requires no real commentary or analysis: "I've done that. Sometimes you have to do that, especially in Toronto, because of the way it snows there, and when you're riding your bike..."
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