There’s this guy at work I talk to now and again, let’s call him Jake. And I noticed just the other day that Jake tends to evoke “gas chambers” quite a bit more than the average person just in normal conversation.
Take yesterday, we were discussing the lethargic pace of a particular project, blah blah blah, apparently higher-ups were eager to see some progress, and he comes out and says, “Well, they’re not sending me to the gas chambers just yet but…” as if the impending quandary he’s talking about isn’t as bad as it could be, i.e. it hasn’t reached “Holocaust-level” priority as of this morning, but if what’s-her-name doesn’t send ‘comps’ by the end of the week, who knows what might happen, doors could be broken down, people dragged from their homes screaming in the middle of the night, uncomfortable conference-calls tantamount to genocide, no one knows for sure. But heck I got the point, I better connect with what’s-her-name about those ‘comps’ before my name gets written on some list in permanent marker, jeez.
And yeah, so this is Jake’s hyperbole of choice, sure it’s slightly culturally insensitive but it’s also sort funny too. Yargh.
What’s your hyperbole of choice?
First one happened about a week ago: Ricky and I were coming home and there was a Latino-delivery-guy waiting outside our place. He asked if we ordered food, and we were like, “No, but we’ll let you in,” he thanked us. “Must be the girls upstairs that ordered,” one of us said. And while we were climbing the stairs together (since the girls live on the third floor), some deep-tickling inside me nudged, “Make some small talk with the delivery-guy, Matt” so I obliged this feeling and asked, “Pequena?” And the guy seemed a little embarrassed, “Oh no, Thai,” he answered. Yeah I made the fatal leap of assuming he was delivering Mexican food cause he was Latino. Terrible-horrible-blah. Ricky beat me up afterward, so I got what was coming to me.
Second is a bit more subtle. Happened a few days ago. I was leaving work, waiting for the elevator, and some cleaning-guy was starting to vacuum, and I was nearly certain of two things: firstly, that I heard him fart, and second, that he knew I heard him fart. We were alone mind you. And he starts walking toward me and says, “I’m sorry,” and I answered, “Ah, it’s fine,” while making the universal gesture for “it doesn’t smell that bad,” even though it sort of did. But slightly confused he then says, “Excuse me,” and moves past me to plug in his vacuum! He was just saying, “I’m sorry,” like, “Sorry, I just need to get past you,” but I mistook it for a fart-apology. What a world!
So we’ve already established that I’m a two-stepper, which makes it even worse when I’m stuck behind “a defeated,” or one who walks super slowly up the stairs because he/she has given up on life (for one reason or another), but nonetheless blocks the way for the rest of us. I feel like I always encounter defeated’s transferring from the L train to the A-C-E during my morning commute.
Yeah we all know it’s early, it’s clammy and humid, life sort of stinks in a certain way sometimes, but to take out on the rest of us (is plain wrong) – us, who just want to get to the subway platform, to get to work, to waste away our own lives, in our own way, and at our own speeds. I’ve told a few people this (with limited response but nonetheless), that there should totally be “a defeated’s-lane” for all stairwells, so that these people who seem to think they have nowhere to go, who are in no rush to get anywhere fast, have a safe, controlled place to wallow, while we in-a-rush-for-no-reason-ers can get on with our days, two, maybe even three steps at a time. Yikes. Is that insensitive?
This may be “old hat” but I’m still constantly amazed at the lengths that certain men go in public to let women (they think are attractive) know that they in fact think they’re attractive.
For example, I was getting in at the Lorimer stop subway crossing the street next to a nice-looking-gal in a green sun-dress, right in front of a guy in a really large semi-truck. Granted, he was stopped at a red light, but this did not deter him from honking his loud horn a few times (step 1), then taking off his seatbelt (step 2) and actually opening the passenger door to his truck (step 3), inviting the female to join him on his journey to the depot, the quarry, or wherever he was headed.
And all of these whistles, these anguished male-cries of “Damn!” and “Baby you kill me” in the direction of sassy women, make me think these come-ons are more about courtesy, the acknowledgment of a woman’s got-it-going-on-ness rather than real attempts at courtship (or even good old fashioned intercourse). Yeah, ovbiously I’ve never been a victim of a hoot or a holler (and probably never will be), but isn’t there something refreshing and almost expected about this primitive form of appreciation? I, for one, want to see what these heteros will do next! Or is this business just completely debasing and offensive? Nonetheless, for me, it constantly amazes.
Am I the only one that gets sort of insulted when you’re waiting for the elevator (having already pressed the down-button) and then someone else comes by, and even though it’s clear the button’s been pressed (it has a red tint) they still press it again! They tap it quickly as if they’re saying, “Uh…maybe it didn’t register the time you did it…” At first I thought it was an OCD thing, that this particular person just had to be part of the elevator-button-pressing process or else they’d shrink into a ball of nothing, whathaveyou. But, no, it’s happened way too often with such a diverse amount of people that it’s clearly some gross human-nature glitch plaguing a good portion of us (not me), argh!
But, anyway. What I love to do lately whenever “it” happens is to give “them” this subtle look (I’ve been working on) that says, “Wow, that was a waste and I’m embarrassed for you…” Ask me sometime, I’ll do it for you, I can use the practice.
Slight overreaction? Nah… (have good weekends, woo!)
Ok so I’m pretty bad at a few things in this ol’ world of ours, um, and one of those things is genuinely saying hello or good-morning (whathaveyou) to the security guards that sit in the lobby of my work-building. I still do say these things usually, (hi, hello, how are you, take care, good night, have a good one, etc) but when I say these things, they, it all just comes out wrong, you know, and I can tell they can tell I’m not really into the whole thing. Bottom line: I get a skeptical face, I think.
But the reason I bring this up: ok, so today I return from lunch, there’s a long line of swipers getting back to the office, and as the guy in front of me swipes his card at the security gate, he has this whole rapport with the security guard.: “1975 Pontiac Thunderbird. Red or Black?” he asks gruffly, and the guard thinks for a second, then blurts out, “Both!” they both laugh heartily, and I’m thinking, “Wow they really have a relationship, I’m so jealous,” blah blah blah. But then after we pass the guard I hear some other guy asking the Thunderbird guy, “What was that about?” and the Thunderbird guy’s like: “Oh it’s just this thing we do together.”
You see what I mean sort of: it’s a “thing” they do, it’s kind of fake, I mean, basically I think I’m just not really into doing “things” with people. I like having genuine conversations when I can (what does that mean?), but routines for the sake of routines I’m not good at: my poker face when it comes to these sorts of quasi-stranger interactions is pretty poor, I won’t lie. But I’m working on it. Who can resist saying ‘mornin to Big Sal anyway? (pictured below)
I feel like this happens to me a lot: it’s sort of late and I’m walking behind some girl on a pretty deserted street, and since I’m sort of a fast walker, I start inching closer and closer to her, and she doesn’t look back right away, but I can tell that thing clicks inside her head, you know, the “oh someone might be following me” click-thing, that happens to the best of us, but of course I’m completely innocuous whatever, yet I don’t really know how to communicate this to her: oh don’t worry, that I’m not harmful, not a purse-thief, blah blah blah. And this goes on for however long it takes me to overtake her stride, and then when I finally pass her on the sidewalk, I always get that look like she’s telling herself, “I was all worried over that? Some 5 foot 6 inch (on a good day) white-boy wearing a vest?” As if I disappointed her or something. One time I actually coughed when I was behind someone, cause I guess I figured this would communicate something, that I’m not a mugger, (cause muggers don’t cough do they? ). But it just got her more scared, she broke into a run, no I’m kidding but this business is hard, don’t you think? Anyway, have a good night all.