To Talk, or Not to Talk….That is the Question
“Why is it the least interesting people often talk the most?”
That’s one of those questions you can shovel right on into my casket with all the others, those with that curved universal symbol still there at the end of the sentence.
It is the unanswerable questions in life that always fascinate me.
A friend once wrote, “Asking questions is good and most of the time more beneficial then answers. With answers you often stop thinking.”
That’s one of those simple, fairly obvious and wrapped-in-wisdom insights that always leave me saying, ‘Damn, I wish I’d written that’.
There is, of course, sarcasm and derision folded into my original question above.
The self-absorbed simply cannot imagine a world in which people might not be fascinated with their every thought, no matter how banal.
Why, just the other day, I was on Facebook and stumbled into this guy’s room, where all he did was post his stories and essays and opinions, ad nauseum, and then sat back fatuously and watched the accolades roll in…..uh, nevermind…..;=}
The terminology available to describe these people is vast, but given my fascination with distillation, I’ll settle for using “bore” in the form of a noun. One syllable, short O. To the point.
Rhetorical questions are like mini discussion groups. The nuance and subtle ramifications of the question itself not only suffice as fodder for analysis, but replace the sometimes wasted effort at finding an answer.
I always like answers that start with “maybe”, or “sometimes”. And I usually love the ones that start with “I don’t know”.
But the best answers are those that lead to more questions.
The people who can’t stop talking to save their life never met a rhetorical question that didn’t set them off on a tangent. I sometimes literally sit, stare and marvel at these people. Sure, the talking a lot with nothing to say is annoying, even sad, but the degree of denial and obliviousness as to their behavior sometimes shocks me.
Body language does not hinder these people. I’ve tried miming hanging myself. Nope, the blathering went on unabated. Stapling my ears closed with a nail gun? Didn’t work.
Ok, those last two I made up, but I swear I have been tempted. One method that failed, and that I actually have done, is simply walk away. I’ve had people stroll along after me, never breaking verbal stride, talking to the back of my head.
These people, aside from being annoying and social bores, have such an inverted prism that while they are talking, their focus is inward. You can see it in their eyes, blinking while assembling the next word, almost totally unaware of any reaction, subtle or otherwise, from the listener.
And as I have said, it’s always the ones with nothing of interest to share that are afflicted with this.
Nobody ever stumbled on Ralph Emerson mired in a talking jag, or
Paul Newman in a long-winded mindless diatribe.
Nope, it’s always jag-off Jerry from accounting who insists on telling you about the salamander that crawled under his BBQ with a French fry in its mouth over the weekend, and how if it weren’t for the very funny inscription on his apron, you know, “Honk if You Love Geese” written in Farsi above a photo of the AFLAC Duck, the salamander caper would have brought the house down.
It was Jimmy Carter who got in trouble when confessing to lust in his heart while browsing through Playboy. Well, I have committed some atrocious crimes in my head and heart.
I mean complete evisceration, up to and including organ removal (obviously, the tongue is cut out first).
I had a desk arrangement at the newspaper I worked at for 13 years that was not to my advantage. It resembled a counter that was at just the right leaning level for elbows, and it seemed to welcome every wind bag in the office to approach it.
Beverly from the Production Department used to regale me with tales about her 7 cats, while I would pick up the phone and talk on it, start writing on my computer, even pretend to gouge out my eyes with the letter opener. She never even hesitated.
Of course Lynette, the hot brunette in sales with the gravity-defying rack would always wander by at this point, clearly wanting to stop and chat, but she’d see old Bev, regaling me with details such as the viscosity of her cat’s stools.
Lynette would roll her eyes and continue on to the kitchen. I would then slide open and slam closed my biggest desk drawer on my hand, repeating “why me….why me…why ME?!”
Beverly would take notice, and then segue into how she has grown used to seeing cat hair embedded in the middle of her pans of Jello she’d make every Friday night.
I think by now, over-wrought prose aside, you see my point.
© Copyright 2016 Bill Rayburn. All rights reserved.