Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Frightening Goodbys

For someone who is so bad at personal interaction, I spend a surprisingly large amount of time thinking about conversations. One of the things that really gets me are all of the ridiculous ways we have come up with to ending them.

"Would ya look at the time!"
"But... you don't have a watch, ma'am."
"No, no. I meant that you should go look at the time, just... someplace else."
"Excuse me?"
"I'm asking you to leave."

There are a few in particular that stick in my mind though, mostly because they terrify me. These are irrational, and I know they're not meant to be taken in the way I understand them, but there's still that split second where I have problems dissociating what someone literally says with what someone actually means. Here are three examples...

1: "Break a leg!" Of course it's not meant to be taken seriously. Still, who even says that in jest? I always imagine it with some sort of ominous leer, implying definite foreshadowing of something (maybe a broken leg, for instance). Why say that? Are you trying to insinuate that your hired muscle has it out for my shins? More frightening is the chance that you have strange hypnotic powers, and can command me to break someone else's leg. Either way, this parting comment either ends with me in a wheelchair or in handcuffs, and neither of those is too appealing.

2: "See you later, alligator!" It seems harmless enough. But it really all depends on how you understand "alligator." If it's meant in direct address, then you are confused. I do not happen to be an alligator. If, however, it's the reason you are leaving (which of course I assume it is. I know I'm not an alligator), then the way I understand it is "See you later, there is an alligator very close to us!" Alligator is an explanation, but because you are in a rush, you cut the explanation a tiny bit short, and only said the essential facts. I.e, you are leaving, because there is an alligator close to me. I should probably run, too. For some reason, "In a while, crocodile" does not convey this urgency. It sort of implies that crocodiles are slower.

3: "I'll catch you on the flip side." This one just makes me feel like I'm tripping, but don't know why. Flip side of what? Is the earth flat? Do we live on a coin, and is it about to be heads or tails? I'm not adequately conveying the sense of terror I feel about there being a flip side to this existence, but trust me, I find this terrifying. Maybe you agree.

Sorry (you're welcome?) for the long absence! I've had a (generic complaint about being busy these past few weeks, yada yada yada). I really do enjoy writing these, so I'll be looking for time in the future. Things are shaping up to be a bit better now that the semester is almost over though, so now the limit to how often I post will be how often I'm funny. I guess you should expect a posting once every blue moon.

On an unrelated note, one of my friends is a great bassoonist, and auditioned for the youtube symphony orchestra. She made it to the finals, which is huge! It's an amazing opportunity for her, and you can help her by clicking this link and voting for her once a day until Friday. You can also help by telling all of your friends to do the same. You'll be helping me, too, because Brigid doesn't know this, but if she wins, she's taking me to Australia in her carry-on luggage.

Feel free to tell me more conversation enders that I might find terrifying, just please don't use them with me. Hope all is well!

ps: How great is the lego bartender I drew in? Feel free to praise my artistic talents.

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