If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know about my superpower to attract “interesting” conversations. Those with the gift of gab, particularly inappropriate comments are drawn to me. My undefinable quality is the neon bug-zapper that beckons the big-mouthed moths.
Note past episodes from the grocery store,https://laughmoreabundant.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/grocery-shopping-and-stranger-danger/ or at a wedding in which a stranger predicted the gender of my child while copping a feel. https://laughmoreabundant.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/crazier-than-patsy-cline/
Join me for today’s episode. It was 10am and I had enjoyed a nice walk from the parking garage to the hospital lobby, which is lined with comfortable blue chairs, large plants and artwork. As I walked past one window, I caught sight of a man in a suit just sitting down under a very large potted palm tree. “I’m going to just pretend I’m at the beach” he said aloud.
This comment was said to the “Conversational Bermuda Triangle”. This is when a comment is spoken at no one in particular, but clearly loud enough for one to hear and in a person’s general direction. This is usually when someone is in transit but in close proximity.
Startled because the man was only about 3 feet away, I looked over at him as he continued. “It’s a concrete beach, but it will do.” Okay. “It worked for Jimmy Buffet” I replied, starting to edge away. Too late. He jumped up out of his chair. I sized the man up. The man was in his mid 40s, Caucasian, starting to gray and in a middle-of-the-line quality black suit. Then I spotted a white badge that read, “Admin”. He was early for an appointment. Oh boy.
“What are you here for?” he asked in a friendly manner.
I pulled no punches. I now wonder what he would have said if I had said something crass like, “For a pap smear” or for some terrible boils on my feet. Oh well.
“I have a two year old with leukemia upstairs.”
Instantly, sorrow spread over his face. “Oh, I am so sorry you have to be here for that.” I told him William the Conqueror is beating AML and then changed the subject.
“What are YOU here for today?”
“Oh, I sell drugs.” he said, flippantly.
I smiled. “Oh, really. Hm.”
“Yes, I sell drugs from my car” he smirked.
“You might be careful saying something like that around here.” I warned.
“Oh, my pastor loves that joke. I sell drugs for cancers, two for lung and one for stomach specifically.”
Maybe I’ve lived in military towns too long, but I can assure you that if this man tried to sell drugs out of his car it would go badly for all involved.
“Well, in this area you might be careful. There actually are a lot of people who sell drugs out of cars.” I answered. These days I find that people who joke about something they don’t live around just seem ridiculous.
He said that he would pray for William, which I appreciate, and then he quickly sat back in his chair as if I was the crazy one keeping the conversation going. I bolted.
Weirdos, Man. Yes, I could have rolled my eyes and kept walking but let’s not blame the victim, here! At least I am learning to tell people that their comments didn’t fly and make them feel uncomfortable back.
Even the nurses are starting to notice that people like to talk to me about their family issues and medical procedures. Clearly I need to work on my balance between being aware of my surroundings and staying out of conversational proximity.
Be careful out there, folks. People desperately want to tell you about their bunions.