Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Escaping the Babble

Son. Of. A. Bitch.

Here’s a way to make some extra cash:

1) Find out which team I think should win in any given World Cup match

2) Load up bets on the opposite team

3) Profit!!

I thought Germany would pull it out today. Klinsmann has been helping them kick some ass, Klose has been a fantastic standout during the cup, they are hosting, they have (scratch that, had) a perfect record at Dortmund, and they’ve never beaten Italy in World Cup matches so that should have provided plenty of motivation.

Guess not. Commence rotten mood bender.


While there is certainly a litany of drawbacks to working through the night, there are several positives that make such a thing acceptable. One of these things (and top of my list) is that the night is quiet. It provides opportunity to focus on work that needs to be done instead of dealing with the unavoidable barrage of bullshit that seems to be a consequence of large groups coming together for “work.” If there is nothing pressing to be done, the night is good for contemplation and stillness in a world with precious little of either.

Unless, of course, the night security guard decides he’s going to be your friend.

The font of retarded babble that flows out of this guy is truly staggering. At first, I tried to humor him and remain polite, getting out of Dodge at the earliest opportunity whenever he gets going. It only took two weeks to get annoyed, which is actually a pretty long time for me. I used to enjoy venturing outside into the quiet (and much cooler) night air for a smoke as the clock continues it grind forward. Not anymore. I now spend many quality minutes just staring into the mirror trying to figure out what it is about my face that seems to express, “Hey, I’d just love to hear what you have to say!”

Over these last two weeks I’ve made efforts to give more obvious (while still maintaining some modicum of civility) signals indicating that I’m not interested in being pals. Walking past without making eye contact. Entranced by the goings on of my cell phone. Fake talking on my cell.

Nothing works.

Tonight, I had to hang up my fake conversation and not enjoy my smoke while babblespout gained momentum and I wished for traffic to throw myself in front of. Here’s a sample of the continuous (one-sided) conversation:

“So, most people might be embarrassed by this, but I’m not, I think it’s kind of funny. I almost locked myself in that closet right by you. You know which one I’m talking about? Anyway, there’s something wrong with the lock on that door, so I was like, I wonder what’s wrong with this thing? So I shut the door and figured I would try to fix it from the inside. All of the sudden I couldn’t get out! Luckily, I messed with it and finally worked, but I was in there for, like, 20 minutes. Still don’t know what’s wrong with it. There are a lot of batteries in that room. We had big batteries, well, bigger than that, on some of the Navy ships and subs I used to be on sometimes. One of the big battery rooms was next to the switch room we used to have to clean, man, that thing would get really dirty even though the room was mostly unoccupied ‘cuz of the dirt the diesel engines would always kick up. Boy, we had to clean that thing like every day sometimes…..”

On and on. I gave up with the polite nods and smiles, choosing instead to communicate my apathy by staring out into space. No dice. I turned my back to him, and still the stream of verbal diarrhea continued unabated. Frustrated and tired, I finally gave up with the nice. I cut him off mid-ramble.

“OK, well, I’m gonna go take a shit.”

He seemed perplexed by this. I walked away with a smile on my face as I raised a silent toast to my friend, the bathroom stall, last bastion of peace and quiet, my shelter from the babbling storm..