I've had some strange conversations with people recently.
Come to think of it, I have strange conversations with people pretty much all the time. That might lead some people to think it's me bringing the strangeness to the table. I choose to believe that I'm perfectly normal. It's just that strange, unbalanced people inexplicably gravitate to me. That's my theory. Shaddup.
In any case, it's not those kinds of 'weird' conversations that I'm talking about. Lately, people are randomly giving me strange advice. Or insulting me in odd, subtle ways -- I'm not sure which, honestly. I'm not that bright, after all. It wouldn't even have to be that subtle; I probably wouldn't catch it. Anything short of a bitchslap and flipping me a big fat bird and it's likely going to be over my head. But I digress.
Anyway, I'll give you a couple of examples. The other day, I was having headshots made. You've got to send some sort of mug shot thingy to people who might want to give you standup jobs, so I made an appointment with a photographer. I went to this guy's house, and went down in his basement, and he took pictures of me.
(No, no, folks -- it wasn't nearly as creepy as it sounds. He put on some music. We chatted. It was all very tasteful. Really.)
So. That got a little uncomfortable, eh? Maybe I am the one making all my conversations strange, after all. Dammit. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I wasn't responsible for what the photographer guy said about halfway through:
'You know, you've got a great face for this. I'm not sure that's good in other walks of life, but it's really great for headshots.'
So what does that mean, exactly? My face is funny? Versatile? Squishy? What?
And then -- then there was the comic I was talking to before a show the other night. The week before, we'd been at another show, and grabbed dinner with some other folks afterward. So we all chatted and talked and joked -- and baby, you want to talk about strange conversations... try spending an evening with three or four off-duty comics. Jesus. Have your therapist on the speed dial for that one, you know what I'm saying?
Anyway, when I saw the guy again, we traded greetings and talked for a bit. And then, just before I went onstage, he hit me with this little nugget:
'You know the thing about you -- you're really funny in conversation.'
Um... thanks? Or is there an unspoken 'but on stage -- not so much' in there? Should I have said, 'Well, you should see me in bed -- hiyoooooh!', just to prove him wrong? Color me nonplussed.
Finally, there's the little snippet of conversation I had with the guy at the convenience store near my office. He and I have chatted before... sort of. See, he's a genuinely nice guy, as far as I can tell, but English is decidedly not his first language, and he has a fairly strong accent. So we have a lot of half-banter -- either he doesn't understand me, or I don't quite hear him... we're all about 'uh... sure', and 'oh, um... you, too' and 'about six inches -- why the hell would you ask that?' Sort of a communication gap, if you catch my drift.
But I'm pretty sure it wasn't a language issue that made the conversation I had with him the other day so perplexing:
Me: Hey, how you doing? Just the soda today, please.
Him: Hi, there -- will do. Say... you don't have kids, do you?
Me: Um... no. No, I don't.
Him: Oh. So you're not married, right?
Me: Well... actually, I am. For several years.
Him: Ah! But no kids?
Me: Er, no. Not so much.
Him: Oh. So you're trying, right?
Me: Wuh... that's not really... I mean, well -- no. No, we're not.
Him: Ah, you're busy. Concentrating on work for now. Very good!
Him: You'll be ready for babies soon, I'm sure!
Me: Riiiiiiight. Okay, then. I'll just be leaving now. With my soda. And no kids. See you tomorrow, then. Bye bye, now.
Who knows -- maybe I look like I need a kid, or something. Lord knows I'm not responsible enough as it is, but does it really show that badly? Or is the guy just randomly -- and creepily -- propogating the age-old notion of 'marriage, then kids, then... what? Death?' I'm not sure it has to go in that order -- and I really didn't expect it to come up in my friendly local convenience store. It's not like I was walking out of there with a bottle of Spanish fly and a tote bag full of condoms. I just wanted a fricking soda, like I do almost every day in that place -- how did I manage to push his buttons with that?
Yeah, I've decided -- it's all the people I know who are weird. I say some silly shit, but I would never start conversations like any of those. What the hell is going on around here, anyway?