Warning! Internal Sensor Malfunction!
People and the things they say are a never-ending source of bemusement.
When people say off-the wall things, are they:
- under the influence of wacky-tabacky, booze, or too much Red Bull (in an altered state of reality where saying gonzo things seems just fine)?
- sleep or sex deprived (cranky and looking for mischief)?
- having difficulty with bowel movements (cranky and looking for someone to unload on)?
- spending too much time with family members they love but don’t like (cranky and want to spread the misery)?
- unhappy about being old and possibly dying (see above)?
- anxious about getting old or life in general (cranky and want someone to feel worse)?
- repeating childhood patterns even though they are eligible for AARP (comfortable with being a curmudgeon)?
- not aware that what they said was actually heard by the people they said it to (preoccupied with one of the above or an auditory malfunction)?
Any of the above reasons, and probably others, cause what I call an “Internal Sensor Malfunction”–a disconnect between an off-the-wall thought, the internal sensor (trigger) that’s supposed to protect
you from getting assaulted your reputation, and your mouth from opening. Maybe some examples will help you to understand.
Example 1: Two days ago I had my hair cut. The woman who cuts my hair knows I’m not a chatterbox, so we have a meditative 45 minutes of hair cutting and styling.
The another hair stylist (K) and her customer talked non-stop. Had a cartoon bubble been above their heads, it would’ve exploded. The focus of their banter was how each woman loathed, despised, and deemed her current car insufferable. I heard every problem with each vehicle, amazed that no one had driven the four-wheeled atrocities off a cliff. Finally the woman’s hair was done and she left, ostensibly in her hate-mobile. K walked to the back of the salon, leaving W and me in blissful silence, but not for long.
K shoved a small plastic box in W’s face and asked “Whatdaya think of this?” W gave K a quizzical look. K’s brows furrowed and this woman who’d just spent the last half hour in a complaint-fest said (in a high-pitched voice), “How about a little encouragement around here? Is that too much to ask? I just had to hang up on my mother-in-law. If I don’t hear something positive, I’m going to scream!” I kid you not.
Example 2: This morning Scrappy and I took a two-mile walk to the Wellness Center, just to get the monthly schedule of classes (in case I feel motivated). I was plugged into my iPod, so while Scrappy was stopping and sniffing, I was shimmying and singing. We were having fun.
I was singing “Breathless” by The Corrs as I entered the Wellness Center parking lot. An older couple was getting into their minivan. They stopped as they heard me. I got closer, but didn’t stop singing–I can’t stop singing that song. I could see they were asking me something so I turned my music off.
The woman asked me Scrappy’s name.
The man asked me, “How did yer mama and papa feel ’bout wastin’ their money on yer singin’ lessons?” Huh?
Just to be sure he wasn’t just kidding, I said, “Excuse me?” He repeated his question word for word.
I said, “Oh, I’m just having fun.”
His response: “At least you are.” Double-huh?
In my defense, I was recruited as the lead soprano for a church choir, albeit a small one. And I’ve been told by people who don’t love me that I have a great singing voice.
I sang and danced all the home knowing this would be my post today.