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PuzzleHe (serious): Are you all set for this afternoon’s big meeting? I don’t have to tell you just how important it is that we pull this off.
Me (matter of fact): I think you just did.
He: I did what?
Me: Told me.
He (clearly lost or pretending to be): Are we talking about the same thing?
Me: I thought we were, but now it seems we’re not.
He (raised eyebrows): Huh?
Me: The subtle yet artful manipulation hiding behind your own words clearly escapes you.

How did he miss that?

Fish in a barrel

WaiterBeing the miserable sod that I am, I am quite happy to bring someone down to my misery level, especially when that person is primary the source of my woes.

Question: Why is it that when you want to have a quiet and serious conversation with one of your friends, your waiter is the quirkiest person on the face of the planet?

There you are going through an account of how a new job offer flushed your precious holiday plans down the toilet (or how you just got dumped++) when your waiter has clearly swallowed the Energiser bunny in the kitchen before coming out.
He’ll start out by saying something like, “Good morning, folks and what can I do for you today? You’re at the (Insert Restaurant Name), the happiest place on earth next to Hooters!”
Fuck… you… sparky. I was going to have the mixed seafood platter, but now I’ll just have the chicken salad. And leave the dressing on the side. (I did not say it out loud, but my body language probably communicated that I was irritated)
Now I know what you are thinking. I am unreasonable and the guy is merely doing his job in being friendly and welcoming. And you may be right for thinking so. There is a no way he could have known that I wanted him to tone it down and be less of an intrusion, unless I told him so. If I were a woman, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “Diva!”.
Having admitted to being a bit of a douchebag, I do however believe that a good waiter should be able to read his patrons and adjust his attitude accordingly.
I was all set to make up for my insolent behaviour, when he did something that really pissed me off. It took twenty minutes for him to arrive with the drinks order!
When they finally arrived and while he was busy putting the drinks down on the table , I leaned in and asked politely, “I know you have a sign that says, We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone!, but is the lack of service your subtle way of telling us to piss off?”
Clearly taken aback by this precious ounce of respect, he blushed and rambled off an excuse of why it took so long for him to get around to us. His excuse may have been perfectly valid, had it not been that the place was basically empty and that he had only two other tables to see to.
I made a mental note to tip him in small coins.
(++No worries, I was not dumped)

Too much?

Independent woman?One thing that I find uncomfortable and that annoys the shit out of me is when a woman (or a man for that matter) tries so hard to prove that she is an independent woman that she forgets to relax and just be herself.
I am all for “girl power” or whatever you may want to call it, but there is a fine line between asserting yourself and basically saying that you don’t need anyone in your life to be happy.
I met with a woman today and all I had to listen to, for what amounted to a considerable amount of time, was how independent she was (financially and otherwise), how much she has achieved in her lifetime, and how she does not and will not take a backseat to anyone because of her gender. [Good on you, sister!]
All of this ambition and self-assuredness are good and well I suppose. I actually found some of the things she mentioned quite admirable and… and at the same time, quite scary.
In talking to me about her independence she actually told me how insecure she really was. Which could explain why in spite of all her accomplishments she has yet to hold down a successful relationship? Any man brave enough to get close to her, would spend half his time trying to get enough distance between them to re-grow his own testicles and to find a relationship in which he can be a man.
All the while I kept thinking to myself, “Why are you telling me this? Don’t you know that quietly asserting yourself is sometimes the best way to get a point across?”
I had visions of her being dumped a lot or being mistreated and looked down upon at some point in her life. She made me think of her as the proverbial wet blanket. She would be the first person to end or leave the party. The sad thing is that no-one would miss her. She is so obsessed with not appearing weak that is exactly how she came off as… weak.
In putting up a front and broadcasting “I am woman hear me roar” to anyone who cares to listen, she has forgotten who she really is. I saw a scared little girl who is afraid of being alone and who overcompensates for her flaws. She is probably afraid of her own successes, none of which has brought her much happiness. Whatever happened to being “inter-dependent” and combining your greatest skills with that of your partner?
I may be completely off-kilter in my assessment of her, and perhaps this is how she wants to spend the one life that was given to her.
The side effect of all of this is that she paints a very bleak picture of herself. I am not sure she knows who she really is. And when she finally does meet someone she likes, she will screw it up.
Independent women, ball busting super-bitch or just plain scared little girl? You decide.

Slut?Overheard this conversation between the gf, [S] and one of her friends.

Friend: I like everything about this guy. Pity, I don’t stand a chance with him.
[S]: Of course you do. You are being too hard on yourself.
Friend: The only reason a guy like him would go out with a girl like me is because he thinks I’m a slut.
[S]: Well there you have it. Prove him right… then prove him wrong.

I don’t need to worry, do I?

Train trackIn the line at the cafeteria…

Girl: I’m reading a very interesting book on male/female sexuality right now.
Guy (obviously bored): Uh-huh…
Girl: Anyway… the author says that the chemical make-up of the male brain is totally different from that of the female brain, and that a woman’s brain contains about 10 times more white matter related to general intelligence than a man’s…. [stops talking]
(Annoyed) You know, I don’t think you’ve listened to a word I’ve said in the last two minutes. You are probably only thinking about the beer in your fridge and some girl you met in a bar last week whom you want to have sex with.
Guy: Huh? All I heard was beer and sex.… the rest flew past me like fire engines on their way to a crash site.
Girl (perplexed): Yeah, I can hear the echo of their sirens bouncing around in your skull.
Guy: Are you saying I have a one-track mind?
Girl: Yes, and there are 2 only stops… Beerville and Sextopia.

True to my heritage

Grilled BBQ SteaksYesterday, the 24th of September 2007 was a public holiday. Heritage Day. Heritage Day is a day on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their cultural heritage and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people. Sounds good doesn’t it?
In 2005, a media campaign sought to “re-brand” the holiday as “National Braai Day” (translated National BBQ Day), and encouraged all South Africans to get friends and family together and to cook up a storm in true South African style and celebrate. How wonderfully patriotic we are!
Our company decided to get in on the festivities and we were all invited to attend a BBQ at an outdoor venue in Johannesburg. My scepticism aside about how much CO2 we’d be sending into the atmosphere and how many animals we’d be consuming, I was surprised at how well organised the event was.
As a rule I shy away from socialising with my colleagues on what I deem as my time, but [S] reckoned it was better than spending the day by ourselves. Who am I to disagree and stand up a chance to play with the other kids?
I had been forewarned about what NOT to say, or mention, etc. It’s a thorny issue as I tend to make weird statements that have no bearing on what is being discussed, but the better half resided over my behaviour (and she was sitting right next to me).
So I told the odd joke, ate food in the appropriate fashion (small bites and chewing with my mouth closed), listened to jazz, talked about sports, the state of affairs in Africa, laughed and smiled at comments, flirted politely and made appropriate statements like “cool” and “wow”. I even called my boss dude.
I was trapped in a Jane Austin set novel in the 21st century, eating the gorgeously cooked food, drinking the carefully chosen wine and making sure that my underwear did not show above waistband of my fashionably distressed jeans.
I was so charming and fitted in so well, I wanted to have sex with myself, in a non-sleazy kind of way.
I did however slip up at one point when I got asked a particular question about my food. “So, how would you like your meat?”
“I’ve not touched the vodka, so for now I’d like it to stay in my pants”
At which point, red wine flew out of my boss’s nostrils and [S] gave me a look that was so dirty, the white T-shirt I had on turned decidedly gray.
“Just kidding”, I said laughingly, “dead and well cooked with a generous helping of soot”.
Everyone giggled. The jury is till out on whether they laughed with me or at me.
Old habits are so hard to break… and so apparently is my ability to stay in line! Bugger.

Clapping monkey with cymbalsWe have a temp in the office at the moment. A pretty young girl. She’s one of those women you want to (without meaning to) undress mentally and can imagine yourself getting naked with. (I am a guy… bear with me!)
It is very distracting and I have made a mental note to avoid her company as much as I possibly can.
I am however convinced that she has some kind of mental problem. She cannot finish a sentence without giggling or laughing like you had just told her a brilliant joke.
Every time I run into her and she does that I find myself thinking:

You were damn cute when I passed you in the corridor this morning. Why do you feel the need to open your mouth to speak to me? Please, just smile at me and let my imagination do the rest.

Being in a conversation with her is like being on the set of a sitcom, except there are no funny one-liners and no live studio audience. There is only the laughter track and for some reason it is out of sync with what is being said.
I know they say that laughter is the best medicine, but this is like being having an enema shoved up your backside. She is not spreading happiness. She is like that battery operated clapping monkey. Annoying! All the fake laughter makes it impossible for you to believe that anything she does in genuine and more importantly, it will totally spoil the effect when I eventually tell her one of my brilliant jokes.
Take yesterday afternoon.
“Can you get in touch with (inset name) at the research agency? I urgently need the results of the consumer placement tests that were done last month for tomorrow morning’s meeting. Please can you give it top priority?”
“I’ll get right on it”, she said with a smile. “Hahahahahah.”
“I am sure you will! Hahahahahah!” I chortled, while looking at her suspiciously. I struggled to see what was so “funny” about my request.
Isn’t it strange how a flaw in someone’s personality can totally distract from that person’s positive qualities? Damn!!