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Old 10-20-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,538
True story

This story was posted on another message board I frequent. It’s too funny to not be true.

Okay, there are times when an entire conversation goes wrong, where one person in the conversation is a step behind and never quite catches up. It usually ends with that person acting like an idiot, saying and doing stupid things. The other person in the conversation is left wondering if he or she is really donating enough money to charities concerned with brain deficiencies.

This morning, I was in one of those conversations, and guess which role I played.

When you ride an elevator with a stranger, usually the whole conversation is already scripted out. It usually involves a benign greeting, the stating of a floor number, silence, then a benign closing. That is what we expect, that is what we want, and that is usually what we get. But sometimes you find yourself with someone who decides now would be a good time to play "Whose Line Is It Anyway" without telling you before hand that you have left the comfort zone, the script has been thrown out the window, and we're doing improv.

Here's what happened:

I came into the building, thinking about all the things I need to get done today. A man was standing at the elevator, waiting for it to arrive. I naturally expect him to say "Hi" or "Good Morning".

Man: How's the world treating you?

Me: Good Morning!

This man has caught me off guard by going off script, and I am beginning my decent into the first circle of conversation Hell. I do not correct my error, but instead decide the best approach is to lean over and push the up button, which the man has already pushed. Apparently, I must think that unless I push it as well, when the elevator comes, it will only take him.

The elevator doors open and do, in fact allow both he and I both to enter. He leans over and presses the button for the 4th floor, the same floor I am going to. I think to myself "Oh, he's going there too."

Man: What floor?

Me: (still thinking "Oh, he's going there too." So naturally I answer.) Too

The man leans over and presses the button labeled "2". Obviously, he is relatively new to the building and doesn't remember that in our building, the ground floor is considered the 2nd floor. The doors immediately open to let me out.

The few seconds that the doors are reopened on the second floor seem like an eternity to me. I'm not sure how to save face. Do I get out on the second floor and pretend like I've arrived at my destination, hoping the man doesn't realize the elevator has not moved an inch? Or do I stay on the elevator and play dumb and hope he doesn't remember that I had said "Too"? I decided that my best course of action would be to lean over and once again press the 4th floor button, which he had also pressed just a few seconds earlier. Apparently, I believe that my earlier theory applies to getting out of the elevator as well)

We ride up the two floors in silence, the man obviously wondering if I am completely insane. Only now do I decide to be proactive and think of something somewhat intelligent to say for my benign closing. I expect he'll say something like "Have a nice day" or "Have a good one". So I am trying to think of a good response when the doors open, we both step out and he decides to throw me another curve ball.

Man: Take care of yourself.

Me: (struggling to compose a complete, relevant and appropriate response on the fly)

I. want. you to have a nice day

Man: Okay, I will then.

So now I sit here at my desk, finally catching up, but now I am afraid to go to the bathroom, for fear of meeting up with the same guy in there.

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Old 10-20-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Another story, same guy.

I hereby vow to no longer try to plan out my conversations with strangers, or at least wait until they speak first before starting to plan.

This morning while walking to the front door of our building, I noticed a woman getting out of her car and heading for the building. I recognized her as one of the women who work on the 3rd floor, and she wasn't wearing a jacket despite the cold temperature.

Once I saw that we were going to be reaching the front door at roughly the same time, I sped up my pace so I could open the door and hold it open for her like my father always taught me I should do. I also decided that I should probably have some sort of greeting ready as well. This, as I am slowly learning is where went wrong.

Since it was cold and she wasn't wearing a jacket, I figured some sort of comment about it being cold outside would be in order. She was walking briskly and had her arms tucked in close to her sides. I decided I'd say"Nippy out, huh?"

As you can see, I was doomed to failure.

So I opened the door and stepped back to let her walk through. Before I could say "Nippy out, huh?" she smiled and said "Hi".

Again, I had come up against someone who had completely abandoned the script I had previously written for our conversation, which threw me into a state of confusion. She had decided to just say "Hi", to which I replied


Looking back at times like this, I often ponder on what the other person must be thinking. "Nipple. hi" generally is not a common greeting in the United States, or anywhere in the world for that matter. I would even guess that such a greeting does not exist anywhere in literature either. No, I had coined an entirely new greeting by combining the simplest of greetings with the name of a body part that generally isn't discussed with casual acquaintances.

Did the woman think that I was calling her Nipple? And if so, I'm sure she wondered why I had picked that particular nickname for her. I'm sure she probably looked down at her chest to see if there was anything going on that would cause me to call her Nipple.

In that split second, I tried to think of someway to recover from this, since I now realized I was going to have to ride on the elevator alone with this woman, but nothing was coming to me. Maybe I could continue to talk with her, starting each sentence with the word nipple which might convince her that I suffered from a very specific form of Tourette's Syndrome. But somehow, I'm sure that would make matters worse, since once again, I was planning my conversations ahead of time, which has proven disastrous for me. Plus, even if everything went according to plan, I would end up getting on the elevator and saying something like "Nipple. Going up?" or "Nipple. What floor?" So, that plan was out.

Perhaps I could fix the situation by just continuing to talk and make it sound like I meant to say "Nipple. hi" and make it all make sense. Maybe make "Nipple. hi" into the first line of something more appropriate. But that was not to be. There's no way to use "Nipple. hi" other than in a poem or song or something. You know "Nipple. hi; nipple. low; I love nipples, don'tcha know!" So that plan was out.

I guess I could have said something like, "I'm sorry, you look just like my friend Nipple, I thought you were her." But that would open me up to making the mistake of saying "I'm sorry, you look like my friend's nipple. I thought you were her." It was then that my brain finally kicked into gear and I realized that I needed a solution that would not involve saying the word "nipple" anymore. "Nipple" got me into this mess, but it was not required to help me out of it.

The best solution came when I saw the men's room on the ground floor. I could just hide out in there and let her ride the elevator in peace, without some guy saying nipple to her. Since that was the only logical choice, that is the option I selected.

When I got in the men's room I got to thinking about how stupid and funny the situation was and started laughing uncontrollably to the point where tears were coming out of my eyes.

Destiny is not my friend. Suddenly another person came into the men's room to find me either crying or laughing. I'm sure it was difficult to tell which. I resisted the urge to say "Nipple. hi" to him as I left. He was already going to have a tough enough time figuring out what, in a completely empty public rest room, would make me laugh or cry so much.

Of course, I'm sure now that when I walk out of the building for the rest of my life, people are going to point at me from the third floor window and say "There goes the Nipple guy".
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