Friday, July 15, 2005

Fibbus Interruptus

Hi there! For those of you who don't recognize me and were expecting to see another post from The One True Tami, I'm not her. That doesn't mean I haven't often wished to be her... but I'm not and I've come to terms with that and am at peace. No... my name is Jazz. I'm the proprietor of the blog Running Scared, and Tami has asked me, along with a few other authors, to help her out by filling in with some guest blogging while she is on vacation over the next week or so. (No, no... I'm sorry. No autograhs just now. We can try to get to that after the Q & A session following the presentation. Thank you.)

First of all, I can't even describe how overwhelmingly grateful I am for Tami's invitation. This priceless opportunity will give me the chance to have yet another place where I have to think up something to write for the edification and amusement of a group of anonymous internet strangers, as I sit in my stuffy office with broken air conditioning, while Tami ..... relaxes ....

... in the tropics.

Ok. It's possible that "overwhelmingly grateful" may have been a stretch. But let's press on, shall we? I come before you today armed with a brief diatribe, not on the social dangers of neoconservative dogma, as is my usual choice, but the social dangers posed by the Interrupting Fibber. Some of you may already be familiar with this creature, either having one currently plaguing your life, or having had a previous encounter from which you escaped. But for the benefit of those most at risk - the dangerously uninformed- I offer this cautionary tale as a warning from which you may someday benefit.

The Interrupting Fibber (I.F.) is a person who will suddenly disrupt any conversation among other people, blurting out some incredible, outrageous tale designed to top whatever incident is being discussed. This is likely an attempt to make their own shallow, dull pointless life suddenly look appealing or even enviable to their peers. What the I.F. fails to realize is that absolutely nobody is believing this incredible, steaming pile of horse dung and, rather than being fascinated and engaged in the story, are actually silently wondering what sort of traumatic, psychologically damaging incident during their childhood could have led to this sociopathic behavior.

Sadly, I have an I.F. in my life at this time. You see, along with three of my good friends - Cliff, John and Kirby - I am part of a dart team that participates in a local league held at various pubs in the area. This has led to many fine times, a lot of enjoyment, and the opportunity for all of us to meet new friends in each other's social circles. Sadly, this has also led to my recent acquisition of a new "friend".... Brett - the Interrupting Fibber.

Let's say that our team is having a practice session down at the pub, having a few cocktails, tossing some darts, and just chatting. Then Brett shows up. Inevitably the conversation will devolve into something like this:

Jazz: "Say, Cliff. Where were you last Friday night? We didn't see you all evening."

Cliff: "Last Friday? Oh, didn't I tell you? I finally got a date with Melissa, that girl who tends bar down at TGIFridays."

John: "Wow. Really? How'd that go?"

Cliff: "It was pretty good actually. She seems really nice. We went to see an early movie, and after that...."

Brett: (Interrupting rudely.) "Melissa? Ha! Are you kidding me? Didn't I tell you what happened to me last weekend? Man, you wouldn't believe it."
[ed: We already don't]
Brett: " I had a date with TWINS! Yep... twin sisters. And they were both models for Penthouse a couple years ago. Man, were they wild. Check it out... so I've got them back in my apartment, and they're in the bedroom, naked, and rubbing bacon all over each other. I come walking out of the bathroom carrying a saddle and a set of jumper cables...."
Sadly, that really isn't much of an exaggeration for the kind of stuff this guy says. And he does it all the time. What is possibly even more sad is the fact that none of us ever challenge him or question his stories. In fact, most times we don't say a damned thing. Personally, I feel unable to. It's kind of like watching a car wreck in slow motion... you just can't look away.

It gets to the point where we just stare at him blankly. Rather than the obviously hoped for response of shock or admiration, Brett watches us go completely silent and turn back to our drinks and tossing darts. Frankly, I'm afraid to even order another beverage at that point because I absolutely know that he will immediately go into a tale about how he's getting ready to take over Seagrams Corp. International in a leverage buyout next week. (An amazingly dexterous financial feat for somebody who rents a very cheap, one bedroom walkup flat.)

So have a care, gentle readers. Should you run into an I.F. in the future, now you know the warning signs. At that point, as most evolutionary anthropologists would recommend, you should drop into "fight or flight" mode. If you are not suited for confrontation, run away quickly and avoid this beast. Or, if you are more aggressive in nature, stand up to the I.F. immediately and call his/her bluff. Don't make the mistake I did and allow them to get away with it, because soon you'll be trapped in a social hell of your own making.

Later this week I'll be back with another installment of my occasional series, "What's that smell like." I know you'll want to stop by for that.


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