No jokes & riddles please (4/17/2022)

I like to talk to people, and I pride myself on the ability to get a conversation going with just about anyone. And it doesn’t matter if I talk to a guest at our place or to a total stranger in the grocery checkout line.

Of course, starting a conversation is just one thing, to keep it going it takes another interested party. Some people are just not very talkative and since I don’t want to press on, I give up as soon as I get no meaningful response.

Sometimes it happens that the other person is more than willing to talk, but soon I am the one who wants to get out of it. This for instance occurs when I’m facing a big talker. You probably know what I mean; they make more money than anyone else, their car is faster, their kids are smarter, etc. I have a cousin who is like that. He used to visit my dad and I and all night we had to listen to his over the top heroics. And with each passing hour his tales became wilder. I think nobody could blame us for making excuses so he would stop coming over.

And then there are the ones who insist on using foul language. It is amazing how many, especially young people, there are that cannot build a single sentence without using the F* word at least once. For them I have a simple message: If you can’t talk to me properly then don’t talk to me at all. A few times I hit some guy with that statement, and they all reacted like I was the one being rude.

It can get worse though. There some individuals who like to tell jokes. Now I don’t mind a good joke, as long as it is genuinely funny. And it has to be fresh, some of them I have heard I don’t know how many times over the last two decades.

The company sent me out to get a truck and I had to ride the bus to El Paso. A soon as I sat down at the Greyhound terminal a middle-aged gentleman took the next seat. First, he seemed to be nice enough but then the jokes started, and they were absolutely not funny. I wanted to be polite, so I tried to come up with some sort of smile every now and then. I probably shouldn’t have done that because I’m sure it encouraged him to continue.

Then after a while it was time for some riddles: Do you know the difference between….  That is stuff for kids, not for grown-ups and there is very little that annoys me more than that. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer, so I just told him that I had to go to the restroom. I stayed in there for a long time, hoping that in the meantime the pesky gentleman would find another victim. No such luck, as soon as I re-appeared, he jumped on me again like a dog on a T-bone. Do you know……

A few minutes later the loudspeaker announced boarding of the bus to Los Angeles. He hastily said goodbye and disappeared in the crowd. The sigh of relief I let out could be heard within a 20-foot radius. I realized though how lucky I was that he wasn’t traveling on the same bus. If he had been, I’m sure I would have stopped him in his tracks at some point, even if I had to be rude about it. 

And being rude is not in my nature.
Next time I meet someone who starts telling riddles I will have for him too: Do you know what the difference is between a very annoying person and one who tells riddles? Answer: There is no difference. Have a good day.

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