Sunday, July 24, 2005

Yeah, But You Know What's Worse?

Do you know That Guy? The Eeyore of everybody's social circle? For every single story told and anecdote shared, That Guy always has the one up. The "You know what's worse than that?" or the "Yeah, but listen to this" or the dreaded "It could be worse." After "It could be worse" someone is forced to sigh and say, "How?" This inevitably leads to some long drawn out depressing tale of woe that is generally uninteresting and rarely on the topic at hand.

This One Up conversational technique is okay once in a while, but when applied after every single person speaks, people just stop speaking. Then you are subjected to long-winded stories about the bane of property taxes in Sweden or the painstaking nature of the detail work associated with the hand-painting of miniatures. Miniature what? No one knows because no one dares ask, lest we have to hear the story.

So here's the latest one:

There were several teachers present and we were all having a grand 'ol conversation about how none of us had actually intended to become teachers. Our mothers/aunts/grandmothers had all been teachers and we had planned to do something different. Decent conversation, right? That's when That Guy jumps into the conversation.

"Yeah, but you know what's worse?" [Wah wahhhhhhhhh....cue Debbie Downer music]

Everybody sighs audibly and looks over at That Guy. That Guy, by the way, who is the only guy in a roomful of girls. All the other guys are outside being manly around the meat in the smoker and drinking beer. We steal glances at each other, wondering who's going to ask him what's worse. I give in.

"What's worse?"

"I always said my whole life that I was never going to write the software for cellular phone billing." [dramatic glance around room]

Yeah, because that's exactly the same thing as what we were talking about, buddy. That is called talking to hear your head rattle. Loving the sound of your own voice. Tooting your own horn. And getting the rest of us way off topic.

Does anyone else know That Guy?

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