Friday, February 14, 2014
Some people really hate small talk. It's too insignificant, they'd rather get to the core of things and really talk about the burning issues of what it means to be. Personally, I love small talk, absolutely adore it, the more the banal the better. If it comes down to a choice of plumbing the depths of the human condition or having casual chitchat about baked beans vs. spaghetti hoops, I will always opt for the latter. (Although if you were to ask me to choose between a world without beans or spaghetti hoops, the jury would be out indefinitely.) There's nothing I enjoy more than turning to the other person at the water cooler in the gym and saying:
"So, you're filling up your bottle?"
"Me too. (pause) It's taking its time today. Must be low water pressure."
"That's me done now, see ya."
So banal it's beautiful, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The favoured topic round these parts is the weather, and there's been an awful lot of it lately. While everyone is talking about the many fallen trees and the general inconveniences caused by the code red storm, the general consensus is that it's a miracle that no-one was hurt, killed, or seriously injured. I can't help but notice that this is expressed with relief tinged with disappointment. Not that anyone takes joy in hearing about the suffering of others, it's just that you can't beat a good story. Something along the lines of an unsuspecting husband coming home to find a tree had fallen on his house, killing his wife and her lover while they were at it. Or a husband who suspects his wife is being unfaithful, and ignoring all warnings to stay indoors, leaves work early and drives home hurriedly only to have a tree fall on his car killing him instantly, while his wife and Ernie the Milkman are busy churning butter in his marital bed. Who knows maybe we could marry both scenarios and have the wife, husband, and lover fall victim to falling trees simultaneously. Right about now I'd like to point out that the fictional couple is childless, so there will be no orphans in this scenario (I might like a juicy story, but dammit I'm not a monster).
So the only harrowing tales I've heard from the recent Code Red storm have involved satellite dishes coming off the side of the house (OH NO), or tweets and facebook statuses along the lines of "Electricity gone, can't make a cheese toasty :'( #FML #EffUCheeseSandwich", "iPhone nearly out of battery and no way of recharging #ThisCouldBeMyLastTweet", "Found my in car charger, can keep tweeting about tweeting almost indefinitely!". Thank God these tragedies are now behind us so we can start moving on again.
My own stormchasing tale of woe involves driving home from the pool on Wednesday morning when an empty wheelie bin got blown out in front of me. Although I really would have loved to bust through it A-Team style, instead I braked up, turned on the hazard lights, and returned it to the driveway from whence it came. This is a worthwhile story for two reasons. The first is that it illustrates that I am not the type of scumbag that will mess with another person's wheelie bin (even though it would have been a lot of fun). Secondly, this is the only time in my life that I have used my hazard lights for something other than illegal parking (flicking on the flickers has the magical quality of turning illegal into semi or barely legal, if only everything in life had hazard lights).
As this morning was only a code orange storm I cycled to the pool in my waterproofs. The trip to the pool was alright, bu the horizontal sheets of rain that normally reside in Connacht decided to join me for my cycle home. My rain gear meant that all the water bounced off me and ran down to my shoes, which turned into two puddles before I was halfway home. My glasses sadly don't come equipped with wipers and defoggers, so visibility was poor and brakes were non-existent as I sped down Douglas street in the school rush bottleneck with violent crosswinds interjecting from the many side streets.
The worst part of this is that it will make for interesting small talk at the gym water cooler, and interesting small talk is the last thing I want.