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> Tangent #23: Awkward Moment #1 - Don't Talk To Strangers
Don't you just hate when you suddenly find yourself smack dab in the middle of an awkward moment? Uh... rhetorical question... so don't answer it. Unless you really-really-really find yourself with the urge to answer because if you don't -- then it may circle around your head, haunt your dreams, and give you migraines until your ears bleed. In that case, feel free to mumble the answer under your breath... gosh... where was I... seem to have gone off on a tangent in the middle of one of my Small Tangents. Silly boy.

Uh... (awkward pause)... uh... (more awkward pause)... oh yes. Awkwardness. Most of my life is FILLED with awkward moments, from my first awkward steps to my first awkward attempt at trying to make out with a girl behind a school bus. My life is jam-packed full of awky-wards every day, and it is about time that I write them down because MAYBE... just MAYBE... I might not be alone in some of the stupidness that I find myself in at times. So here is the first o-fficial REAL LIFE AWKWARD MOMENT #1 (uno, the big one, the earliest, the inaugural initiation of idiocy, the maiden voyage of the moronic).

Fish Happens

I had gone to Wal-mart with my wife one evening to do some shopping. Now shopping with me is quite the chore. The shopping experience generally consists of Mrs. Maniac briskly walking around, focused like a laser beam on her shopping list - her quest is ahead of her and no mortal man, woman, child, or wildebeest will stop her. Me... I am off like a 5 year old with ADD in a Giant Pixy Stix convention. So many pretty colors... so many things to play with...

Anyhoo, we were walking through the pets aisle (she was in front of me - her head down - studiously studying the list like it was the Rosetta Stone) and we began walking past the AISLE OF FISH. This is the aisle that has all of the really sad looking fish trapped in those little tiny tubs they attempt to call fish tanks but look more like oversized versions of those measuring cups that are vacuum sucked on top of the Nyquil bottles.

Well... it was play time for me. I stopped -- looked at these pathetic little watersuckers -- and started spouting a diatribe to my wife (whom I thought was still standing right beside me at the time):

ME ("Talking" to my wife, but actually "Talking" to the fish):
Oh GOD!!! Honey, look at these things. Uhhgh. Look how sad they look. Look at THIS ONE...
I began tapping spastically at one of the tanks, attempting to poke at one fish that looked so lethargic and gross that it may well have been a piece of meatloaf with fins taped on.
ME: (Still tapping like an idiot) - tap tap tap, tap tap tap
Being a fish would SUCK!!! Imagine, getting up everyday... swimming around and around and around and around. You wake up in the morning and say "Hey, what am I going to do today. Ooohh. I know. I think I'll swim around in a circle until I crap all over, then I'll turn around and swim the other direction. THEN... if I am feeling sassy, I'll go to the bottom and suck on some of these colorful rocks. Oh joy..."
I continue tapping faster, sounding like Michael J. Fox attempting to use chopsticks*. The fish with his little meatloaf face is glaring at me with his mooney fish eyes, his mouth opening and closing looking like Mick Jagger having an asthma attack. I begin tapping louder....
ME: In a very HIGH, LOUD, SCREECHY, ANNOYING voice pretending I am MeatLoaFish.
Ahhh... I'm a fish. I'm a fish. My life SUCKS. KILL ME!!! I WANT TO DIE!!! PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY!!! Just EAT ME for crying out loud. The butter is in Aisle 1. Chips Aisle 2. KIIIIIIIIILLLL MEEEEEEE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I start laughing loudly to myself, waiting to hear my wife say something such as, "Oh, grow up." -- but I heard nothing. I look up, expecting to see an annoyed smirk on her face....

I do not see her, her cart, or her precious list AT ALL. Instead, I see an older women in her fifties -- cart full of fish food and other items -- just looking at me, mouth slightly open (much like the fish's) with this terrible scowl on her face. She is just looking at me. Not moving. Not saying anything. Hell, it didn't even look like she was breathing. She was just scoooowling at me. Seems my wife had gone off a long time ago and I had been talking to THIS woman for about ten minutes or so. AH!!!

My face instantly turned redder than oxygenated hemoglobin. I was SOOOOO busted for being a dumbass. My wife already KNOWS I'm a dumbass. She already went through the process of accepting it and STILL married me. Most of the world however does not know, or can't rationally accept the true power of my "amusing creativity" in their minds. They typically can't register it, so they go about their business, pretending nothing ever happen. THIS LADY, however, had been beaten with the full brunt of my slightly odd sense of humor. And still.... she scowled. Her eyes seemed to just push into mine (not literally, that would hurt). And after much thought, I decided to explain myself by saying...

ME: Stammering, Hemming, and Hawing. Eyes now pointing to the ground.
Oh... I.. hehe.. I... thought my wife... uh... ha... yeah... the fish... looked like MeatLoaf... not.. uh.. the singer... the.. thought my wife was there.. uh.. beside me... I... should... fish was... uh... I like your shoes... ahhh... gotta.. gooba hessfge sdl fish neebamooga oooei tank foobalshmoo.....
And as my voice trailed off into blabbering nonesense, I quickly walked away from her, attempting to circumnavigate the aisles without looking up for fear of seeing that creepy stare again (and ofcourse, feeling embarrassed as hell). I almost took out the squeaky dog toys section as I tripped my way through the store, finally finding my wife looking at the Super Happy Kitty Scratchpost Duplex Carpeted Playground House that cost WAY too much (but gosh, the kitties would LOVE it). She was clueless as to where I had been, or why I was still mumbling, "Fish... scary lady... thought you... feel stupid... I... we should leave..." She just kept shopping as I tagged behind, ducking and hiding whenever I thought I saw that scary lady.

Ah yes, isn't life fun sometimes.

Moral of the story: Make sure you know who your talking to, because you might accidentally make yourself look like a blubbering jackass inf front of strangers.


* I kid, I kid. You know I love you Michael. Life would be truly sad without the "Back To The Future" movies, although "Casualties of War" can go far, far away.