|Thirteen Things about Semitough:Conversation is a lost art. It seems that everyone’s concept of conversation these days is that it is a game to be won rather than an exchange of ideas. So from the twisted mind of Semitough, here are thirteen conversational games people play:
1. Monopoly – In Monopoly the object is to talk as fast as possible, taking the fewest breaths, rendering your conversational opponent completely unable to participate short of the occasional “Yeah” and “Uh huh”. When up against an ace Monopolist I like to pretend to doze off. When they stop to ask me if I’m OK I launch into a lengthy diatribe about how little sleep I got last night with a comprehensive scene by scene, commercial by commercial recap of the Gilligan’s Island rerun I watched on TVLand last night at 3 in the morning.
2. Operation – The keen Operation player is an expert on all things medical. Mention that your knee is acting up and they will go on at length about how “that’s the way it started with my mother’s uncle’s second cousin twice removed’s sister’s best friend’s next door neighbor and they had to have a complete knee transplant and in the process became addicted to pain killers, spent 3 years in rehab and eventually committed suicide.” Thanks. My knee feels better already.
3. Kerplunk – The Kerplunk conversationalist is the opposite of the Monoplizer. Every conversation with these types ends some time after “Hey how you doing?” with a loud KERPLUNK. Every word has to be drug out of them followed by a lengthy uncomfortable silence while you try to think of the next thing to say/ask. Conversations with Kerplunkers are so painful that you find yourself avoiding them even if you really like them, just to avoid the discomfort.
4. Twister – These conversators continually take off on tangent threads and end up with the conversation so twisted you can’t remember where you started. It goes something like “So we were on our way to Orange County and…speaking of oranges, I had the best juice yesterday at that new place over on Spring Valley next to the old theater which is being torn down like the one in my hometown that burned last year which is such a shame because the old downtown area was so cute with all the antique stores. Speaking of antiques my grandmother has this great antique couch in her parlor…which reminds me have you been to that new ice cream place over by the mall? I love their sherbet especially the orange……now what was I talking about?”
5. Trivial Pursuit – Players in this classic take turns trying to impress each other with tidbits of useless knowledge they have accumulated over years and years of complete and total nerd-dom. I mean what is the possible benefit to society of knowing that Vladimir Lenin plucked his nose hairs with dental pliers?
6. Hungry Hungry Hippos – These situational conversationalists conserve their confabulation until that precise moment when their mouth has reached maximum full capacity with their peanut butter & jelly sandwich, pizza, cheeseburger or chicken fried steak. Dude. Finish your bite. I’ll wait.
7. Aggravation – These people always seem to be p*ssed off about something. The only thing an Aggravationist can find to talk about is how somebody cut them off in traffic or the slow lines at the post office or how they are getting screwed at their job. Hey sunshine! The glass is half full. Quit your job, stay at home and use FedEx or UPS – they pick up.
8. Yahtzee – The primary trademark of a Yahtzee conversation is the tendency of the speaker to end sentences with exclamations. Sorta like Emeril does that “BAM!” thing? Same deal. “So I backed out of my parking place and WHAM!!” If you are a nervous sort you should avoid Yahtzee players at all costs. Sorta works the nerves after awhile.
9. Pictionary – These players feel the need to draw everything out on any available peice of paper just to show you EXACTLY how the story played out. I was talking to a guy one time about work and he grabs a napkin and begins to draw the cubicle layout of his floor telling me “So Jerry was sitting over here in the cube by the printer…..” Sheesh. Better make sure your original copy of the Declaration of Independence is safely locked under glass when this guy’s talking.
10. Clue – Ever have a conversation with someone who got EVERYTHING wrong? They hear a smidgen of a story or a quote on the news and go out telling everyone “Hey there’s a new state law that says you don’t have to pay alimony if you marry your sister” or some such nonsense. I have an idea….buy a Clue.
11.Sorry – I call these guys one uppers. You tell what you think is a fantastic story. Sorry, this guy has a bigger better one. You: “Hey, I got hit by a train on the way to work” Him: “Oh really? [sniffs] Reminds me of the time I was stuck on the railroad tracks and just as a freight train hit me from the left, a runaway wrong track Amtrak train hit me from the right and I was simultaneously rear ended by a speeding 18-wheeler. I died three times but the paramedics stitched me back together on the spot, shocked me with the paddles, and after 148 separate surgeries…here I am. But that was last week. I’m fine now.” I hate those heroic paramedics and surgeons. The thing to do would be to introduce this guy and his surgeries to one of the Operationists from Number 2.
12. Candyland – Ever been on a diet and when you tell someone they immediately start regaling you about the fantastic Tex-Mex place they found last weekend? Yo’ enchilada boy. Bite me. If I’m on a 1000 calorie per day low fiber, low carb, low protein, skim milk & cardboard diet, the last thing I want to hear about is somebody’s succulent chimichanga.
13. Parent Trap – This is a game played by kids with their parents. And parents are suckers for it. As an example, Energizer Buddy comes in proudly displaying the totally sweet Powerpoint presentation he just did on his Mom’s computer. You ooh and ah appropriately and encourage him to do more. At some point Mom needs to get back on her computer…..the trap is sprung! “I wouldn’t have to steal your computer if I had my own laptop” <blink-blink. doe eyes>. If you know whats good for you avoid this game. You will always lose.
UPDATE: A couple of folks have pointed out that they see themselves here. The list is for humorous effect (that’s humerus for all you Operationalists out there). For the record. I am guilty of 1,4,5,7 & 8. So as with pretty much everything else, I’m only SEMI-perfect. 🙂
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