Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

All Quotes


Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Hey, Aren’t You…?

Have you ever seen someone you thought you knew, but weren’t quite sure that it was really that person?

I don’t mean the people who look like your mother, or your brother, and you can eliminate the possibility with a quick second glance. Nor am I talking about the folks who resemble your roommate from college who you know to be a thousand miles away, or a famous movie star who obviously wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out in the dives and crapholes you frequent.

No, I’m talking about that local casual acquaintance — a friend of a friend, or an old colleague from another department, or your one of your ex-significant other’s old chums.

(No, not the hot one; you’d remember that one. I mean the plain one, with the sorta crooked nose, or the one whose eyes are a little too close together. You know, that one.)

Anyway, what the hell do you do in that situation? It happened to me today — I think I saw the husband of a woman my wife used to work with. He’s a nice guy and all, and I even remembered his name — very impressive, given my propensity for forgetting such things pretty much one hundred percent of the time.

(Seriously, I’m surprised I can recall my wife’s name sometimes. It’s like a big fat mental block I have about what I’m supposed to call people. So in my world, everybody’s a ‘buddy’ or a ‘dude’ or ‘big fella’.

Which works okay for the guys, I suppose. Especially when most of them don’t really give a damn whether I know their names or not… as long as I’m buying the beer, of course. But I don’t have as many substitute monikers for the ladies, which sometimes gets me in trouble. The best I can usually do is come up with something neutral, like ‘Hey there, you!‘ or ‘What’s up, Skippy?

Sure, I know ‘Skippy’ isn’t the most flattering cover to use when I can’t remember a girl’s name. Still, it’s not the worst I could do. I once greeted a long-lost aunt with ‘Hey… um, Aunt… BigFella… uh, dude.’

Yeah, I don’t get invited to the family Christmas party any more. Big surprise, huh?)

The name wasn’t the problem today, though. I simply didn’t know what to do. I saw the guy just as he was turning away from me to sit on a park bench. I was maybe thirty feet away from him, walking back to my office after lunch. And since it was noontime, there were various and sundry — oh, very sundry — people wandering around the area. I had no fricking idea what to do.

So I just stood there, like a goober. I thought about calling out the guy’s name. But then it occurred to me that it might not be who I thought it was. And I decided it might be a bit uncomfortable to be standing there calling, ‘Joe! Yo, Joe!‘ when there was no Joe to be had.

(And I certainly didn’t want to be doing it if there was a Joe hanging around, just waiting to ‘be had’. But that’s different. Alls I wanted was to say hello.)

Anyway, I ended up shuffling back and forth, turning toward the office, then back toward the bench, then the office, then the bench. I thought about walking around to the front of the bench and getting a good look, but again — what if I were wrong? I was hardly in a condition to be subtle about looking this guy up and down, and that would be bad no matter what. If it wasn’t my friend, I’d look like some random pervert freakjob. And if it was him, then I’d look like a specific pervert freakjob. And the story of my long, searching gaze into his eyes would eventually make its way back to my wife. So I decided against it.

In the end, I decided against doing much of anything, and finally went back to the office. Now I’ll never know whether I was right, or whether this was just some stranger enjoying his afternoon on the park bench. Or picking up chicks, or casing the restaurant across the way, or whatever the hell he was there to do. And I guess that’s okay. It’s not like it was my long-lost brother, or some old school chum I’d been keeping an eye out for. Really, I should just let it go. I know this.

But I still feel like I could have handled it a bit more gracefully. I could have caught up on some news, or gotten a lunch invitation. Hell, maybe I could have even borrowed money from the guy — who knows? But I missed out. I just didn’t know how to slyly see who it was without making an ass of myself. So, I hung my head and slunk back to work. As usual.

Maybe there was a better way. Or maybe I should have just yelled for the guy, or gone over and stared at him, and the blips on people’s gaydar be damned. I don’t know; I took the easy way out, and hightailed it out of there. This time, it probably didn’t cost me much. A couple of minutes of chit-chat; maybe a snippet of news about a mutual friend. But I want to be ready for the next time, when it might be the generous rich guy from an old job, or that hot girl my wife used to hang out with. It’d be a shame to miss out on an opportunity like that!

On the other hand, maybe it’s best to just avoid these situations. I’d probably end up fucking them up somehow, and then those people would never speak to me again. I’d accidentally tell the rich dude he’s looking fatter, or I’d forget the girl’s name and call her ‘Little Miss BigFella’. Not at all good.

Yeah, I think I made the right choice. Even going to work is better than the trouble I typically get myself into. Really, I shouldn’t talk to people at all, ever. It’s just safer that way.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Hey, Aren’t You…?”

  1. Em says:

    If I had been in your shoes I (first of all, probably would’ve tripped all over the place, which would cause a scene and be the reference to a totally different blog in general) but I would’ve done the same thing. I usually try to avoid those situations and sometimes (for some unknown reason) will try to make sure the “unknown person” DOES NOT see me (just in case they too recognize me)…it really depends on my mood though.

    You’re not alone, Big Fella.

  2. Lara says:

    I probably would have gone right up to him and asked him if he was who I thought! HOWEVER, the place I would have gotten into trouble would have been immediately following him saying “why yes! It is me!” I’d then be staring at him and trying to force my mouth to say SOMETHING else, but my mind would be blank and I’d end up saying well then there buddy boy…it was greeat to see you! (nervous giggle) And then wander off…he’d probably end up thinking I was a homeless nutter and how sad is it that BK and I ended up that way! But of course my mouth gets me into more trouble by working before I have time to really STOP it and realize I have nothing else to say to him except ARE YOU WHO I THINK? So there’s all kinds of way you COULD have handled it…but I think you probably took care of it just the way you should have! And of course you now always have the added opportunity for future discussions when you run into them out somewhere. “Hey…do you work down near blah blah st? I thought I saw you a few weeks back…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
  Drinkstorm Studios

Me on Science (silly):
  Secondhand SCIENCE

Me on Science (real):
  Meta Science News

Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon

Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
Unlikely Explanations

Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers
A Doofus Is Me
Articles 'n' Zines
Audience Participation
Awkward Conversations
Bits About Blogging
Bitter Old Man Rants
Blasts from My Past
Cars 'n' Drivers
Dog Drivel
Foodstuff Fluff
Fun with Words!
Grooming Gaffes
Just Life
Loopy Lists
Making Fun of Jerks
Marketing Weenies
Married and a Moron
Miscellaneous Nonsense
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig
Sleep, and Lack Thereof
Tales from the Stage
Tasty Beverages
The Happy Homeowner
TV & Movies & Games, O My!
Vacations 'n' Holidays
Weird for the Sake of Weird
Whither the Weather
Wicked Pissah Bahstan
Wide World o' Sports
Work, Work, Work

Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
100 Best Humor Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine



Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner


RSS 2.0
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved