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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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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!

Just Pray That You Manage to Stop Reading Before the End, Folks

Hey there. I’m not sure how long this post is gonna be, for a couple of reasons:

1. I have no topic.

B. It’s Monday, and that always puts a little cranky in my pants.

III. I just got done playing volleyball, and have fresh lumpy bruises on my right elbow (which rests on the arm of my chair while I type) and my right asscheek (which, hopefully obviously, rests on the seat of my chair while I type). Which is to say, sitting and typing are two pretty uncomfortable things to be doing right now, and far, far less inviting than, say, standing naked in a hot steamy shower for the next half-hour.

But, despite all of those issues, here I am. Why? Because I wuvs you, you spunky little readers, you! And that spam thing I posted from work probably isn’t nearly as compelling to you as it was to me. Hey, they can’t all be gems, people. Some of ’em are barely lumps of coal. Eh.

So, let’s get going. I’m sure we’ll think of something interesting to chat about. Heaven forbid this should turn out like one of those times with your in-laws, when your spouse leaves for ‘just a minute‘, dumping you with various members of his or her family that couldn’t possibly have less to say to you if their mouths were filled with cement and welded shut. Yeah, you’ve all been there — maybe not with the in-laws, but you’ve been there. With friends of your parents, maybe, or business acquaintances, that random person you met on the internet, or — for some of us — any member of the opposite sex.

Yeah, it’s happened to all of us, and we all do the same damned thing, don’t we? We go through the same fricking thought process, and say the same stupid shit every time:

(Shit. I’ve gotta say something to these people. They’re waiting for me to say something.)

(Dammit, nobody’s said anything. I’ve got to say something. Shit, shit, shit, what can I talk about with these people? I don’t know any of them, and none of them like me, and dammit, how the hell do I get into these things? Think!)

(Okay, one thing I can’t talk about is the weather. Anything but the weather. That’s so cliche, it’s stupid. It’s like a tie on Father’s Day; you just don’t do it. Gotta think of something — think, think, think…)

(Shit. That one’s looking right at me. If I don’t say something now, it’s just gonna be rude. We made eye contact, for chrissakes. If we all stood here staring at our shoes, that’s fine. Uncomfortable, and awkward, but we’d have gotten through it. But now we looked at each other. Fuck. I’ve got to say something!)

*ahem hrm*

So… sure has been hot lately, hasn’t it?

And of course, that’s when you spend the next thirty seconds mentally banging your head against the nearest blunt heavy object, repeating ‘moron, moron, moron‘ over and over in your head. Well, hopefully in your head, as opposed to in reply to whatever the other person said. If you make that slip, then you might suddenly have an awful lot to talk about. You might also find yourself hanging upside down from a tree, though, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Depends on the audience, really, and whether you’re wearing your running shoes at the time.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m the only one that has that debilitating mental block around people I don’t know well. Maybe the rest of you are normal, well-adjusted, straightforward and upstanding citizens.

(Yeah, right — you’ve been reading this shit for fourteen paragraphs, so that can’t be true, now, can it? You might not have my particular brand of dementia, but you ain’t healthy, bub. Don’t kid yourself.

And by the way, if you actually took the time to count the paragraphs… you’re worse off than I am. Seek professional help, before you hurt somebody.

And if you hadn’t counted the paragraphs before, because it didn’t occur to you, but then went back and counted after I mentioned it… well, then you’re not terribly bright, in addition to being unbalanced.

And if you counted just now, after all of that… well, then you’re just a smartass. Nobody likes you much, do they?)

(Shit. I went back just now and counted for the first time. What the hell does that say about me?

You know, other than the fact that I can freaking estimate paragraphs, since I was in the fourteenth paragraph when I said I was. Drop a pinch of that in your bong and smoke it, Jackson!)

All right, where the hell was I, anyway?

Oh, right. So, maybe I’m the only one who has trouble talking to people. But I doubt it. The world is way too screwy a place for everybody but me to walking around with adequate social skills. If everybody else is so freaking ‘normal’, then how the hell would you explain The Anna Nicole Show? Or those spam emails I get about some girl named Lisa and her horse? Or Puppetry of the Penis, for chrissakes?

(I mean, sure, it’s impressive and all, in it’s own… ‘special‘ way, but come on — if those people had any clue how to strike up a conversation, do you think they’d have ever had enough free time to sit around fiddling with their diddlers until they could make balloon animals out of ’em?

Seriously, you have got to spend a lot of hours — I’m talking mongo ‘quality time’ — with Mr. Happy before you start seeing possibilities for sculpting the damned thing into shapes. Look, I’m a big fan of my genitals, folks, but I have never looked down at the little fella and thought to myself:

Ooooh! Let’s try origami!

Well, okay, that’s not technically true — I did think exactly that once, back in college. But that’s just because I thought ‘origami‘ was some sort of Japanese orgy, and some really cool anime was on at the time. But once I discovered what the word really meant? No. Definitely not.)

Damn. Lost my place again. Did I have a point back there before all that nonsense? Was it that other people are probably just as fucked up as I am? Oh, okay, good. I think that was actually some pretty solid ground before that last tangent. Now… not so much.

Anyway, just in case you also have anxieties about talking to people, and end up saying that same stupid crap about how hot, or cold, or snowy, or locust-plaguey it’s been lately, I just want to tell you two things:

One, you’re not alone. I do it. I know other people who do it. And, like I said, I suspect everyone does it. And yes, that includes those assbags who stand there silent and let you stutter on about the weather, and then roll their eyes at your predictability. Those bastards do it, too. Don’t let ’em fool you.

And two, trust me, as stupid as you feel for taking the ‘easy way’ into a conversation, it beats the rosy-cheeked fanny off the alternative. I think you know a bit now about how my mind works, so I have to tell you — when in doubt, I always go the safe, easy route. I have put myself under pressure too many times to be ‘different’, and ‘spontaneous’, and come up with icebreakers like:

Wow, that’s some nose you’ve got there!

You know, I wonder how many licks it would take to get to the center of a lot of things.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time, and find out whether your grandmother was ever really hot?

So do as I write, folks, not as I blurt. Stick to the weather. You’ll be happier, the people you’re with will be happier, and none of you will ever have to try to picture your grandma in a lace-up leather teddy and ‘fuck-me pumps’.

Except that a lot of you just did, of course. And with that, I’m off to bed. I’ve dispensed advice, discussed my penis, and left you with a really, really disturbing — but for some of you, strangely exciting — image. My work here is done. Now aren’t you glad I managed to find something to talk about tonight?

Permalink  |  4 Comments

4 Responses to “Just Pray That You Manage to Stop Reading Before the End, Folks”

  1. lilly says:

    for someone with no topic, you sure found a lot to say, didn’t ya? lol

  2. Andy says:

    Shall we just call that one a semi-precious stone? Maybe just costume jewelry?

    Oh, what I was going to say is that I am most certainly one ot find myself in that situation with virtually every member of the opposite sex.

  3. laura says:

    well…that was….interesting

    and yet sadly somehow not all that disturbing (well except for the penis origami and the whole grandma thing…:shudders

    a long time ago (well maybe not so long considering I’m just in high school) I found out I can’t start conversations. I dont know why really…but I just decided that I would stop trying cause it always semed to get me into a mess…not unlike you I see…

    and I’m so glad to know there’s someone else out there who can write 30-some-odd paragraphs when they have nothing to say.

    yeah I counted.

    and its a little creepy when you randomly choose a number and it turns out being right

    well maybe i can get into the hall of fame for leaving the longest comment ever no?

    wish me luck!

  4. Charlie says:

    Thanks, Laura, and good luck with that HoF comment thing.

    For everyone else — just in case you read the comments first, and then the post, for some odd reason — I just want to make it perfectly clear:

    The ‘penis origami’ and the ‘whole grandma thing’ were completely separate. There must’ve been three or four paragraphs at least between them… no relationship whatsoever. Even I would be disturbed by that. In case you were wondering.

    That is all.

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