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!

Old Acquaintance? Fuggedaboudit!

I’ve decided to give up acquaintances.

Honestly, I’ve never figured out why we have them in the first place. They’re like pocket handkerchiefs or Ace bandages or those twelve little jars of capers in the back of the fridge. Everybody’s got them — but no one ever uses them. Most of us don’t even know what the hell they’re for. So we ignore them until they’re well past using, and then we have to toss them, anyway.

Well, I’m cutting to the chase. I’m done playing the game. Out.

(Though I’ll hold onto one of the jars. The missus does make a mean chicken piccata — when we manage to keep capers that didn’t go bad three and a half years before dinnertime, anyway.)

Acquaintances, though? No mas.

I’m not out to offend anyone. It’s a simple “risk and reward” calculation. See, I’m an only child. Plus, my memory’s not that great, I don’t listen well, and my “inner monologue” seems to have a mild case of Tourette’s. In other words, I have the approximate social skills of a bipolar hyena homeschooled by wolves.

“In other words, I have the approximate social skills of a bipolar hyena homeschooled by wolves.”

So what can go right when I run into an acquaintance out in the world?

Very freaking little.

And what can go wrong?

Mercy, child. How long you got?

Let’s see — forgetting a name is popular; that’s always a classic. There’s forgetting where we met, how we know each other, and whether I was a complete douche the last time we talked.

(Hint? I was.)

I’ve been known to use the wrong name, to ask singles about their spouses, cat owners about their dogs, and newlyweds “how YOU doin’?” I once introduced myself to the same woman the first four times we met. By the time I remembered her name, we’d shared more confused polite handshakes than a Promise Keepers convention held at the Bunny Ranch.

And what’s the return on the investment, if the effort could even be mustered? I ask you, what can acquaintances do for us? Suggest a new restaurant or offer us a stick a gum?

Bah, I say. They’re probably flavor-hating vegans, and their gum’s full of cloves. See, this is why we didn’t bother getting to know them better in the first place. Shoo!

Mind you, I’m not interested in becoming a hermit. There are still plenty of other types of people I’d keep. Coworkers, for instance. Coworkers are great. They can totally cover for you playing golf on a four-hour lunch break — or better yet, they can come along. And bring the beer. And carry my clubs. Also, I’m not driving — the course is way out Route Nine, and I’m not dealing with that kind of traffic on a Tuesday, dude. What am I, you?

And family — family’s good, too. They’ve usually got spare house keys and kidneys and they might tape Always Sunny for you, plus some of them know how to cook chicken piccata, maybe. Also, you already remember their names and what kind of socks they like for Christmas. So you’ve got to keep family. Clearly.

Then there are friends, best of all. You can go drinking with friends or eat at fancy restaurants or play a game of knockoff Scrabble. Which is great, because people will look at you funny if you do these things alone.

(That’s why there is no game called “Words with Your Own Sorry Loser Ass, Bucko”.

Just like there’s no “Words with Acquaintances”. I think you smell the piccata I’m cookin’.)

These are plenty enough people to keep track of, stay in touch with, and apologize to every time I open my mouth and offend someone in the vicinity. So I’ve decided that’s it — friends, family, coworkers and done. No acquaintances. I’ve got nothing left. Like I said, shoo.

Of course, this leads to some awkward situations. It’s not as though I don’t want to meet new people; I just don’t want to be stuck with them in this mutual social purgatory slog they call ‘acquaintanceship’. Life is short. I want to cut to the chase.

For most people, this is simple. We meet, maybe we chat a bit. Then I stop them and say:

No, I’m sorry. I’m not interested in sharing an office, a beer, or DNA with you. And I’ve got no other openings. So please — move it along. No tears. Just go.

That usually does the trick.

(I mean, of course there are tears. You can’t possibly avoid that. But they leave. And that’s the important thing. For me.)

The tricky part is when a real candidate shows up. Someone who maybe could fill a gap — a fun new friend, or some office jerk who owns his own brewery, or a gal who looks like she ought to be somebody’s grandma. My grandma is hundreds of miles away. Why not find a “helper” granny on the street? What could possibly be wrong about that?

These people, I’ve got to be direct with. I’m not screwing around with acquaintances any more, so we’ve got to move fast or not at all. So when a good fit comes along, I’m ready.

They say, “Hi“, and I say, “Pull your desk over here and loan me your five-wood.

Or they say, “Good to meet you“, and I reply, “Let’s plan a trip to Key West.

Or maybe, “Why are you on my porch, sonny?” and “Put on this apron and make me some cookies, Nana.

Does that ever get me anywhere? No. Is it something sane people do? Possibly not.

But do I have any new acquaintances lately?

No. So long as you don’t count the nice doctor and the guys in white coats, no. No, I do not.

Permalink  |  No Comments

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