I’m a friendly dude.
I look like a friendly dude. I sound like a friendly dude. I am, in fact, a friendly dude.
This is a curse.
As any of my Faithful Readers can tell you, being a friendly dude has been a pox upon me for years.
Crazies come into the library, see a friendly—if not quasi-pleasant-looking—dude behind the circulation desk and they assume they can talk to me about whatever tickles their proverbial fancy until they’re blue in the face.
All too often, they are right.
I’m a friendly dude. Most of the time I let these whack-jobs and asshats ramble on and on and on about whatever boring, pointless, and/or outright bullshit story comes into their warped little heads.
I’ve heard one patron—who I hate with the fiery passion of a thousand suns—rant to me about how he walked right up to his boss one day and told him to “go fuck himself with a rusty screwdriver.”
As eloquent as all that was, it turned into a forty-five minute bitch session with this ass-clown rambling on about how he hated his job and wanted to quit and how he thought the boss was fooling around with his wife.
Granted, the dude is full of complete and utter bullshit, because his job changed about five times during the conversation from “lawyer” to “accountant” to “banker.” Apparently Cap’n Crazypants just wanted to share the crazy and I—being a friendly dude (who was conveniently trapped behind a circ desk)—was the lucky recipient.
This type of thing is common. In fact, it’s way too common.
I draw in crazies no matter where I go or what I’m doing.
I get half a dozen of these freaks every week at work and more randomly finding me on the streets or in restaurants or grocery stores. I’m a crazy magnet.
Saturday morning, whilst in the security line at the airport, I managed to draw some loon who wanted to talk about the health care hoopla that’s taken the nation by storm.
If you drop by “Blank Stares and Blank Pages” with any frequency, you know that I don’t really follow a) politics or b) the news.
As such, I really didn’t have any idea what this guy was talking about and I made that pretty clear right away, hoping that’d be the end of our interaction.
It was not.
This toolbox didn’t have any desire in legitimate discourse with me regarding the health care thingity-thing…he simply wanted to talk at someone.
As a friendly dude stuck in a line that I couldn’t logically jump out of without missing my flight, I had to sit there and listen to him go off on an anti-Obama tirade. He referred to Obama as the antichrist, Hitler, and—in some odd context I didn’t understand—Molly Ringwald. Perhaps he was implying Obama was merely a flash in the pan whose political star would burn out sooner than anyone could anticipate? Who knows, I sure as hell wasn’t paying attention.
My lack of attentiveness, however, wasn’t enough to detour health care dude. He had an opinion dammit and someone—anyone—needed to hear it.
So he ranted at me for about twenty minutes—at like five in the freakin’ morning—about health care and burnt-out ‘80s movie stars and death panels. The entire time I didn’t get in a word edgewise, not that I’d have had much to add to the conversation.
When he was finally done speaking (or would it be preaching?) he asked me what I thought about all that.
I told him that I’m a pretty healthy dude and I don’t really ever get sick. I also told him I don’t really follow the news or politics.
He replied: “fuckin’ hippy.”
He then walked away.
Some days I contemplate getting one of those crazy-ass face tattoos like Mike Tyson got hooked up with, just to make me look a little less friendly.
That or I’m just going to start tazering people the second they approach me.
One or the other.