When I’m at work, I try to keep a few stories “on tap” for those all-too-frequent cases when you find yourself grabbing a soda or standing in the elevator next to someone at work who you have nothing to talk about with. Often these situations go like this:
Me: Hey, [NAME]. Good to see you. How’s it going?
Coworker: Oh, fine. Just busy, you know? How are you?
Me: Yeah, tell me about it. I know “busy”! Busy-ness is just the way it works here at [OUR COMPANY].
Coworker: Yes, that’s definitely true…
**Awkward silence usually followed by my nervous tick, which is whistling**
Me: Alright, well, great to see you. Don’t work too hard! (Smile) Have a good one.
I do my best to avoid these situations by having a story ready for such awkward silences. They often involve sports, obviously up for last minute audibles or adjustments depending on the audience.
My current story is that I’m pretty sure I sat next to that kid J.P. from Angels in the Outfield (from 1994, honest to goodness it was that long ago) at the Dodgers/Nationals game the other night. I’m serious. I’ve got the luck of having parents with pretty good season tickets to the lackluster Nationals who periodically drop their tickets on me. I went to happy hour, then headed out to the game. Second row, first base side, next to the Nationals dugout. This kid drank a whole Country Stand Lemonade in about 14 seconds and had to go to the bathroom in a tie game in the bottom of the 8th about six minutes later. He had cotton candy, nachos, those funny little bite-size ice cream things in a cup, a pretzel.
Literally, he looked exactly like him – “him” being Milton Davis, Jr. I kept waiting for Jim Riggleman, playing the role of Danny Glover, to come over to the wall and say “Come on, kid. You keep telling me ‘it can happen’. But Jesus, we’ve lost 99 games. You’re fired. Do you know how many games that is? I’m done with you. I’ve got Livan Hernandez in the clubhouse spending half his day in the john and walking around without a towel on. This is ridiculous.”
I’m not kidding, and I wish that I had a video of this, I making the “wings” motion (rare, but worth a shot – people know what you’re doing) right before Ryan Zimmerman hit the three-run homer to break up Chad (lookie-here) Billingsley’s no hitter and tie the game. I tried to get the kid to do it with me. No dice.
Which brings me to a second point. Actually two second points. The first is: What if that was really the kid, still that age, never grown up? Like a magical baseball Peter Pan phenomenon. Mickey and I started talking about this today. Check out IMDB… JP only did 7th Heaven and Mad City after Angels in the Outfield, and in both cases his name in the credits was “Kid”. Nice. So here he is, never grown up, still going to baseball games, trying to make people believe. He stays young, kind of like Gary Coleman, and hangs out with Tony Danza, who just continues to get old, kind of like the guy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade who shrivels up after making one of the more ridiculous decisions in the entire quatrology. They periodically meet up with Matthew McConaughey.
The second, second point is that we’ve got to get mobile blogging up and running on this site. There were about 70 things that I thought about writing while I was at the game, and then forgot about in the midst of Miller Lites and a come from behind win. Gideon, what do you think?
As a conclusion, I tried this story out at work today a few times and it was about a 60/40 hit rate. Anybody under 30 seemed to get it, and find it at least mildly entertaining. One guy thought it was hilarious and sent me a long narrative of his trials and travails attempting to find the current location of one “JP” aka Milton Davis, Junior. My one subject who was over 50 gave me the obligatory “ha, ha” but I could tell he was just being nice.
Maybe I should just keep to myself at work.