“Jeez, you’re tall” says the man in front of me, as we queue to pay for our twelve-items-or-less.
Before this point, he had been talking to the woman in front of him, with a sack of onions and a child. “… he won in all divisions. Boxing, MMA. Pity about his wife”. The poor lady appeared to have no idea what this chap was on about. I suspect few do.
I prayed to every one of the Greek Gods for this man to not turn and talk to me (I memorised them for just such an occasion.) But my prayers went unanswered, stupid Gods. I reckon Aristaeus did me in (the God of animal husbandry, bee-keeping, and fruit trees, famously), he’s exactly the type to fuck me over just because I mentioned once that perhaps some of the other Gods were a smidge more important.
And so, with divine intervention a no-go, fuck-knuckle turned and looked right at me as I pulled off a magnificent distant stare. He politely stared for another few seconds before uttering the words that opened this here page.
“I am”, I said, factually.
“Do you play basketball?”
“I do not”, I said, counting my words.
“What about when you were younger”
“I played once”, I conceded. And it was as if we’d known each other all our lives.
“Hey! Good on ya!” he said, as though he genuinely believed that I had down syndrome as a child and then played basketball and everything began to work correctly.
“What do you do then?” he asked as though my life was either going to be spent playing basketball or doing something else.
When I’m asked this question, I have to assess the person doing the asking and respond somewhere on a scale of specificity from ‘computers’, to ‘developer’, to ‘front end architect’.
For this neck-tattooed, toothy, probably-miscreant, I chose “computers” and added “but you don’t need to be tall for that”.
He said — and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t being funny — “yeah I knew that”.
“How tall are ya?” he continued after a brief pause in our super-enjoyable tête-à-tête. “Two-point-two?”
This was incorrect because people that tall die from complications.
“Um, well, two-point-oh-two.”
“Yeah, I know my numbers, I’m a carpenter”.
There’s a few things to ‘unpack’ here — as the cool kids have all started saying.
Firstly, he said 2.2, I said no, 2.02, and he was like “yep, I’m pretty good”. Does he think 2.2 and 2.02 are the same number? Or that they’re close enough, on account of them both having two twos? Perhaps he rejects the concept of zero.
Secondly, a carpenter! I had the urge to say ‘like Jesus’ but knowing my luck he’d be a Christian and he’d ask if I’m a believer. I would of course say yes and ask for his thoughts on the ark. Like, a giant boat with two of each animal, how amazing is that! I can’t get my cat in a fucking cage, and Noah’s out there getting buffalo on a boat. I mean, I could get no buffalo on a boat. Or I could get a thousand buffalo on a boat. But getting exactly two? That’s competence porn if ever I saw it.
Toothy Tat would invite me over for Bible study and I’d go just to ask other people what they thought about the ark. I mean, talk about megastructures, amiright? All would be going well but then at some point I’d let slip that I like Skrillex and they’d all be like hey, you’re not a Christian.
I just Googled “is Nickleback christian rock” and it turns out that they’re not Christian so I will not refer to them as such. But in my travels I found some others; I can’t help but feel that all these bands were made by the same creator:
Back to this man’s chosen vocation of carpentry (or perhaps it chose him, who’s to say), I wanted badly to ask what sort of carpet he liked best, but didn’t want to anger or amuse him. I’m not sure which would be worse. A friendly pat on the shoulder and a hey, you’re all right by me or a punch in the face and a kick in the smurf village.
Also found during the making of this back-by-popular-demand blog post: I went Googling to see if you’d really die from complications if you were 2.2 metres tall and nope, seems like you just get popular with the ladies.
Dude looks like someone tried to fax a Far Side comic but the paper came out of the receiving fax machine too quickly.