29 December 2005


I work everyday in a 20-something floor building full of button-down financial types (well, insurance types- are those under the "financial types" heading?), most of which are quiet, cordial, nice, and accomodating. I've not had any sort of "issue" with anybody. Everybody just "is."

So I was coming back from lunch not 20 minutes ago, when an oily group of three guys interrupts the elevator door shutting (especially annoying because (a) the door takes about 5 full minutes to close, and the "close door" button doesn't work (b) there are 8 elevators to choose from (c) all elevators are rigged so that when one has closed up and is ascending, there is ALWAYS another one to open up) to hop on board. They're mucking it up, goofing around- they're giving off a vibe. Let's call it "the middle aged New Yorker machismo asshole guy" vibe. As a straight, fairly large male, nothing really for me to worry about. Just a little annoying (but then so is Pat O'Brien's "The Insider," but I watch that).

So I'm standing there, in my coat with earphones in, listening to music turned up loud and holding my hat in my hand and the book I'm currently reading- "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs" by Chuck Klosterman. These are the kinds of guys that can't encounter a solo member of the species without making some sort of comment or attempt at conversation. Every person they know has some fucking bizarre sort of icon floating over their head that says "Witty Over-Confident Guy Banter Receptacle."

So that meant me. Even though I was ensconced in the music I was listening to, and even though I couldn't hear a word they were saying, one actually craned his head down so that his eyes lined up with the cover of the book in my hand. They all started laughing as he says, "What... what the hell book are you reading?" Apparently we had met already, and we were good enough friends where that wasn't an entirely inappropriate way to address me. Oops, wait- nope. That hadn't happened.

All I did was slowly lift the book up so he could read the cover. "Sex... Drugs, and..." he trailed off, waiting for me to finish the title myself. I just held the book up.

"Cocoa Puffs! Ha!"

So his buddy needs in. More "Over-Confident Guy Banter"-

"Oh, WE'VE had enough of that stuff guys! Hey, we're on the twelfth floor, can you pass that one along to us when you're done with it?!" I smile. It wasn't funny, but it was an attempt. He's fishing around in his pocket now for some reason with a determined look.

"Here, I'm gonna give you my card." Before I can decide if I think he is or not, my floor comes up, and in the same instant, this guy's card is in my face. I look at him, grab it, and he just chuckles.

So what the fuck do I do? Was he kidding, or does this lunatic expect me to look him up when I'm done with my book to lend it to him?

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