Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And a case of

I have found that the most defining characteristic of strangers is that they really don’t know much about me. This is not the “you just don’t know me” of atrophied love. It is not exactly the “Let me get to know you” of a new and interesting acquaintance. It is usually not the “I don’t want to know about you” of prejudice. It is an abstract lack of information; a not knowing that has yet to develop into more mature forms of ignorance.

Yesterday I went into WalMart two times in rapid succession. I realized on my second trip that the path from complete ignorance to slight comprehension was something more like a landscape painting than a smooth dichromatic gradient; it might also be somewhat amusing.

AOD arrived home on a later bus yesterday, so I went shopping. I bought some uninspired foodstuff on my first go-round through WalMart; lots of vegetables. AOD texted me with a suggestion that we sit around eating junk food and watching a show produced by Steven Moffat. She had been up till midnight, and then up early, typing out some homework the night before, so the idea of lounging around watching a show sounded to me like the most meaningful interaction possible for us.

I headed back into Walmart, and as I did I remembered that I forgot to get sandwich bags for lunches. As I walked around the store picking up a little more junk food than I needed I amused myself with a barrage of rhetorical questions:

“Who goes into Wal-Mart twice in one day?”
“Are you sure the extra junk food is for AOD’s lunches?”
“Would this be more fun with one of those electric carts?”

The self-interrogation became more focused as I walked back to the checkout carrying an armload of junk food and baggies.

“How many folks in Colorado are buying this exact same stuff right now?”
“Should I pick up a lighter too?”

The combination of items implied a functional connection. What does a somewhat frayed adult do after dark that uses both baggies and junk food. For a person that did not know me the assumption would be almost irresistible, but if they jumped to that conclusion they would actually know less about me than before they knew that I even existed.

When I jump to assumptions about strangers I pick the most exiting ones. It is a hobby. I live in a world with many more potential ninjas and space aliens than are found the worlds of people without this hobby.

It is a relatively new hobby for me. Back in November a very good friend stayed with me for a week while she was recuperating from gender re-assignment surgery. We brought a bunch of stuff to the house about a week before her surgery. Among the materials she needed for the recuperation was an entire case of KY jelly. A case of KY jelly is a lot of KY jelly.

I found that I was unable to associate the case of KY jelly with anything without the entire collection sounding synergistically more interesting.

When I carried the box into my house I noticed that it contained:

  1.  A copy of “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin.
  2.  A roll of paper towels.
  3.  A case of KY Jelly.

“I never get invited to parties like that” I thought.

After we unpacked some of her stuff I wanted to take a picture of the KY jelly in my bedroom. It is unlikely that I will ever have an entire case of KY jelly in my bedroom again. I had placed it on the dresser:

  1.  Two packs of shoelaces.
  2.  A watch.
  3.  A case of KY jelly.

It was actually going to be hard to associate the KY jelly with anything without the set becoming more interesting; more interesting than even the case of KY jelly by itself.

Since this realization I have tested my hypothesis by adding the phrase “and a case of KY jelly” to random lists of objects. Today at work I needed to get some glassware and culture medium:

“Glassware, culture medium, and a case of KY jelly”

What kind of party does my second trip into Wal-Mart become by the addition of a case of KY jelly.

  1.  An armload of junk food.
  2.  Sandwich baggies.
  3.  A case of KY jelly.

I sometimes wish I lead as interesting a life as it might look like I do.



2 comments:

kzin99 said...

I dunno... I think you might count yourself fortunate you've never found yourself at a party that combined GOT with KY jelly.

Sounds painful at best, most likely fatal.

adult onset atheist said...

I suppose I would think twice if I was invited to any party with a GOT wedding theme, even if they advertised a case of KY jelly. I would probably think about it more than twice. It might haunt my thoughts for a month.