Tuesday, 2 June 2009

On a very odd man

This post is dedicated to a guy who comes into the pub I work in, every single day. He's harmless enough, but can get a little annoying at times. Still, he makes for choice entertainment during slow shifts. I'll attempt to explain a little about his basic nature. He's quite capable of holding a normal conversation, and in fact talks a lot. Too much. He'll slip from bursts of hearty laughter, often completely random and unrelated to the topic of talk, and bouts of earnest concentration, which usually precede a question, uttered in the most serious tone of voice despite the fact that they are usually something mundane. Example: He'll look you in the eye, and talk in a low voice, as if a doctor informing you you have terminal cancer, and then his question will be, "Do you enjoy sports?" Whatever the answer, he'll either consider it a little and ask a follow up question, or just chuckle. If you join him in the chuckle, he'll chuckle louder, and I've discovered it's quite possible to induce the heartiest of guffaws, if you gradually increase the volume of your own laughter. Fun.

Sometimes, his questions are utterly random, as if he's just voicing the end of a thought process that's been going on inside his head for a while, but which obviously no-one else has been privy to. Example: He'd evidently been considering the concept of vegetarianism, and had possibly had a prior conversation with someone about it. His question to me, preceded by nothing related was, "Stuart. Tell me, would you ever eat a fish without a face?" From this I can only assume he'd been involved in an earlier conversation in which someone had mentioned that they wouldn't eat a fish served with its head still attached, but coming out of the blue like that, it threw me a little. I humoured him and told him that faceless fish are the only kind of fish I'll consider eating, and now he's obsessed with finding out more about these mythical faceless fish.

A couple of nights ago, this conversation happened:

- Stuart. Who is this playing? the music.
- It's Joni Mitchell
- Ah *customary thoughtful pause* and... is it an album?
- No, just some odd songs
- OK. Did you... buy... the album?
- It's not an album. Just a few songs.
- Oh? And where does it come from?
- I downloaded the songs. They're on my iPod. It's playing from my iPod.
- *really confused look and pause* It's...*thoughtful pause* ... a computer?
- No. It's playing from my iPod. Through the computer.
- *slightly scared look* But... how does she get here? How does she come through an iPod into the air here?

So now he thinks Joni Mitchell is some kind of futuristic sorceress.

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