Friday, April 3, 2009

First sign of madness

Do you ever get in the car after a day at work and re-enact a conversation you had with someone during that day?

I’ve started to realise I do that all the time. Sometimes I’ll find myself clarifying the things that I said to avoid any confusion, or mentioning things I didn’t think of at the time. Sometimes they’re just conversations in my head, but on occasion I do find myself speaking out loud.

I’ve also actually realised that this helps relieve stress. If I’ve had a particularly confrontational conversation with someone, re-enacting it on the way home allows me to present my point of view calmly and ensures that both sides are aware that I am the victor. Try it next time you have a disagreement with a co-worker, you’ll see.

This came to mind at lunch time today while I was stood at the microwave waiting for my lunch to heat up. An older lady in the office walked by and said hello before enquiring how things were going. I’m guessing she meant generally, and she didn’t require a second by second commentary on how the microwave was getting my left over chicken all hot and bothered.

When she’d moved on I found myself staring blankly at the ticking clock and started running through what my response would have been if she’d enquired about my weekend.

Now, I’m not really one for small talk but it is my intention to improve on this in an attempt to not be seen as some aloof weirdo so I can sort of understand why I did it but, and here’s the thing, I actually found myself making up some elaborate story to make my weekend sound more exciting than it actually was!

It was basically full of wonderful characters in hidden worlds where time was eaten up by adventures Scooby Doo would’ve been proud of. Well, not really, it was more of an exaggeration on actual events to make me sound busy and popular but that’s not the point.

When I was younger, I used to imagine what it would be like being a professional footballer conducting a post match interview where I’d play down all the extraordinary things I’d done during the game. I was a very modest imaginary interviewee, “I just did a couple of flicks, beat 7 of the opposition team and knocked it through the goalkeepers legs in the last minute to win the world cup for my country, same as anyone really.” Some interviews were conducted by Jonathan Ross but for these I found I was more of a musician of historical importance turned actor.

It’s a bit like that part in The Commitments were Jimmy Rabbitte is running around Dublin trying to start his band while occasionally informing his imaginary interviewer “Terry” of his intentions.

If talking to yourself really is the first sign of madness then at least I’ll still be able to get word out to my public via the imaginary interviewers.

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