Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"For the thousandth time! Silence is GOLDEN!" "Can your defective little mind not wrap itself around that concept!" Those words shouted by the normally mild mannered Sister Mary jerked me out of a lovely daydream about the number fourteen of all things. Luckily for me, at least this time, Sister Mary's wrath was directed at some unfortunate classmate of mine, and not, as usual, at me. Fear of the ruler that the Sister wielded like a sword usually kept most of my classmates in line, but not G__. G___ was a talkative soul, and even managed to have something worth listening to every once in a while. The problem for G___ was that the Sisters did not want to hear the majority of G___'s blather even the stuff worth hearing. The Sisters were not hear to listen, they were here to teach, and if that did not work, well they were here to punish. Quite simple really listen, learn, or get the ruler. You would not think that a 110 lb lady could inflict that much pain with a ruler, but Sister Mary was a true artist. She must have finished top of her class in the "making them squeal like a pig" at her university. She knew where to hit, when to hit, and precisely how hard to hit for the maximum amount of agony. Surviving her lashings without screaming was considered a rite of passage. Sadly for G___ the talkative streak he possessed also made him a bit of a screamer. Sad for the rest of us too. Hearing the thunk of the ruler followed by the yelp of pain from poor G____ was beginning to grate on my nerves. It only took me a couple of times being teed up by Sister Mary before I figured out that talking could be, and probably is vastly overrated. Which is why today I am usually described as laconic or taciturn depending on who is doing the describing. I have also been compared to a stone wall, and we all know that stone walls do not have a lot to say for themselves, or to anyone else. The trick is to be well spoken in ten words or less. If you can pull that off, then people will begin to believe you are much smarter than you really are. Notice I said trick. It is not a gift, or a talent, it is at its most fundamental level a trick. You are fooling whatever audience you are around into something. Not showing off some mental feat of amazing skill. It is the old coin from behind a child's ear stuff. All flash no fire. Something to distract attention from the fact that you could really give a shit less about whatever conversation you have been drug, kicking and screaming, into against your desire to just be left alone to get drunk. Most of us spend our day talking our proverbial heads off, most of do not realize that people are really not listening. Like telling a "bad beat" poker story to a friend. Yeah, yeah we all have them, and halfway through yours the bastard you are talking to began to remember, and burst at the seams, to share HIS bad beat story. Which of course, is much more entertaining because it is his story. His story, history pretty damn close don't you think? Sexist, but still close. Poor G___ never learned this lesson, at least not while he was in the "arc of pain" that constituted Sister Mary's wingspan. Pretty much everyday day G__ would blather, and Sister Mary would exact her revenge. We tried to explain, in as few words as possible, to G___ that talking was only an avenue of pain, but he just did not seem to be able to keep his trap shut. I suppose he saw silence as a void to be filled, and if no one else was brave enough to do it, he would boldly stride into the breach. There are those among us who think that silence is not golden, but awkward and needs to be filled before it grows uncomfortable. I am not one of those people. I refer you to the title of this blog for example. I guess the irony of being a "man of few words" is that I write overly long, complicated, convoluted blog posts. Maybe it is just easier to type, aside from the spelling thing, than it is to talk. Though at least if you write people do not have to listen. All they have to do is not read. Still being ignored, but at least they do not have to sit there with a fake interested expression on their mug while you blather on about whatever you think is important. The better proverb for me has always been better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove everyone right.
In acceptance of Challenge's challenge. Not exactly what you were looking for I am sure, but I never said I had any talent. Merely tricks, and not even magic ones at that. However, I gave it a shot, and undercurrents abound. Sometimes the gold is buried under a mountain of dross. I made the mountain, you get to shift the dross. Careful all that glitters is not gold.

1 comment:

chall said...

..but I might find gold if I look. If I never look, never any hope of gold.

I'm all of a sudden happy that I never went to that school. Although, I had to spend a few times in detention for yapping in class...... big surprise, not ;)