Friday, 30 May 2008

Explaining the chemistry between a boy and a girl.

There was a guy named Roger who was attracted to a woman named Elaine. One day he asked her out to a movie; she accepted; and they had a pretty good time. A few nights later, he asked her out to dinner, and again they enjoyed themselves. They continued to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them was seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they were driving home, a thought occurred to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she said it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"

And then there was silence in the car. To Elaine, it seemed like a very loud silence. She thought to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

And Roger thought: Gosh! Six months!!

And Elaine thought: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of a relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are moving steadily toward . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading towards marriage? Towards children? Towards a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger thought: . . . so that means it was . . . let's see . . ..February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means . . . lemme check the odometer . . . Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine thought: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed -- even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

And Roger thought: And I'm gonna have them take a look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say; it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's still only August, and this thing is shifting like a damn garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves 600 bucks

And Elaine thought: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. God, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

And Roger thought: They'll probably say it's only a 90- day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the scumballs.

And Elaine thought: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight in his shining armour to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centred, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Roger thought: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a goddamn warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their …

"Roger," Elaine said aloud.

"What?" asked Roger, startled.

"Please don't torture yourself like this," she said, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have … Oh God, I feel so …”

(She broke down, sobbing.)

"What?" asked Roger.

"I'm such a fool," Elaine sobbed. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."

"There's no horse?"

"You think I'm a fool, don't you?"

"No!" said Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

"It's just that . . . It's that I . . . I need some time," Elaine said.

(There was a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he could, tried to come up with a safe response. Finally he came up with one that he thought might work.)

"Yes," he said.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touched his hand.)

"Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?"

"What way?"

"That way about time,"

"Oh, Yes."

(Elaine turned to face him and gazed deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involved a horse. At last she spoke.)

"Thank you, Roger," she said.

"Thank you, Elaine”.

Then he took her home, and she lay on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and wept until dawn, whereas when Roger got back to his place, he opened a bag of chips, turned on the TV, and immediately became deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Serbians he had never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind told him that something major had been going on back there in the car, but he was pretty sure there was no way he could ever understand what, and so he figured it was better if he didn’t think about it. (This was also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine called her closest friends and they talked about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they analyzed everything she had said and everything he had said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They continued to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while drinking beer one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, paused just before a sip, frowned, and asked:

"Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"

Thursday, 29 May 2008

The Answering Machine has spoken!!

These are from by-gone days when we actually had little machines that would answer the telephone for us. They were called "answering machines," intuitively enough. Roughly akin to voice mail today, but when they came out, they were quite novel. Thus, the were the source of much amusement.

If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our weapons right now and can't come to the phone. Otherwise, we probably aren't home and it's safe to leave us a message.

A is for academics, B is for beer. One of those reasons is why we're not here. So leave a message.

Hi. This is John:
If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my financial aid institution, you didn't lend me enough money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don't worry, I have plenty of money.

(Narrator's voice:) There Dale sits, reading a magazine. Suddenly the telephone rings! The bathroom explodes into a veritable maelstrom of toilet paper, with Dale in the middle of it, his arms windmilling at incredible speeds! Will he make it in time? Alas no, his valiant effort is in vain. The bell hath sounded. Thou must leave a message.

My wife and I can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll leave your name and number, we'll get back to you as soon as we're finished.

Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya. We can't pick up the phone right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy. Sonya likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right...real slowly. So leave a message, and when we're done brushing our teeth we'll get back to you.

Hi. Now you say something.

Hi, I'm not home right now but my answering machine is, so you can talk to it instead. Wait for the beep.

Hello. I am David's answering machine. What are you?

Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his refrigerator. Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your message to myself with one of these magnets.

Hello, this is Sally's microwave. Her answering machine just eloped with her tape deck, so I'm stuck with taking her calls. Say, if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just hold it up to the phone.

Hello, you are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving messages. My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub, and their carpets are clean. They give to charity through the office and don't need their picture taken. If you're still with me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

This is not an answering machine - this is a telepathic thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach you, and I'll think about returning your call.

Hi. I am probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a
message, and if I don't call back, it's you.

Hi, this is George. I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right now. Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call you back.

You're growing tired. Your eyelids are getting heavy. You feel very sleepy now. You are gradually losing your willpower and your ability to resist suggestions. When you hear the tone you will feel helplessly compelled to leave your name, number, and a message.