The inverted meatloaf sandwich of social decay.
The meek will inherit…nothing!
I have good ideas sometimes. Like, I would like to invent a sandwich which is two slices of meatloaf on the outside and a patty made of a savory bread pudding. It’s just a meatloaf sandwich, you know? Just not in the order you might expect.
I think it’s a keeper.
You have to indulge ideas like that. I mean, you don’t have to, but I have to, because otherwise I would have an even smaller list of people who will put up with me than I already do. If I don’t give vent to my errant ideas, follow them through to some kind of logical conclusion — or, if not logical, then satisfying at least — then I would spend most of my time beginning sentences that I never mean to finish.
And I am here to tell you that, as the saying goes, you attract far more bees with insensible complete sentences than with perfectly reasonable half-formed promises that end in a whiff of emptiness so blank it doesn’t even deserve the term disappointing. To be disappointed, you kind of need a combination of a befuddling beginning and an ending that makes you want to cry — frustration tears, not emotional ones, that come from the inability to engineer the assassination of the offending party.
What I am in danger of doing doesn’t even approach that, because I might never get to the end of what I say. It’s safer, in the sense that I leave people too confused to know whether to ostracize me or not. Usually it means dealing with the neutrality of the perpetually unsure, though.
This problem comes up in the world. More often than you think. A lot of people are like this, in that they do, in fact, have a lot to say, but at first they sound completely, utterly nuts. And in order to get to the parts that do make sense, they need a lot of lead-time. And then, fairly often, it turns out that when they do get to their point, it’s nuts anyway. Then when you do let them get to the point — when you do listen through all the mumbling and all the meandering — then you discover that they had a point all along. And sometimes it was worth the wait. Sometimes it wasn’t. But sometimes it was. And you won’t know till you get there.
Now, I can say all this because I’m a convert. I have become one of the cool people who never needs to struggle to get a word in edgewise. Which is why I do most of my self-expression from behind the safe barriers of internet blogging and vlogging and podcasting or whatever. I capitalize on the sheer strength of my ability to dominate all social situations by flaunting the fact that I don’t need to even participate in them.
I am one of these fortunate individuals with an ability to speak aural ambrosia in every circumstance and command confidence in everyone I meet.
It’s entirely alien to me to experience the sensation of scrabbling for attention from people clearly more interested in themselves than what I have to say.
I have no idea how that feels.
The best way to navigate through society, and to ensure the greatest happiness for all parties concerned, is to bowl over these people. These quiet, slow-talking types, who may or may not have useful contributions to make to my life, but who clearly have no idea how to come to the point.
If I have learned nothing else about fair treatment then I have learned this: if you can’t get to your point, then it’s probably best for everyone concerned if you make way for me, and other people like me, who have a better idea what you’re trying to say in your distracted, vague way.
Believe me, you’ll be happier if you just keep it to yourself, and let me finish assuming I know what you want to say and then I can do all the talking. That’s what I think we both want anyway. And you have no need to worry, because I’m sure that what I want is amazing enough to work for both of us. Trust me. There’s nutmeg marshmallows involved in what I want. It’ll be good.
As for the rest of you — all you loud, fast talking people, my brothers and sisters in the brotherhood of the sisterhood of All the Good Ideas (Clearly They’re Good Ideas, because They’re the Only Ideas You’re Hearing) — all of you, just keep doing what you’re doing.
Keep talking over other people and ignoring the little clues that keep making that annoying voice in your brain behind your ears say silly things like, “I think they have something to say…” We’re on the right path. I know that we are. I never hear any argument to suggest we aren’t. None that I bother with, anyway.
I consider myself a public servant, really. The thought that sustains me and lulls me to soothing dreams at night and gives me energy in the mornings is the certain sureness that through my happy force of personality many, many people every day have a better chance of figuring out what they wanted to say — what they would have said — what they were trying to say when I kindly explained to them which stumbling words they needed and which ones they could, frankly, leave out. Really, they never needed to say it anyway, after I got done helping them, which is why I’m so great.
So the next time you meet somebody who seems to be having a little bit of trouble getting to their point, just do what I always do: Tell them they aren’t making any sense, but that you know what they mean. And then explain to them exactly what they mean.
Trust me, they’ll be so dumbfounded with, no doubt, gratitude that within mere minutes they’ll even forget that they’re so grateful that they would probably fellate you right there, if it occurred to them. It never seems to. That’s the thing about being so dazzling that people around you don’t know what to say.
That is the best technique for building confidence in any person slow to get to their point. All they need is a good example, which you, as a confident person who always knows the right thing to say, can provide.
The real important thing to remember is that, honestly, there’s a danger in letting people finish what they say. Which is that these people who think a lot and have trouble getting to their point have ideas. They have strange ideas. Dangerous ideas. And if we don’t do our civic duty and cut them off before they get to their point, we’ll start seeing things. We’ll start experiencing strange things — chaotic things — uncomfortable things. Things unlike other things that we’ve experienced before. New experiences. And as we all know, new is bad.
I can say this since I’m a convert. I’m no longer one of these dissident elements with ideas and thoughts and things. I’m cool like all the rest of you. I see it as our honor-bound duty to keep up with being noisy, because otherwise we hear things like, “Hey, what about an inverted meatloaf sandwich where we replace the bread with meatloaf and the meatloaf with bread?”
And that just sounds un-American. It would be the end of sandwiches as we know it. Start saying things like that and people start getting all kinds of ideas. We might end up with something truly insane, like burritos wrapped in lettuce, or something equally shocking that threatens to shake reality to its core.
Do your part. For the good of society, speak for quiet people. They clearly have no idea what they want to say, and when they do manage to say anything it gets weird.
The good of society depends on your ability to bull-rush into every conversation with as many articles of common trivia as you can manage. If it weren’t for our work, we blessed loud people, we might find the very assumptions of our lives slowly begin to wear away.