Let’s talk about talking. Who talks the most in your circle of family and friends? Any clear windbag winners? Any yakety yakkers? Anybody able to talk the tin ears off a brass jug? Or whatever the expression is. I guess if I wasn’t so busy talking I might have a better idea of the exact expression. But like anybody trying to overcome a problem, the first thing you do is admit it. So I admit listening isn’t a strong point, which will come as a shock to exactly no one.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t hear. That doesn’t mean I can tune out the blowhards, the windbags, and the acutely annoying. Unfortunately, I hear them until my ears bleed.
I was reminded how I’m at the mercy of those who drone on a recent ride in a car service. The guy wouldn’t stop. I don’t remember much of what he said but traffic is best on Mondays and Thursdays are the worst and sometimes he beats the GPS by a minute or two. And then his voice just started to sound like a dentist drill with a Russian accent.
I was at the point where I was just about able to tune him out but then he said something and cracked himself up and his evil villain laugh made me pay attention again. But I didn’t dare ask him what was so funny and then he went on about people not knowing how to drive. And on and on.
I guess the guy fell into the category of the yakety yakker – people who just have to fill the empty air with sounds. For them silence isn’t golden, it’s life threatening. They must fight it with all their words. In the car they read billboards and other signs aloud for no apparent reason other than to ward off silence, the silent killer. Sometimes they even read the car’s make and model that might be inscribed on the glove compartment or floor mat. It will be quiet for about twenty seconds and suddenly they will blurt, “Hyundai.” When no one responds they then say “Sonata” or “Elantra.”
Again no one responds so they look out the window and say, “Speed Limit 25 miles an hour. ”
Now, first date silence in a car might be a little awkward and it’s understandable if you babble a little. But the reason Henry Ford put a radio in a car is so you didn’t have to talk all the time. And you know if you babble too much there won’t be another date. Babbling is for brooks.
God knows, if one of my brothers goes on too long with a story we start acting like a ground crew on the tarmac waving our arms to land the plane already. Bring it home, bring it home. You’re killing us, land the plane already.
If the plane has to take a detour it better be to somewhere good. We don’t want to know about your third grade teacher if she has nothing to do with the story.
The yakety yakkers are usually just nervous nellies who can’t get comfortable with silence. And the rest of us suffer in silence. Or at least the silence we long for.
I’m doing too much talking and I haven’t even gotten to the blowhards but if you’re a nervous nelly and you’re yapping and someone hasn’t responded with words, a chuckle, a nod, whatever, that means they are begging you to shut up. Look above their heads and see the thought bubble. PLEASE SHUT UP! PLEASE, I SAID PLEASE!
Uh-oh, I just realized some people I know might think I’m talking about them. I’m not. But it’s ok if you give me the silent treatment.