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Just zip it (I don't want to hear your life story)

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Y'all know one for sure. Motor mouths, Blabbering Betties, Barking Bobs, call'em what you like, I'm sure you agree, they are annoying as hell. They suck the life out of you and then leave you rotting, by the wayside.

You had to run a couple of errands at the local mall. You hadn't seen him for a while, and the moment you walked in there, there he was. You figured a simple, "hi how's it going" should suffice to send "Bob" on his way but no way José was he going anywhere. "Bob" makes a beeline towards you and begins telling you about his (boring) life. The minutes pass by, and blabbering "Bob" is still standing there, doing what he does best: blabbing away. You eventually cannot bare it any longer, and your tired and heavy eyes begin to look away for some help (a firehose perhaps?), clearly signaling to him that you're disinterested in this endless conversation (more like a monologue).

But "Bob" senses nothing. In fact, it's like your not even present and he has an imaginary friend. "Bob" is in some way talking to a wall, or, deep down, to himself. But there you are, oh poor, pathetic you, stuck, like a moth in a spider's web, and "Bob" is determined to suck you dry.

On this particular day, "Bob" wants to share with you some gossip about one of the elderly neighbors (because you see, these seniors' lives are absolutely riveting). He then proceeds to tell you that about something that has recently happened to him at work. Your lights are on, but, there's clearly nobody there. You start cursing inside your head, wishing you'd never gotten up this morning. After a good half hour of him going full "Mike Tyson" on your ear (aka chewing your ear off), you find the courage to tell Bob you are late for an appointment and have to run. "Bob" of course apologizes (they all do but don't really mean it) but doesn't shut up. You're not out of the woods yet. "Bob" now has another story to tell. It's not "Bob's" fault, he just can't help himself.

You eventually make it out alive, head to your car, and decide to call it a day (it's only 2pm). It may be weeks before you recuperate from the trauma "Bob" has just put you through...and even longer before you venture out of your house again.

Frankly said, folks, I'm at the point in my life where I don't care about hurting the feelings of a Blabbering Betty, Barking Bob or a Motormouth Mary. I try at all costs to avoid them (see previous blog) but, when our "fates" do collide, and I am cornered by one of these magpies, I'll grant them their 30 seconds to babble away. But beyond this time period, I immediately begin to take action. I refer to it as the "3-prong approach to ridding yourself of chronic, world-class babblers".

I start by giving them a gentle warning shot, a polite way of indicating to them my lack of interest, and patience, in listening to their hum-drum trivial stories. I being to yawn. Once, twice, thrice if need be.

If this fails, well then, time to push forward with phase 2, in my desperate attempt to quiet the cackler. I'll begin by looking at my watch, or I'll put my hand into in my pocket and pretend my cell phone is shaking repeatedly. I'll then pick up the phone and have a pretend call. Yelling out things like "Oh my God, you fell all the way down the stairs, are you ok, mom?!" or "Our house got robbed? What!? I'll be there in 5 minutes hun! Hide under the bed so the crook doesn't attack". This will usually get the blowhard to zip it. But, sadly, not always.

So, if after phase 2, and the cackler still happens to be standing there, spraying my face with his venom, then it's time to go FULL coocoo.

I'll start making weird and awkward faces. Overly exaggerated reactions to what the clown is talking about, and, eventually, resorting to a full and constant head rotation, all with my tongue sticking out, and while rolling my eyes. If push ever should come to shove, I would even consider making some farm animal sounds. It is, after all, a matter of survival.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the misfortune of being behind one of these people while waiting in line at the pharmacy. One of the bad habits I have is entering a store of any kind, and anticipating that I will be buying far less items than I actually end up buying. My intent on this day was to make a quick dash in, grab some toothpaste and underarm, and head the hell home. But, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon the goodies isle and the chips and skittles were calling my name. Being an addict of both, I couldn't resist and picked up a few bags. A bottle of detergent, mouthwash and and a box of Q-tips later, and I was literally carrying 15 items on me, some even hanging off of my ears as I hung on for dear life.

As I made my way to the cash, a real live one, beat me to the front of the line. She started by pulling out all her coupons, and then began pouring them in front of the cashier. She proceeded by bombarding the poor employee with a story about her son who had moved to the US, and was attending college on some scholarship, how proud she was and bla bla bla. Then, of course, came the pictures. A real autobiography, was all that was missing as well as a sitting booth for her to promote her bestseller. I couldn't take it anymore, and was on the verge of crumbling straight to the floor. Did this lady not have a soul? Could she not see the man right behind her, doubling as a clothesline and about to collapse?

Perhaps what these blowhards need is a live-in puppet. We could send them to ventriloquist school, you know, to set them up with that imaginary friend who they can converse with forever and ever. One who will gladly listen to their life-sapping stories. If you should happen to come up with a better solution, feel free to contact your local representative immediately. Before it ends up being too late for all of us.

For now, I think I need a long vacation....

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