So, I’m standing in the megastore waiting for my wife.
That is not a complaint, for the record.
A man about my age is walking towards me, pushing his half-full cart. His eyes are on me, jaw slightly slackened. He seems intent on making personal contact. With me.
Immediately, I begin to panic. You see, I’m a crazy-person magnet. In life, in love, in oh-so-many ways I am insanely attractive – to the insane. I am a lodestone of lunacy. If a psychologically damaged person walks into any space I am occupying, they fly across the room and stick to me. That’s how bad it is.
I have cleverly designed various stratagems over the years for dealing with this phenomenon. None of them work.
The guy stepped closer. I prepared for the onslaught. The opening conversational feint that turns into an unstoppable flow of information about how the cracks in the surface of the highway emit radio waves that control our thoughts, or how they were sexually assaulted by a Weimaraner and a dwarf simultaneously while they were performing with Up with People, or why I should vote Republican.
“Nice T-shirt,” the guy grinned. I looked down.
I was wearing my fabulous Ween “Bludgeon Yer Eye” T-shirt my wife bought me! Immediately I began to babble to him about how I loved them, had seen them many times, how I loved it when Gene, I mean Aaron, went off on this long, pseudoIslamic adhan that spun into gibberish at the Ogden that one time, until he and we were all laughing our balls off; how Dean, I mean Mickey, was one of the most gifted guitarists I had ever heard, how "Spinal Meningitis" and "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?" always bothered me immensely, how I was convinced for years that they indeed did huff Scotchgard during the making of "The Pod" . . .
The guy started to move away from me, warily. “Good times,” he murmured, obviously wishing to get the hell away from me as fast as possible.
“Yeah,” I summarized, weakly. “Yeah.”