"Every time I go to a ballgame, I always get the same seat: between the hot dog vendor and his best customer," said American philosopher Alfred E. Neuman.
We go to lunch or dinner and the same guy is always there. This is really weird, the way he can morph into being an old guy or a young guy or a guy in a lawyer suit or a guy who is the subject of lawsuits. He is always just a table or two away. He is never alone. He is always male, for He is Mr. Loud Talking Man.
At first, when I was confronted by having to hear one end of a conversation from ten yards away (the other people at LTM's table never raise their voice, if they even manage to chisel a word in edgewise) in which I have no interest, I thought well, this poor fellow must have been born and raised in a machine shop, indoor gun range, or in the foundry where they made Hell's Bell. Hearing loss would seem to be the only reason why a person, otherwise completely civilized, would bellow, hoot and holler like a guy rooting home a hoss down the backstretch at Old Hilltop.
But as I came to see these people more and more, and saw that they did not employ ear trumpets to hear what their beleaguered dining companions had to say while Mr LTM paused to catch his breath, I ruled out deafness, and remain puzzled.
The other night was a good example. We went to OMFGLOLFriday's with some good friends, and in the next booth was a guy belting back the Jack while bragging to some poor woman unfortunate enough to be his lucky date for a magical evening. He bragged about how much he a) drank and b) screwed things up royally while attending college and yet here he is, enjoying great success as Regional Second Assistant Vice President for Corporate Sales, Baltimore Division, of a Fortune 4,000 firm specializing in industrial adhesives and solvents. I think the company name is HiDryCloNoMoCo, Ltd, but I could be wrong. His whole sales approach to the young lady, for whom I felt more pity than any woman in the world since when I found out there is a Mrs Bill O'Reilly, seemed to be "I'm a lovable scamp with a drinking problem; you gotta love me!" which she clearly was not going to do in any sense of the word.
What's funny about these men is that when they finally shut up for half a mo to breathe or shove some food down their necks, the room quiets down and you look around like when the refrigerator stops running and that's when you notice the refrigerator had been running.
It's my bet that when he went to drop her off that night, she said, "I'd love to invite you in for a cup of coffee, but drove me crazy all through dinner, so why don't you just drive yourself on home and forget we ever met?" At least I hope she did, and then had a blessedly quiet night.