Shut Up and Let Me Eat!
What is it with some people?
Whenever I’m sitting in front of a platter of hot food, with a fork in one hand and a knife in the other, why do some people insist on telling me — a total stranger — their whole life story?
Shut up! Move away! Let me fucking eat!
Earlier this morning, I was downstairs at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Just as I sat down to eat, a seemingly nice Australian lady tourist proceeded to start a conversation with me. Out of nowhere. Mind you, she was standing beside me the entire time, while I was sitting down, anticipating the taste of my meal. By the way, have you noticed that Australians tend to have this nasty habit more than other nationalities? Politeness is one thing. Annoyance is another.
After making my way through the line, I finally reached the point where I was about to make my first bite. Then, Mrs. Dundee sighted her prey and launched into what seemed like a never-ending one-sided conversation. Note that Marieta was with me, which made this exchange somewhat more tolerable.
What follows is an approximation of the conversation, followed by WHAT I WAS REALLY THINKING as my patience started wearing thin:
Australian Tourist Lady: Is this your first time in Ireland?
Australian Tourist Lady: (Rambles on for 4 minutes about what she’s seen, which mostly includes places I’ve never heard of and care nothing about)
[WHAT I WAS REALLY THINKING: My food’s getting cold while she’s here blabbering]
Australian Tourist Lady: I’ve traveled all over the world. (Then, she rambles on for another 3 minutes about her trip to China last year)
Me: Excuse me, but I need some cream for my coffee, would you mind if I…..(I manage to escape for a minute)
[WHAT I WAS REALLY THINKING: Shut up and move the fuck out of the way, my coffee is already lukewarm]
Australian Tourist Lady: (Now talking to Marieta) I got married when I was way too young. I was only 16, and….(the rest of this I somehow managed to tune out)
Marieta: (Nods politely, while her food gets cold)
[WHAT MARIETA WAS REALLY THINKING: Shut the fuck up, my food is getting cold]
Australian Tourist Lady: We were going to come earlier this year, but I suffered a serious health setback.
Marieta: Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.
[WHAT MARIETA WAS REALLY THINKING: ….and I’ll bet we’re about to hear every gritty detail of your medical problems]
[WHAT NOLAN WAS REALLY THINKING: …..I’m laying 3 to 2 that there’s a hysterectomy story in our near future]
After about ten minutes, both platters of food are cold. We managed to picked t our plates, getting a bite in every so often, between nodding and murmuring “uh huh.” But it’s hard to eat and enjoy a meal when someone is standing two feet away and foaming at the mouth while pouring out the most intimate details of their personal life.
Finally, the woman inexplicably cut us some slack. She either got bored herself or else she spotted a more attractive mark across the room and decided to make a move on another suspected victim, this time apparently an unsuspecting Irish local.
Australian Tourist Lady: I love to meet new people and hear all about them. I guess you could say, I’m a real people person.
Me: Yes, you are!
Marieta: That’s right!
WHAT NOLAN AND MARIETA WERE REALLY THINKING: No fucking kidding!]
A few minutes later, Marieta and I headed for the door to exit the room. We brushed by the lady who had apparently ensnared another victim in pointless conversation:
Australian Tourist Lady: We were going to come to Ireland earlier this year, but I suffered a serious health setback last November.
Poor Unsuspecting Victim: Oh, how terribly sad to hear.
[WHAT THE POOR, UNSUSPECTING VICTIM WAS REALLY THINKING: Shut the fuck up, my food is getting cold]