Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ricky Sprague's Tales of Regret

This one goes back a couple of years, around October 2004, to a time when I worked as an accountant, a job slightly less glamorous than my current position. As always, many names are changed to protect whomever needs protecting.

This was one of the stupidest arguments/disagreements I think I’ve ever been involved with, and I’ll completely blow any suspense by telling the reader that in fact she apologized about it (three months later), but nevertheless it was funny and annoying at the time, and during the aforementioned three months I refused to associate with her except as regards work-related topics. Sad three months, since I was (sometimes) physically attracted to her, depending on my mood.

Anyway, we were in the breakroom, and she was making some exotic tea in which she would place some kind of plant directly in the hot water she’d poured into her cup. I was glancing through the worthless LA Times (don’t get me started on that rag), when she asked me,

“Did you see ‘Lost’ last night?”

“No,” I said. “I watched about twenty minutes worth of the first episode, and that was enough for me.”

“You should watch it, it’s good.”

“Maybe I will,” I lied. I proceeded, sheepishly: “Actually, last night I watched a show called ‘Smallville’ with a friend of mine.”

She laughed. “I didn’t even know that that show was about Superman when I first saw it! Isn’t that funny?”

“Yeah. And last night’s episode had Barry Allen, who will become ‘The Flash.’”

“Who is ‘The Flash’?”

“’Who is ‘The Flash’?’ He’s the superhero who can run really fast!” I exclaimed, almost in total disbelief. “You’ve never heard of ‘The Flash’?”

“No, I’m sorry-- I don’t know anything about superheroes,” she said with unnecessary derision.

“So you didn’t know that ‘Smallville’ was about Superman as a teenager, and you don’t know who The Flash is – that’s really ignorant –“

I was going to say “that’s really ignorant of superheros,” but she didn’t let me finish, and exploded, “What did you just say to me???”

“I said you’re really ignorant –“

“Shut up! I can’t believe you would say that to me!!!”

“What? You yourself just said you don’t know anything about superheroes –“

“SO??? What does that got to do with anything?”

“Sew buttons, you’re ignorant of superheroes!”

“SHUT UP! THAT’S NOT WHAT IGNORANT MEANS!”

“Yes, it is,” I was speaking calmly, let the record show, while her eyes had turned an ominous shade of red, not unlike the color of The Flash’s uniform.

“Ignorant means you don’t care about something and you’re bad!”

“No, it doesn’t,” I tried to explain. “’Ignorant’ means you just don’t know about something, which you yourself already admitted.”

“SHUT UP!! IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT!!! It means you don’t know about something, it means you don’t care about something!”

“So even by your own flawed definition, I’m still correct, because you neither know nor care about superheroes –“

She addressed me by name, then told me to shut up again.

As I left the breakroom, I said, “The irony is that you’re ignorant of the correct definition of ‘ignorant.’”

The above is pretty much how it happened, although I’m probably making myself look a little better than I actually was, which is my prerogative. Anyway, I decided to stay the hell away from her from that point on, for fear of being yelled at. The policy worked well for about three months, then she apologized to me, and even made a joke about “The Flash,” which I thought was very charming; the joke she made was about me running the marathon, or preparing to run the marathon. She said I was "just like The Flash," a serious ego boost that helped me forgive her for yelling at me.

I regret that I never watched "Lost." I've heard really good things about it, and I'd like to give it a try, but it's been on for so long now it would take me forever to catch up, and I just don't have the time.

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