I get bored easily. I’m the kind of guy that wants minimum detail in a conversation so I can resume my daydreams of pancakes. You know those unnecessary details. They often accompany the phrase, “to make a long story short…” If you hear those words, the story is already too long.
I can’t help it. When a conversation starts, my brain checks out. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to. “I’m sorry, Officer. Did you say I was smuggling elephants and chocolate bars?” His reply would be something like, “I said I’m writing you a citation for running a red light.” I would naturally respond with, “What does that have to do with elephants?” Now it’s time for the breathalyzer.
I have the attention span of an epileptic goldfish. Oh, and my hearing sucks. I have a tendency to repeat what I hear to confirm. What I hear always sounds preposterous. Heather may ask me to fold some laundry. I just heard that my wife shot up with a dirty needle. I didn’t even know she did drugs.
When I’m locked in an epic struggle, I can hear myself in my head. I’m always saying things like, “I sure hope they don’t notice that my eyes are glazed over,” or “I need to pick up some crackers at the store.” I affirm that I am engaged in the conversation by nodding my head. That head nodding trick works pretty well. If I’m found out…well, I just stumbled onto some conflict.
It’s not that I don’t want to listen. It’s just that I keep conversations concise. Minimal detail. More words mean more work expended. My brain can only handle so much.
I know that the details are extraneous. When I see a flower, I see a lovely yellow tulip receiving a Lilliputian hummingbird quaffing sweet nectar. I say, “Look, a tulip.” Then I start thinking about pancakes.