Dear plainskinâ„¢ stranger,
I’m glad you have the courage to talk to people you don’t know in just about any locale or circumstance, and I’m glad you appreciate the artwork that adorns my skin, but please, please oh please, don’t waste my time telling me about the “bad ass” tattoo that you are going to get or that your cousin or your cousin’s step-mother’s boyfriend’s parole officer has. I couldn’t give less than a rat’s ass.
Don’t get me wrong, I talk about potential tattoos and the tattoos of individuals’ relatives all the time, but those are people that I know. Much as back in article number two, while you are not touching me, I also don’t need to know your genealogy.
You would honestly be surprised at how often this actually happens. It even can be predicted by some telltale gestures and facial expressions as the person is moving towards me screwing up their courage to regale me with fantasies of giant tribal pieces “not like that other crap you see,” and un-ironic armbands of barbed wire. In fact, I would dare to say that the conversation almost always starts with: “Those are some pretty [insert modifier here] tattoos. Are you an artist?” Then they launch into the usual drivel.
I can only think of one instance where this conversation was ever fruitful: a plainskinâ„¢ stranger was telling me about what her boyfriend was going to get while I was waiting for a drink at some bar, and, before I could entirely glaze over, she got to the point and asked me where I got a couple of my pieces because she really liked the strong colors. That one was borderline.
Just remember, by attempting to keep my attention with your story that I don’t care about, you leave the door wide open for ridicule and mocking. Generally I’m a nice guy and will put up with a bit of that crap, but, every so often, I have one of my days where I’ll move straight into mocking mode. Because you engaged me in a conversation I would rather not be having, it is your fault that I’m making fun of your and/or your family. I realize that this truth will do nothing to quell the immediate anger you will feel towards me, but didn’t your mother tell you to not talk to strangers as a kid? There, lesson learned.
There is one and only one exception to this rule: if you are bringing me food and/or alcohol, I’ll listen to your stupid story. That’s right, my time can be bought. I do, however, reserve the right to waive this exception because while I may be a whore, I am not a cheap whore. For reference, I tend to enjoy pints of English and Irish ale and good Irish whiskeys.
Think before you speak, I may indeed bite.
I’ve got to be honest, this one came after a lengthy conversation with squeezle over some tasty breakfast tacos, but it really should have been the second in this series rather than the sixth. I’ll claim the fail on that one.