- Pour bees in their ear.
- Let it drop that there's a real, live bear in the next room.
- Tell them you need to talk about something, but not right now.
- Casually mention you're going to punch them in the crotch.
With number two I can opt not to go in the bear room - or any room - until the threat is over, and hope real hard the bear doesn't decide to bust through the wall like a furry Kool-Aid man and eat me screaming in an unholy cacophony of murder.
As of July 29th, 2010, there is no way to prevent number three. At any point, anyone I know can ambush me with a "We need to talk, but not now" and I'm powerless, like the Green Lantern locked in a yellow room. (Bet you thought I was going to a Superman/Kryptonite place, didn't you?) When someone says they need to talk without additional info, my brain tries to answer these questions:
- What do they need to talk about?
- What's gone wrong?
- How can I fix this?
I don't need any help imagining horrible things. There's a reason I still need Google Maps for a city I've spent eight years in; instead of memorizing streets when I'm in a car, like most adult humans, I'm busy thinking about attacks by robots, zombies, and a combined force of zombies, robots, and robo-zombies. Also, sharks.
I've been avoiding the monotony of everyday existence by imagining space wars since I was nine, and that's not going to change. As such, not giving me details is like stabbing me in the face with terror. What could be so awful they wouldn't even mention it? Is Voldemort on the loose again? Are the Cylons on their way? Did someone murder happiness? It can't be anything good or they'd just say it!
No one ever schedules in advance to talk about pizza toppings. Our take home lesson for today is, when you need to talk to anyone about anything, but not right now, tell them what it is. Right up front. Be descriptive. Rent a billboard and point to it..
Here are some helpful examples:
"I broke your favorite thing and am sorry."See how easy that is? If you're in a relationship, this is a golden rule. For the guys I know, hearing "We need to talk" sounds like, "Christmas is cancelled this year. Oh, and they wanted me to tell you there's no more beer, forever."
"You're fired for that time what you put your bottom on the copier."
"I accidentally bought a penguin instead of groceries."
"I'm sorry Charlie, but I'm sexing your brother up."
Just...just say something.