If you have followed Type AJ Negative for any length of time, then you will know I have a fondness of elevators. No, it’s not quite a fetish… Okay, all six of you stop snickering…
I ride elevators quite frequently at work and quite often funny things happen. Or disturbing things. Or just things that make me want to punch folks. I personally think that what happened yesterday was funny.
Let me set the scene for you:
I stood at the elevator bay waiting for one of the five elevators to arrive. I work in a tall building with no thirteenth floor (that is for another post), so it’s rare that you get an elevator ride all by your lonesome. When one set of doors opened, two women just happened to walk up. There went my solo ride. Now, I’ve never been accused of not being courteous when it comes to females (though I have been called rude a few times), however I knew these two women and I can’t say I am particularly fond of either of them. For the sake of this, I will call them She Who Gossips One and She Who Gossips Two.
I held the elevator (despite my dislike for both of these women) and then get on after them. I will not lie and say I did not think about taking another elevator. But then the whole, he was being rude thing would come up and it would get around the job that I was rude and there would be whispers and dirty looks and… hmm… maybe I should have gotten on another elevator after all.
The problem with our elevators is they have mirrored doors so no matter where you stand, unless you are facing away from those doors, you can see everyone on the car with you. Not what I wanted at this particular time.
As you know (unless you’ve been living under a rock or never ridden in an elevator) those boxes with doors on cables aren’t all that big, so even if you try not to listen in on someone else’s conversation, you still hear it.
She Who Gossips One and She Who Gossips Two discussed One’s baby. Kind of hard to miss the conversation that went something like this:
SWGT: How’s the baby?
SWGO: Oh she’s not a baby any more. She’s seventeen months old and getting into everything. She never slows down and is one big handful.
SWGT: Are y’all (that would be ‘you all’ for folks outside the south) going to have any more kids?
SWGO: We want one more.
SWGT: Oh just have them close together. It gets better as they grow older.
This is where things got interesting. She Who Gossips Two made that statement and then added (and since most of you know me as A.J. I will change my given name to my initials for the sake of this post): “Isn’t that right, A.J.?”
Wait a minute here. First off, I don’t believe that folks have ‘concrete thoughts’ in situations like this. Yeah, there are usually fleeting words that run across the mind like one of those annoying weather warnings at the bottom of a television screen when you’re trying to watch your favorite show, but as far as actual concrete thoughts, I just don’t think many people have them. They usually react without so much thinking about it.
My only real thought was ‘why?’ And to that I say, “Why drag me into a conversation I don’t want to be in?”
So, the question was out there and I was pulled into a conversation with folks I don’t really like. It’s not like I interjected myself into the conversation. Oh no. I was pulled into it against my own free will, kicking, screaming, begging for mercy. Okay, maybe not begging for mercy, but definitely kicking and screaming.
So, what did I do?
Well, I looked at She Who Gossips Two and said, “That just depends.”
She responded, “Depends? On what?”
Understand, I did not actually think this response out before stating it, straight faced: “There is a history of psychotics in my family. I don’t think it would be wise for my wife and I to have another kid.”
Listen. What’s that sound? Oh yes. Silence. You could have heard someone breathing in the next building over it was so quiet in that elevator car.
She Who Gossips One lowered the Kindle she held and looked at me with somewhat wide eyes. She Who Gossips Two, well her jaw went slack and her eyes grew into saucer plates.
We all got off on our respective floors, them before me and I believe they moved just a little faster than they normally do. On my floor I stepped off the elevator and burst into laughter.
Did you pay attention to the two people’s names? There is one very important word in both of them: Gossip. We all know how gossip is and how it gets around. I wonder if or when I’ll find out about just how crazy my family really is. I’m waiting for the cautious glances, the quick turn arounds or detours from other folks. I can just hear it now, “A.J. really is crazy. He told so and so on the elevator one day.”
It could be quite entertaining.
Now, this is mostly where the story ends. However, lying in bed at three o’clock in the morning, I realized something vital to the words that rolled out my mouth on the elevator. I had not actually thought the words out, which I believe I stated. But the very notion that there were crazies in my family had to come from somewhere, right? It did. You see, I told the truth without even realizing it. I’m from a family of rednecks. Anyone who knows anybody that falls anywhere close to the category of redneck (and yes, Hill billies and White Trash fall there about), knows that there are some crazies in their blood line. It’s like a rite of passage: Beer, big trucks, doing stupid (and I mean stupid) stuff because you thought it would be funny, and crazy family members. It is what it is.
So, if you see me on the street, just give a wave, maybe even say hello. No need to cross to the other side because you may have heard ‘he’s a little crazy.’ If you do, I’ll cross, too…