On those rare occasions when one pipes up with an opinion one has put some thought into, the result of a few idle hours of concentrated daydreaming, something on the whole a bit more meaningful than your sandwich-preference at Pret, I’ve found that the manner in which people respond to your waxing can be split up into six different character types.
The first type is the what the fuck are you on about type.
The look your five year old might shoot you when he clocks the topic of his bedtime story is fiscal policy in the upcoming US elections, or the reaction to removing the Sky remote from the clammy hands of some horizontal brother settling in for a Sky Sports News marathon. These people will never get you. But they never professed to. You might never get them. They’re harmless. You enjoy their company but you can’t really figure out why. For some reason inside they make you feel warm and fuzzy.
The second type is the yeah I kinda get you but I don’t really give a shit type.
These are the straight talkers, they’ve got the decency not to blank you completely, but they’re not exactly on your tip. They deem your philosophy to be pretty fucking far from the most important thing on the agenda for that evening’s pale ale smackdown. They’re probably one of your oldest mates, ones you made when you were twelve, ones you might not befriend as seamlessly now because you wouldn’t have that much in common. They think you just as stupid as you find them insensitive. But there’s no beef, you’re happy to be different. And they make you who you are.
The third is the but that’s completely fucking obvious type.
They look at you as if you’ve walked in the pub and announced on loudspeaker that you can spell ‘dog’ without fucking it up. And then fucked it up. They drink at the shallow end of the sensitivity-pool. These cats are so intelligent they already know everything you have to say. They like to turn discussions into arguments. They’re not overly interested in asking you about yourself, but they do like to shoot you down. They’re drowning in opinions, by far the cleverest guys in the room. So clever in fact, they’ve mastered the art of making you feel stupid. These people are the stupidest of all.
The fourth type is the do you really think so type.
The wide-eyed amazement type. The child in all of us. They make you feel like the cleverest people in the world. Almost too clever. Almost Godly. The drawback is they leave you with the sneaking suspicion that if you said the exact opposite, they’d react in the same way. This is a pretty great way to be. Grown adults with the open-mindedness of five year olds. I’d take this person over the previous three any day of the freaking week. These people are heaven-sent.
The fifth type is the silent serene nod of the head type.
No words. Perhaps not even any eye-contact. Just a few imperceptible nods of the head, and the hint of a smile. An understanding. These people make you feel everything is going to be okay. They make you feel like you belong at least somewhere. The people you could walk 56 miles along the hard-shoulder to Brighton with. The people you talk to past closing time, the people with whom you’d never think of pre-formulating conversation. The people you can be silent with.
The funny thing is although none of the first four might have understood you the way you wanted them to, each of the first four will have someone who reacts to them like number five, like Mr Miyagi. Their number five. The guy lying on the sofa opposite when number one suggests getting a Dominos in during the Sky Sports News break, for example. Or the person staring back at number four in stunned silence with pupils the size of suns.
Everyone has their Mr Miyagi. Everyone can find someone who agrees with them, even if they don’t agree with you. In here lies the endless variety in people, the spice of life. The reason you’ll see someone in the corner you had absolutely no vibe with whatsoever, laughing their arse off to the point of KO with someone else you never had any vibe with. Thank God for that. Otherwise we might all be the same. We might be the sixth variety.
We might be… Tom Cruise.
I can’t really figure out who or what Tom Cruise is, but he scares the shit out of me.
There’s no communication there. At all. None.
… so those are pretty much my thoughts on the universe.
Did you hear what I said?
Why do you never clock anything I say?
Did you really do all your own stunts in Mission Impossible 2?
What’s with the scientology shit?
Did you love Nicole or was it all a cover-up?
Tom why do you never answer me?