Have you ever been swept up into a conversation that you had no business being a part of in the first place? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. You have nothing to say. No opinion to chip in. No two cents to deposit. You’re out there on a cold, barren iceberg just searching for a little social warmth.
Typically, when I feel threatened in this manner I will try to lob a half-baked piece of information into the pile, hoping that it will cover me until the conversation switches to something like the group’s opinion on mustard or their favorite Saturday Night Live Sketch.
But sometimes, there are other people doing the same thing. Winding up misinformation and letting it swirl into the discussion until it begins to build speed. More people add to the vortex until it becomes a complete and total tornado of bull crap.
Recently, I was over my parent’s house and some classical-sounding Christmas music was on. Seeing as how I can not simply enjoy the nice melodies alone and instead have to bring attention to myself by attempting to seem smarter than everyone else, I said, “You know, the Nutcracker Suite is probably Mozart’s best work.”*
My dad, overhearing the sentence, and being genetically unable to let a comment like that go added, “You know, he originally wrote the ballet without music. Because he was deaf. They only added that music to it recently.”*
My mom chimed in. “Yes, lots of people in Russia were deaf back then. It had something to do with a rat infestation. Plus people didn’t really wash their hands at all.”*
I interjected. “You’re thinking of Black Swan. But Beethoven wrote that. And he was Belgian, not Russian.”*
And so the Bull-crap tornado lifted off and whipped around the room. If any one was party to that conversation who had heretofore not known anything about the subject about which we had just spoken, they would be irreparably damaged. So next time you hear me speaking about something you don’t think I really know a whole lot about, get in the cellar. There’s a freight train coming.
*like 4 things wrong