Thursday, April 17, 2008

Illustrate

I am in a work meeting – a big one – lots of people, lots of people who are after lucre, some of whom seem more desperate than others to draw down public funds in order to get out there and CHANGE things.

A chap who I don’t know is cack-handedly trying to make a point about people (out there, the great unwashed) not always making the most of their time in the evenings (trust me, it is relevant to the meeting). Rather rashly, with a slightly demented look in his eye, he casts his gaze about the room, and stops at me.

Chap: …Like, for instance – I don’t know your name –

Shane: Shane.

Chap: Shane – can I use you to illustrate a point?

Shane: Yes, but be gentle.

Others: (a murmur of amusement)

Chap: Cheers. (To everyone) Let’s take Shane, for instance – still a youngish man, ha, got something about him, the world’s his oyster! (To me) Now, if I asked you what were you doing at, say, eight o’clock last night, what would you say?

Shane: (contemplative intake of breath) You’ll have to give me a moment here. (a moment passes) Eight o’clock – I would have been in the garden.

Chap: Ah, right. Bit late for gardening isn’t it? Would have been getting dark by then.

Shane: I wasn’t gardening. I was hiding behind a big bush.

Chap: (puzzled)

Shane: We were playing hide and seek. Emma – my partner - was on, and I was hiding in the garden – behind the big bush.

Others: (that murmur again)

Chap: Okay-

Shane: It wasn’t weird or anything – our boy, Alex, he was up the tree - so it wasn’t like I was out there alone or anything.

Chap: Yeah, okay.

(silence fills the room)

Chap: Shane, this example isn’t working – but thanks anyway.

Shane: (nods)

The chap drones on - effortfully, but his moment is gone. A shame really, had he used the person to my left – the woman who I know would have loved to have been playing hide and seek or some such, then I’m sure that whatever he was driving at would have been struck home.

I sit back, and remain mildly engaged as the meeting draws to a close. During this last twenty minutes, one or two people who don’t normally have much to say to me seem to be eyeing me with something… Interest? Suspicion? Intent? Who can say. It feels a bit odd though.

10 comments:

PI said...

You are so funny:)

suburbanhen said...

I suspect that at 8pm you were supposed to be watching TV ie wasting away your evening. But damn you, you were out enriching some young boys life. I dunno, the hide of some people...

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Were you really playing hide and seek? Or did you make it up? On second thoughts, don't tell me - the only answer I really want is 'both'.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Let's see: I clicked on the red "eye" and got all taken up in bad things.

You are surely in league with the whatzis, right? Stop faking people out.

Shane said...

Z / O: No faking here. I write, only, the truth.
P / S: Yes.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

They're trying to figure out how you know how to trick people and they don't. But you knew that.....

Beth said...

Damn you! I was waiting for the chap to get on to his explanation of how you (and therefore I) could make the most of your (and therefore my) evening - but you just have to be different, you have to be making the most of the evening already, WITHOUT instruction & self-help manuals.

So....maybe you could give me some tips...my evenings...how do I make the most of them then?

Shane said...

O - I'll go with that.
B - Well, I'm taking up Fencing as of Thursday, if that's any help. You'd be welcome to be my new Fencing buddy, or my first Fencing buddy, for that matter - but I expect the drive would be a little overlong, or the train journey just too rich in blog potential.

Beth said...

That'd be fencing with swords wouldn't it?

Not fencing with bits of wood and barbed wire & stuff.

(did you find that 'fencing' is one of those words which, once you've written (or read) it two or three times, becomes totally meaningless?)

Shane said...

Mm, 'f***ing' (I asterix it as I agree - it's a bit of a non-word, so let's treat it with the disrespect that it deserves). All I know is that I want to be like Tyrone Power as Zorro (in black and white)... You can stick your Antonio Banderas' up your Yorkshire Puddings.