Situation #25 – The repeated story

23 07 2008

The situation: Your friend is launching into a lengthy dissertation on the woeful state of Canadian eyewear manufacture, which promises to include several stories from his travels abroad.

“Did you know that Canada is a third world country when it comes to eyeglass manufacture?” Actually, you do know this. In fact, you’re somewhat of an expert on the topic, having heard this story at least three times before. How do you spare yourself from a fourth rendition of Swedish Spectacles of Grandeur without insulting your friend?

The solution: When faced with a repeated story, the first step is to assess your company. Ask yourself the following questions: Am I on a date? Am I talking with my boss, mother- or father-in-law, or other person of authority? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the risk of insult is too high – you’ll have to suck it up and sit through another telling of The Unbelievable Mischief I Got Into As a Young Boy. However, since you already know the appropriate places to laugh or express shock, you can free your mind for other tasks. Now is an ideal time to compose a mental grocery list or contemplate the intricacies of String Theory.

If you’re on a date, you’ll have to ask yourself an additional question: How attractive is this person? This is important because the number of times one can tolerate a repeated story is directly proportional to the attractiveness of the storyteller. Superficial? Probably, but that’s how it is. So, if your date is aesthetically gifted, we advise you not to interrupt, but to take this opportunity to gaze into his or her dreamy eyes, while flipping your hair flirtatiously. Of course if you’re male, you can ignore the hair flipping part. If you find that this still applies to you, we gently advise you to get a haircut, you Dirty Hippie!

If you’re with a friend, then you can use the repeated story to great advantage by jumping in with witty comments that your friend has used in the past. She’ll feel a new and undeniable connection with your brilliant humour. If you really can’t stand to hear the story again, stop your friend early on by saying “Oh, is this the one where you stumbled across the flagship Hakim Optical in the middle of Turkey just as one of your lenses fell out? That’s such a great story!” This way your friend will be aware that he’s already told you the story, but won’t feel bad, because he knows that you share a mutual understanding of the shameful state of Canadian eyeglass manufacture.

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One response

18 08 2008
AlexM

Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!

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