Old Valter's Revenge.

I'm going to go to a dark place right now. Bear with me.

You see, there are certain personality traits I hate with a passion. Hypocrisy and bad spelling are up there, but they're understandable. There's another one on the list, though -- people who say the same thing, every day.

I don't mean people who have a "signature" way of saying hello, or a favourite word. I mean people who only have one story to tell. I had a roommate in Swan Hills. Wonderful person. Kind, intelligent, honest, polite... and every single time I had a chat with her, I'd hear the exact same cute story about her cats. Like I said, she was a wonderful person, and she could talk about other things besides her cats, so my sanity was safe that year.

Which brings me to Jake, my downstairs neighbour.

The first time I met him, he said hello.

The second time I saw him, he said, "Hey, neighbour. You know, I just can't believe there's anybody living above me. I never hear a thing. Are you sure you live there?", and I smiled politely.

Every time since, it's been the same thing. When I'm getting the mail. Doing the laundry. Bringing home groceries. When I'm cleaning the car. When he's walking his dog. Last summer, I was painting a six-foot-tall fiberglass dragon on my balcony, and he still couldn't talk about anything else. I've even tried being louder. It doesn't help.

And yesterday. Oh, yesterday. As I exit my apartment, he walks past me in the hallway. Like Phil Collins, I can feel it in the air...

"Hey, neighbour. Are you sure you live here? I swear, I can't hear a thing! Quiet as a mouse!"

I am closing the door and locking it behind me as I speak. Where do you think I live?

I am buying a subwoofer. I am recording my voice. It will be amplified, a back beat will be added, and it will be set to loop endlessly into the floor when I'm at work. It will continuously say: "Here I am. I am here. Here I am. I am here."

Which, if you think about it, is the underpinning theme for 85% of all hip-hop. I wonder if Jake will appreciate the subtle social commentary.

1 comment:

Wrex said...

Yeah, that makes me crazy, too. Also: when people say "how's (your name here) today?" when they're talking directly to you. Gah.

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.