Speech Impediment

I can’t say what I mean. I don’t always mean what I say. I try to express a thing, and it comes out to be another thing entirely. I start talking mid-thought, as if you can read my mind. This must be why I always wanted to be a writer. If only there were time in life to write things down first before having to say them, maybe I’d do better. I might be in conversation at a work lunch, say, or at a work party, and say someone says something possibly false and misconstrued about my personal life, and say I want to address that, I could hold up a finger to indicate give me one moment please. Then I could pull out a notepad and write down some possible responses:

That did not happen.

Please don’t talk about me when I’m sitting right here.

Are you demented?

Then I could cross out all of the above and come up with a coherent deflection, return to the conversation, recite what I’ve written on the notepad, and be done with it.

In reality, I stumble, end up agreeing, or at least not telling the person s/he is demented, and soon enough I am off on a tangent about what life was like when the tourists went home and how I do not like trees.

What?! I mean, that isn’t even true! (At least the part about the trees. Really. They are quite pretty.)

When I am more careful, I keep my mouth closed. This is the best solution. Just let the other people talk. Let them ramble, extrapolate, run themselves into walls. I will nod and smile and say yeah and uh-huh and really? so they keep talking. The pressure is off that way. I know I can always write down what I’m really thinking later.

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6 thoughts on “Speech Impediment

  1. yojo March 31, 2007 / 11:16 am

    I like the ‘are you demented’ option.
    Maybe you could use big 3×5 notecards, shuffling through the deck for an appropriate response? I’ve often wanted a scrolling LED on my forehead that I could punch a button and pre-fabbed responses would display.

  2. e March 31, 2007 / 3:18 pm

    i still think you should just start spitting.

  3. nova March 31, 2007 / 3:36 pm

    I like the 3×5 cards idea. Spitting cannot be the answer to everything…

    Or, wait. Is it?

  4. e March 31, 2007 / 5:26 pm

    well fighting is the answer to everything, but spitting is a close second.

  5. yojo March 31, 2007 / 6:08 pm

    Gotta agree with e here.
    And to further the hierarchy:
    1. Spitting
    2. Fighting
    3. Stabbing
    4. Knee-capping/groin-punching
    5. Pretending you don’t speak English.
    6. Pretending to be deaf.
    7. Just ignoring people.
    8. Running away and crying.

  6. sharon April 2, 2007 / 4:29 pm

    i think, “are you demented?” followed by a casual spit in the person’s general direction (with perhaps a shimmy thrown in or a down the nose look depending on whether you are in a camp mood or a punk one) should be your response to everything from now on. i’ll try it out for you if you like and let you know how i get on.

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