Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sightings In The Wild

On the train home, sitting in the priority seat by the door, headphones and Imogen Heap on, notebook open, pen vomiting thoughts, I pause a moment, look up and-

ENTER STAGE LEFT: a ginger nut in a grey and red striped top reading the latest issue of Weird Tales.

-total brain freeze.

Do I;
  1. Blurt enthusiasm and approval of his choice in reading matter at him?
  2. Tell him I'm an editorial assistant and I'm incoherent at the sight of seeing a total stranger reading it in public?
Perhaps this doesn't happen so much in the magazine's home land, but here, I'm the only person who seems to have copies of the dear old rag. I just assume that...well, I just assume.

Oh. OH.

Is that;
  1. ...one of the issues I gave away on this here blog?
So then;
  1. Does this total stranger recognise me?
Wait. Wait. Hang on. One local I gave copies to indicated he was going to pass them on to others, being an excellent little literary infector cell.

So then;
  1. This total stranger could know me from this blog.
  2. This total stranger could have no idea of my existence and the source of his reading material.
  3. This total stranger could actually have a subscription to the magazine.
So then;
  1. WTF do I do?
I could practically hear the adrenaline chutes clang as they opened.

If he knows me, then, to be honest, this is a situation I dread most as the consequence of having a blog. People I don't know who know me, or have the impression of knowing me, or certainly know more about me than has been earned in mutual interaction. Initiating a conversation with a stranger is already a massive leap off a cliff for me. Initiating it with someone who is less stranger than stranger;
  1. He might not know me, and then I'd look like a twat.
  2. I could simply not question where his acquired the magazine, and just compliment his tastes.
  3. Is blurting out "I'm an editorial assistant!" kinda, you know, pretentious wankery oh look at me lah-di-dah pat my head and be impressed?
But then what if I did that and he did know me?

Hang on;
  1. In every single photo of myself that I post on this blog I look like a bloody muppet,
  2. I am in respectable office clothes right now and not pulling faces.
  3. Unless my thinking face is funny.
  4. It could be.
  5. Oshi-
Stop. Tessa, you are dehydrated, having a blood sugar crash, and still quite wobbly from this random bout of unwellness. Look at the closed-logic rampage your thoughts are careening around in. You are going to;
  1. Keep your mouth shut. You can't even think coherently, let alone form words. No matter what the actual situation is, you are going to make an arse out of yourself.
  2. Also, you just left a group because you're an introvert in sore need of some alone time. You can't do social right now.
  3. Plus, you're stupid. Remember? You got up this morning. That was a stupid thing to do. Don't bring any more stupid upon yourself. Don't inflict it on other people either.
Head down. Write some more. Keep an eye on the stations passing. Cap pen, close notebook, stand-

EXIT TRAIN DOORS: a ginger nut in a grey and red striped top reading the latest issue of Weird Tales.

-total brain freeze.

The fact that I didn't have far to go was going to be my polite and fast escape if the conversation was a mistake.

The fact that he got off at my stop effectively nutted my Plan B.


The Moral Of The Story:
  1. Hello ginger nut in the red and grey striped top. If you are in fact a reader, dude, you get so many kudos for reading Weird Tales.
  2. Sorry for not saying hi.
  3. And yeah, I really am a neurotic anti-social misanthropic introverted cranky hermit crab.


  1. It would be easier if Weird Tales readers and staff had a proper secret cult. Then you could pull the special secret cult face at the guy, and he could pretend not to notice if he wasn't feeling any more sociable than you.

    Hope you're feeling better and unwobbly soon.

  2. Me, I'd've awkwardly blurted enthusiasm without telling him who I was or that I was involved with it. You can't really go wrong with a drive-by "awesome zine you're reading, there," and you're not obligated to engage in further conversation unless he takes the bait.

  3. You'd be less recognizable if you didn't wear all those knit finger puppets to work.

  4. Dave, I lol at you.

    The problem wasn't really him taking the bait, so much as me getting tangled in the line and hooking myself in the eye without having done a single thing. I am a daft twat, and acknowledge it.

  5. on behalf of ginger nuts everywhere... we are a peace loving race and do not bite when strange women in finger puppets speak to us. :)

    Would be pretty kewl though if he did turn out to be a reader of your blog. lol