Last week I discussed my inability to make small talk without the other person smiling nervously and backing away. A frequent target for my stupidity are store clerks, as they’re a captive audience. Plus, a purchase typically provides just enough time to say something weird in conversation.
Tim Bray experienced a similar phenomenon. He remarked (and I’d find it hard to resist to do the same) on the pound to gram conversion sign at the local coffee shop being inaccurate:
This morning something snapped and I said to the pretty sales-girl “You know, that’s wrong.” “What?” “It says 455 grams but it’s really 454.” “What? “That little sign there, it’s wrong, there are really only 454 grams in a pound.” “WHAT?” She wasn’t parsing me, and I was getting rattled. I think I failed to charm her. Anyhow, there are really only 453.592.
It’s force of habit with me. As I get older, the inertia to get weirder is difficult to resist.