Sunday, May 27, 2007

One From the Road - Procuring a Telecommunications Device

The frequency of which mundane things rapidly and unnecessarily escalate into something more ‘interesting’ has convinced me that my life should be on television.

But not reality television, obviously, that’d just be dumb. When I speak of televising my little misadventures, I envision it as a kind of spectator sport, where awkward social interactions are analysed, commented on and become a thing that can be won or lost.

I suppose you’ll be wanting an example then? How about this one - after a disastrous day of travel, I found myself stranded in Philadelphia, as my connecting flight to Minneapolis had been cancelled. My phone was dead, and my charger was in the luggage that I had no access to. I needed to call the people on the other side to let them know of my predicament. I also had to join the 60+ people (60 as in quantity, not age) in the queue for customer services, so alternate arrangements could be made.

- A bit of a slow start from the offence here, John, he seems to be stalling at the back of the line.
- He’s biding his time, Tim, it looks as though he’s looking to infiltrate the conversation in front of him.
- Well caught, John - wonderful tactics from this newcomer from Ireland - but need to be on top of his game to get into this three-way conversation.
- So long as he can neutralise Suited Businessman, Fat Blonde Woman and Young Blonde Woman shouldn’t pose much of a threat - remains to be seen how though, they’ve noticed him and if he stays much longer he’ll be blocked out for good.

“Hi - excuse me, you wouldn’t have the time would you?”
- He’s gone for the oldest-conversation starter in the book!
- He’ll have to be careful here Tim, that cliché might start a conversation, but he’ll have to have a good follow-up to keep it afloat. Suited Businessman is going for his watch:
“Yeah - it’s seven thirty-five”
“Cheers - I don’t know because my phone has died and that’s normally how I know these things…”
- Did you see that? Masterful play from the Irish offence. Did you hear that “cheers” John? He’s playing to his strengths and capitalising on his Irishness - no American woman can resist that.
- I sure did, Tim - but he’s also succeeded in announcing his problem - they’re now aware that he needs a phone.
- He has to act fast - if he asks for a phone now, they’ll consider him rude, and this young ambassador for his country isn‘t willing to risk reflecting poorly on his people. He’ll have to make some polite conversation first.
- The trouble with polite conversation is, it gives the defence a chance to bolster their excuses, and shut him out entirely. Wait - he’s making his move.
“So where are you guys trying to go?”
- Very nice! He’s got them all talking - what do you think here, John?
- Well, I think Suited Businessman presents the only threat here - notice how Fat Blonde Woman is nattering away - her guard is down. Young Blonde Woman is also laughing at his quips, but she seems more suspicious of him. Suited Businessman seems to resent the very fact that he is being talked to.
-Good analysis there, John - Fat Blonde Woman has finally shut up about her nephew’s birthday party, and the ball in back in O’Sullivan’s court - let’s see what he’s got up his sleeve?

“Well, I was wondering if I’d be able to borrow a phone from one of you? I need to ask my friends in Minneapolis where I should go, since I don’t know anyone in Philadelphia.”
- And they’re off! All just turned to Suited Businessman - what does he have to say for himself?
“I’d like to, but this is a business phone, sorry”
- Steely defense John! You’d know he’s done this before!
- A great parry alright, he’s deflected the question onto Young Blonde Woman with that subtle turn of his head - the man’s a professional.
- Hang on - she’s taken out her phone, but she’s clicking buttons? What’s going on here John?
- It looks as though she’s buying herself time Tim - her furrowed brow gives away her thought process.

“I’m sorry - I’m not getting any service”
- It took a while to get that out of her, but O’Sullivan finds himself rejected again - All his hopes rest on Fat Blonde Lady, and here comes her offering:

“I’m sorry - I’m… I’m way over my minutes. I mean, I’d like to, but… My minutes….”
- Cracks are showing in the defense here - let’s see what O’Sullivan does to counter this blow.

-He’s not saying anything! Good play from O’Sullivan! He’s picked up on her nervous stammering, knowing full well that she’ll concede defeat in the face of an awkward silence!

“Well, if you really need it, I guess you can make a quick call…”

-He’s done it! O’Sullivan has taken the phone, and he is proceeding to dial the number. The Irish clinching a crucial victory, mere moments before deadline.
-Well, Until next time, I’m John Thompson, he’s Tim Johnson, and this is Mountains out of Molehills - goodnight!


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