In Which I Listen With The Intent Of Exiting The Scene As Soon As Possible

I HAPPENED TO SEE AN ACQUAINTANCE WHO, after a polite “hello,” launched into a long story about something in her life.

Acquaintance, who is living in the River of Denial, started the conversation, which was really more of a soliloquy, with the words “I’m not a _________, but…” and then went on to tell me about her thoughts and actions that from an objective point of view would say that she is a _________.

“Ain’t it the truth? Ain’t it the truth?”

WHILE I ENJOYED THE THEATRICAL UNHINGED WAY in which she rationalized her behavior, I began to ponder, if given the opportunity, what I was going to say to this woman who, without getting into any of the specifics, I’ll describe as a wackadoodle who needs to see a therapist.

However, being the grown-up that I am I chose to say nothing and remain quiet, listening to her and nodding my head in a supportive way, like an extra on stage behind the lead actor.

As one does, even.

EVENTUALLY ACQUAINTANCE FINISHED TELLING ME HER STORY, and me being me, I said the first thing that floated into my mind.  I let her know that I understood what she’d been yammering on about by saying Snagglepuss‘s immortal catchphrase: “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”

And that, kids, seemed to be all that she needed to hear me say to her, thus giving me my opportunity to gracefully walk away from this absurd conversation.

“Exit, stage left.”

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

69 thoughts on “In Which I Listen With The Intent Of Exiting The Scene As Soon As Possible”

    1. Andrew, the Acme box is an apt description of the immortal phrase: “I’m not a _________, but…” Whenever I hear someone say that I know to get ready for a whole bunch of justification that makes no sense whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Some people just need an audience. Your response probably wasn’t required anyway. And you could have been Anyone. I know lots of people like that: they just want to unload, and upon whom isn’t an Issue. As long as there’s a warm body, they’re a Go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, that’s exactly what was going on with this woman. I knew that she liked to babble about her problems and fears, so it wasn’t a surprise that she yammered on. But me ending the conversation with a Snagglepuss quote made it all worthwhile for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s affirmation. I learned a long time ago that people, even people with problems, don’t want answer or solutions. They just want you to affirm that they are indeed right even when they have their head….well….you know where. Maybe you made her feel better? Your good deed of the day. Hopefully she won’t tell anyone that you agree with her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kate, that’s the problem with remaining quiet; I don’t want to be associated with any part of her nonsense. But when someone is so out-of-touch with who they are, saying anything sane seems pointless. I dunno.

      Like

  3. I haven’t heard or read, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” in decades (probably since my stepson outgrew Saturday morning cartoons (he’s now approaching 50). It’s right up there with, “Suffering Succotash.” Of course, if y’all were in the South, “Well bless your heart.” would have been quite appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bobcabkings, the Snagglepuss reply was what popped into my mind, although the “bless your heart” one is another good one. I had no intention of chatting at length with this woman who lacked self-awareness– but I didn’t want to be rude. So I made her laugh, and I moved on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems like good karma for you to endure such ramblings while battling the “fight or flee’ instinct that screams “get the Hell outta there.” As for cartoons, Hanna-Barbera was good – but nothing beats Looney Toons. If I were in the same conversation I may have been thinking “Kill the Wabbit!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zen-Den, I like how you think. I GOT GOOD KARMA POINTS. *yeah me*

      And yes, I know how you are a Loony Toons aficionado, so I’ve no trouble believing that you’d be thinking: “Kill the Wabbit!!!” Which would have been as good of a response as any other one. Considering.

      Like

    1. Thanks, Akilah. I knew early on that the conversation was going to go off the rails, but the Snagglepuss reference just popped into my head at the exact right moment. And fortunately that’s all this Acquaintance needed to hear. 😉

      Like

    1. joey, you are good people. There are times when “Heavens to Murgatroyd” is all there is to say. And as for the Muttley laughing, that’s inspired. Had forgotten all about him. Brilliant. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel left out because Snagglepuss (and his Hanna Barbera kin, with the exception of Yogi Bear) wasn’t a part of my generation of cartoons, and was not airing in reruns (at least then). I get a lot of strange looks at people, and usually they invoke a negative phrase that contains the word “whippersnapper”…. but I assure them that I really am old. Just a different vintage of old I guess…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. evilsquirrel13, I am sorry to learn of this gap in your cartoon education. Snagglepuss was just about the funniest darned thing I saw on TV when I was a kid. I liked Bullwinkle, of course. And Bugs was ok. But Snag’s collar & bow tie + his word play and dramatic flourishes charmed me like no other cartoon character.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Susie, no gossip. She said “I’m not a helicopter parent, but… ” then went on to tell me about all the intrusive things she’s done to control her adult child’s life. She needs to understand boundaries and how to let go, but I didn’t hear one word from her about letting this kid be a grown-up and make his own mistakes. It was weird.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I have not seen Snagglepuss in a long, long time. I might have to go youtubing.

    Your story reminds me of a friend from long ago. She would call me and once started, all I could do was the occasional yuh huh. I would put down the phone (remember, in those days they were attached to the wall) and go make a snack or take care of other needs, come back and say yuh huh and she never knew I was missing. Of course, much easier to do on the phone and in person. You certainly deserve some good karma points for patiently listening. I find it harder to do these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, I’m giggling here about your phone “etiquette” because would that I could have done that during this conversation. I mean, I get that this Acquaintance needed to be heard, but I suspect that she tells everyone her woes– so why me, too?

      And by all means go find some Snagglepuss videos. Your time will not be wasted! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love when people say, “I’m not a ____, but…” as if saying they aren’t makes it so. Magical thinking has replaced critical thinking for some people. “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” is the perfect response – it satisfies the person who is definitely not whatever and lets you bring your inner Snagglepuss out to play.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Janis, I agree about magical thinking replacing critical thinking. It’s everywhere. However, it’s not my job to straighten out this woman’s thinking process, so my cartoon response worked beautifully. I intend to remember it in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ancient kids used to say, “No offense, but…” and then they’d say the most offensive things imaginable. Or, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but… you’re an untalented worthless piece of trash…”. Sometimes the tone gives away the true intent which is to hurt someone. It’s like the diplomats: “How do we hurt and humiliate them without going to War?”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. naztko, good points. Funny how people consistently use some version of the “I’m not a _______, but…” phrase. It’s everywhere, throughout time.

            Like

  8. OMG you totally made me think of my older sister with this one. She passed away many years ago but Snagglepuss was one of our favorite characters. She was 12 years older than I but such a character! Thanks for bringing those memories back for me. You definitely got Karma points for listening to your friend’s story. Good thing she didn’t want you to elaborate on your response!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, how sweet to think that talking about Snagglepuss could make you feel so happy. Not to mention how useful Snagglepuss’s catchphrase turned out to be while talking with [listening to] someone who is not all that self-aware. A win-win, even.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, I’m wondering about when an expression is used too often it accumulates a connotation that becomes the new meaning of the word. So with this secret out, I think if I say “Heavens to Murgatroyd” to someone, they’ll say, “Oh, you think I’m really a ______ . I’m deeply offended. I thought you were my friend. Why are you joining the others against me and, and, how…”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I stole that line from Downton Abbey ~ the character just glanced at her watch when the conversation grew tiresome and said, “Oh, heavens. Is that the time?” And then she turned on her heel and walked away. Very effective.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Snagglepuss was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid! 😀

    This kind of boorish behaviour seems to be spreading … people who have NO IDEA how to carry on a conversation, obsessed with the sound of their own voice, and a compelling need to provide EVERY. SINGLE. EXCRUCIATING. DETAIL. POSSIBLE.

    Like

    1. Joanne, yes! I agree about these conversations. This particular one was filled with too much information, from a passing acquaintance. I didn’t feel like she should be telling me all this stuff to begin with. She lacked self-awareness to be sure.

      Like

  10. Beastly to have to listen to those kind of diatribes though, just because we’re polite. I do the same thing, and then think of SO many remarks I could have made. Ah, well, probably better not to, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, oh you are soooo right. I could have said any number of things, but what would be the point? Acquaintance wanted to be heard– and not helped. So I “snagglepussed” my way out of the conversation. 🙂

      Like

  11. Oh my goodness, I haven’t thought of Snagglepuss in years! I used to watch that–so much better than what’s on TV for kids these days.

    I know of someone who matches your description to a T. You sure we don’t live in the same ‘hood? 😉 Amazing how some people just have no idea of their impact on those around them, how removed they are. It’s one thing to think those things, but another thing entirely to go around talking about it like your stuff don’t stink!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, how I managed to think of Snagglepuss I could not say, but his catchphrase was the perfect way to end this unwanted, weird conversation.

      I imagine just about everyone knows someone who goes on and on about how they aren’t something, while telling you that they are that something. Self-awareness is a good thing. Pity more people haven’t caught on to that idea…

      Like

  12. Awesomeness. Sometimes the best way to get out of an awkward conversation is to say something nuts and then hope they’ll leave you alone from then on. Once a coworker asked my sister a question to which he had no business knowing. She said, “I was checking for aliens.” Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ParentingIsFunny, I love that line! Summoning my inner Snagglepuss was effective, but the aliens line is going into my repertoire. Your sister rocks the words.

      Like

  13. I used to answer the lament of the obloquy victim with a nonsensical oxymoron: “What a fine and elegant obfuscation.” They used to answer with “Thank You.” But nowadays everybody can look up words on the internet. But now I’m in hiding because I’m a ____, but…

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.