I know I should be in bed. I’m tired, I’m not sleeping properly and I have to be up for a meeting the following day, but I just can’t bring myself to go. I have this irrational thought process, that I haven’tbeen able to shake since it first appeared when I was 8 years old, that the earlier I go to bed, thequicker the following day will appear and, by consequence, the sooner I’ll have to go to work.
I know it doesn’t make sense, that’s why it’s irrational.
So, instead of doing the sensible thing I click on the PS3, deciding that shooting some strangers on CoD(or, rather, getting shot by strangers) will hold Monday morning work off for a few minutes longer.
Choosing Team Deathmatch, I wait patiently as the system tries to find me a suitable game. (Which I’m sure it just does to make it seem as if it’s working a lot harder than it actually needs to. I’m convinced thatas soon as I choose a game it instantly finds a suitable match, but then delays sending me in so that it can flash it’s calculations at me from the top of the screen to demonstrate how complex the process is. It’s the PSN version of that kid in the park whose parents are too busy drinking beer or flirting with their partners best friends to watch them, and who latch on to the closest adult (usually me) and say "I can swing dead high. Watch. You’re not watching. Watch.")
Finding a game (or, at least, letting me into a game), the system makes the requisite ‘squik’ noise as it drops me into the middle of the fight that has less than a minute to go.
I run round for a few seconds (certainly no more than 10) when I’m told that JO1452 has sent me a message. As I don’t know anyone by that name I’m intrigued, so I check my mailbox.
"Were you from?" is all that it says. As hard as I may protest that I’m not, I just can’t help being a grammar Nazi, so I’m instantly irritated by the use of ‘were’ instead of ‘where’. I know I’m being a mite unfair; some people can’t spell, but I can’t help it. Mistakes like this I rate at the same level as the use of textspeak on the internet (a crime I believe should be punishable by death).
Now, I’m not, it’ll shock you to discover, much of a people person.
It’s not that I’m anti-social, aggressive or down right rude (at least, not to anyone’s face), it’s just that I have absolutely no social skills. None. To me the worst position I could ever find myself in isn’t suddenly materialising in the midst of war torn Afghanistan armed with nothing more than a bag of marshmallows, or sitting in a lukewarm bath at the epi-centre of a city shattering earthquake. No, for me, the most horrifying position ever conceived by man or beast is any in which I have to make small talk. You know, those conversational pleasantries that every human being on the planet is capable of; "Lovely weather for the time of year", "Did you see the match last night?", "Look at the baps on that!!".
These are things I’m incapable of saying to someone I haven’t either attended a school with or am related to in some fashion. However, all my conversational issues evaporate when I use any form of communication that doesn’t actually require me to be in the same room as the person I’m talking to. Email, text, messageboards; all of these allow me to pretend that I’m functioning like a normal person.
But it doesn’t make me any nicer of a person.
I reread the message and contemplate simply ignoring it. It’s not that I don’t want to make new friends, I just don’t see how messaging random people, just for the hell of it is in any way polite.
However, for reasons that now escape me, I decided that I’d reply. So, hitting the reply button I type out ‘Here’.
I know, it was neither funny nor clever, but neither was it ignorant or rude; I was asked a question and offered a genuine reply. Next time I won’t fucking bother because almost instantly the ‘Jo1452 has sent you a message’ appears (they obviously have nothing better to do).
I open the message, which reads ‘Hey, really, me too prick!’.
Now, as I’ve said, I’m not a people person, so I don’t understand these people who add their banker and gynecologist as Facebook friends just so they can brag about how they got ‘over 1000 friends. Likewise, I fail to understand the mentality of people who message random people. Especially when they have no sense of humour.
Yes, I know I should have left it, but I just couldn’t. I was neither rude nor aggressive yet this dickhead had decided to overreact, something that immediately told me that they were probably about 15 years old. So i replied with ‘Well, that’s just fucking charming’.
‘Jo1452′ sent you a message’ – ‘I was only trying to be freindly, ther was no need to be rude’.
‘I wasn’t being rude’
‘Jo1452′ sent you a message’ – ‘so are you going to tell me were your from’.
‘London, St Paul’s’ Yes, I know it was a dirty great lie, but it was late and I shouldn’t have been having the discussion in the first place so I certainly wasn’t going to tell some random teenager (who probably owns a hoodie cabinet) were…sorry..where I live.
‘Jo1452′ sent you a message’ – ‘there wasn’t that nicer :)’.
And that was it. No reason for the conversation, no other questions, no follow up enquiries about life in London, just nothing. Which incensed me more than the inane conversation!!
What was the fucking point in messaging me if all you wanted to know is where I was from!?
See, this is why I fucking hate people!!