Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Supa Rant: Damn Those Conversation Loops...(Remix)

They can happen to even the best raconteur; those pesky little pitfalls of communication I like to call conversation loops. Be it unwitting victim or accidental perpetrator, if you’ve been caught up in one, you already know - it’s nothing nice. Yes, even I have been taken down a time or two by these sinister potholes of seemingly casual conversation. Lately, though, I don’t become ensnarled in these lingual labyrinths as much as I once did; owing this to years of delicate research in determining the exact and precise moment of when to just shut the hell up.

So, what exactly is a conversation loop?

A conversation loop occurs when Speaker#1 is unable to advance to the next topic of desired conversation due to the actions of Speaker#2, who has chosen to comment on the comment Speaker#1 just commented on, which in turn prods Speaker#1 to reapply a similar response to the discussion already in progress, thus resulting in a conversation loop.

Sound confusing? In theory alone. Trust me, conversation loops happen pretty much on the regular. Just the other day, I bore witness to one while standing in line at the store. It was quite comical, though I didn’t think so at the time because, well, I had to pee.

Went down like this:

Subject#1: “Good to see you, Leon. How you doin’ today?”

Subject#2: “Said my blessings before I walked out the door, praise the Lord.”

Subject#1: “I heard that! Praise the Lord.”

Subject#2: “Umm hmm. The Lord is good, isn’t He?”

Subject#1: “Yes He is. Praise Him…”

Subject#2: “Yessss, Praise you, Lord.”

Subject#1: “Yes. Praise Him…”

Subject#2: “Praise the Lord!”

Subject#1: “Praise Him…”

Subject#2: “The Lord, He is praised!”


Pesky conversation looping occurs when (a) you’re conversating with an idiot, (b) someone is conversating with you and you’re the idiot, or simply (c) both parties become trapped revolving door style in harmless, useless, repetitive dialogue, and merely fail to identify the proper way to get out.

It’s sad, true, and can be - some pretty funny shit.

Even more, along my sanity-reducing, rollercoaster ride on the track of motherhood, I have since become convinced that the origin of conversation loops are deeply rooted (and cultivated) within the context of age old sibling-rivalry. Children are masters of the conversation loop. I am constantly, regrettably, privy to the various styles, techniques, and levels of sheer annoyance in which a conversation loop can occur. Here is the last loop I overheard by my lovely spawn, whom I adore, who also aggravate me to no unspeakable end, which is sometimes very difficult to reconcile but what the hell the law says I have to feed them anyway:

LovelyButAnnoying Child#1: “Leave me alone.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “No, you leave me alone.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “Well you started it.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “No, you started it.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “Did not.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “Did too. I’m telling!”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “You did start it. Tattletail!”

LovelyButAnnoying Child#2: “I’m not a tattletail!”

LovelyButAnnoying Child#1: “Are so.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “So what, so?”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1 : “So, just leave me alone.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child#2: “I’m not bothering you.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “You are bothering me.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “You bother me more.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “No you.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child#2: “You.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #1: “Leave me alone.”

LovelyButAnnoying Child #2: “No, you leave me alone….”

LovelyButAnnoying Child#1 and #2: (in unison) “Mom!”

Supa/Ms. Mom: (thinking) Dammit I’m out of vodka again.


Once identified, the key to breaking the conversation loop cycle is a virtual no-brainer; the safeguards being fairly simple and painless to execute. They are: (a) never reiterate a reiteration, (b) never answer a question with a question, and last of all, my preferred method, (c) Just shut the hell up.

The last potentially crippling conversation loop I successfully evaded went down like this, after I tripped over some idiot’s foot at the movies:

Bigfoot: “You all right?”

Supa: “Yeah, thanks. I’m cool.”

Bigfoot: “You cool?”

Supa: “I’m cool. Thanks”

Bigfoot: “You sure?”

Supa: “Dude. I’m sure. Thanks.”

Bigfoot: “You sure you’re sure?”

Supa: Shutting the hell up.



Now you try…


Zlogical said...

That's crazy supa-funny. I'm going to have to inject something totally off the subject to create my own loop.

I was working out in the gym today with my headphones on listening to the morning news:

Reporter: A man is sought in Oklahoma for licking a woman's feet in a Walmart parking lot.

Me: What the...

Reporter: A man waits under the car of unsuspecting women in the walmart parking lot and licks their toes as they are open their doors.

Me: What the...

Reporter: One woman states that she thought it was a dog at first, but when she looked down it was a man under her SUV licking on her toes sticking out from her sandal.

Me: That's crazy.

Reporter: Police are searching for the man now who they say will be charged with a misdemeanor.

Stop: I googled the subject and found that there are numerous incidents of toe-licking incident all around the country, and even the Dutch are considering revising their laws to consider toe-licking a crime.

Supa said...

@ Z: Toe-licking should NOT be a crime. :)



African girl, American world said...

Thank the Lord for likka!!!!

Miss Ahmad said...

oh my, I can see now where my short temper and eye rolling techniques probably keep people from engaging me at all....these loopy ass conversation make a sista roll eyes and exit left...often times mid sentence

mumbling and shaking my heads, these works folks is crazy!

onecoolhoney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P said...

Employee: I tried to go to the doctor and they said that I didn't have anybenefits.

HR: Did you call the benefit servicing center?

Employee: No

HR: When did you sign up for benefits?

Employee: What do you mean?

HR (at this point wanting to use her sign language/hearing impaired voice) "When did you sign up for benefits?"

Employee: I didn't.

HR: Then you don't have any benefits.

Employee: What, you don't auto-enroll employees or something? I talked to Joe Blow and he said he had Blue Cross.

HR: Joe Blow elected his benefits. Do you remember what was covered and distributed in new employee orientation?

Employee: What?

HR: New employee orientation, you know, when you met with me, and I collected your I-9 info, showed you where online to sign up for your benefits, and also provided you with the phone number. You were more concerned when you would get you concessionary cell phone and how workers compensation works.

(Well, I didn't actually say the last sentence, but I felt like it).

Employee: I don't remember, but that's not important, I need my benefits.

HR: You cannot enroll now until open enrolllment.

Employee: I am going to the union.

HR: That's fine, but this has nothing to do with them. The name of the steward from Local 7779 is Jack Shit.

Employee: Aren't you HR? What kind of company doesn't want you to have benefits?

HR: The kind of company that gives you 30 days to sign up, tells you that in orientation, and sends you a packet in the mail.

Ah, A Day in the Life of HR

Knockout Zed said...

I'm usually the idiot in the conversation, the one that makes it go on longer.

Incidentally, my grandmother used to make "toe liquor" in the basement.



Anonymous said...

I was first!!!! What happened to my comment?

*pouting real hard*

Anyhoo, I said that I love-ded this one as much yesterday as I did before...


Sangindiva said...

Girl! This is funny!
I must say I have been engaged in a few of these convo's myself... booo. hahaha :)

@P: at this point wanting to use her sign language/hearing impaired voice) "When did you sign up for benefits?"

CLASSIC! I can SEE you doing this! hahaha

jameil1922 said...

hahahahahaha. he was just trying to holla at the supa one girl! you know you liked that! that was hilarious.