My dear husband can talk to anyone about anything. Granted, he’s not one of those guys who knows a little bit about everything, but he can, in fact, have a conversation with anyone about anything that they choose to talk about. A few years ago, after I called bull#@!t when I noticed he was conversing about something he had absolutly no knowledge or understanding of, he let me in on his secret. Since then I’ve noticed him doing it ALL…THE…TIME. It’s a brilliant conversational tactic that seems to work pretty much every time he uses it. But, as it’s his secret tool, I don’t think he’d appreciate me sharing it. (And, FYI, not everyone can practice this technique. I, for example, can not do it as I don’t have the appropriate personality quality required for this…er…talent.)
There are, however, two things that he CAN talk about for hours, days, and, as is the case with a few of his buddies, even exclusively for the duration of a friendship. These two things are movie quotes and Family Guy. Seriously.
Nearly all guys seem to be able to speak, at least for a basic conversation in the language of movie-quote-ese. This may be equivalent to, say, a basic Spanish 101 convo:
“Hola, como estas?”
“Estoy bien, gracias. Y tu?”
“Muy bien, gracias.”
“Es muy fria hoy.”
“Claro que si. Es un dia muy bonito.”
“Donde esta el bano?”
“No se. Donde esta el restaurante?”
“En la calle. Me gustaria comer tacos hoy.”
“Yo me gustaria comer pizza.”
“Ok, mucho gusto.”
“El gusto es mio.”
Some women can speak the language, but these are rare, maybe as rare and elusive as, say, Bigfoot, and they seldom speak fluently. Even then, their level of conversation would be akin to what is above, only they may also be able to throw in an occasional vocabulary word or phrase to pretend to understand and speak the arcane language. The men generally pick up on this quickly, give a small courtesy laugh, and shrug the woman off in order to continue their conversation privately, albeit loudly.
Two women who share common interests may get together and bring their husbands along for double dates. At any given time these two women talk about their kids, the new parks they’ve visited, yoga, a recent movie they’ve seen, shopping, celebrity gossip, the latest tech gadgets, blogging, the housing crisis, politics, the healthcare initiave (which I still don’t understand), or, heck, maybe even existentialism and religious beliefs. Whatever. It could be the world’s most interesting conversation, but the guys’ eyes will, 9 times out of 10, gloss over, and they’ll find themselves swigging their beers wondering how to get out of this miserable double date.
Then, one of them will say, “Hey, did you see such-and-such movie?” Then the other guy will chuckle and reply, “(insert one of a gazillion different movie quotes here).” Then the first guy will laugh and follow up with another movie quote. The conversation usually continues from there, quotes jumping from movie to movie, until Ronny brings in a Family Guy quote. Or, if the guy happens to be Ronny’s perfect match, he’ll do the honors of reciting the first FG bit, which will make my hubby’s little puppy tail wag. In my experience observing Ronny’s “manly” conversational habits, I have observed another pattern. I’d say about 95% of the time the other guy will laugh, nod knowingly, and follow up with another Family Guy quote or situation.
Those who have studied Family Guy and have developed a good grasp of the language can speak for a good while, rehashing and laughing over situations and quoting, word for word, said situations. Then there are those who are completely fluent in the language of Family Guy. Ronny is one of these
weirdo freaks who I just can’t relate to interesting and talented people. When you get two or more of them together, it’s like watching a remote African tribe through hidden cameras on the Discovery Channel. They have the uncanny ability to continue this conversation for . . . literally . . . hours, in their own little world, as if no one is watching or listening. Trust me. I have witnessed this happen, usually to my absolute ennui to the point of my falling asleep and waking up in a puddle of drool, many, many times.
Ronny even has one particular friend with whom he speaks of nothing else. Seriously. I asked him yesterday if they talk about anything else and he said, “we’re just not that kind of friends.” If they text each other, it’s in the FG code. They may text a situation or quote which can be translated to, “Hey, I’m in a golf tournament next week. Want to join me?” This quote would be replied to with another quote which could be loosely translated to: “I’d love to, but my girlfriend planned this stupid daytrip with her friend and her husband. Unfortunately, I have to tag along and play nice. It’s gonna suck. Hopefully the other guy will be able to speak our secret bro-language.”
I’m not joking.
Here’s another example. We had a poker game the other night at our house. It was Ronny, me, and three other guys, one of which was the said FG/MQ-only speaking friend. They sat across from one another, and while we all had normal poker game conversations, these two talked Family Guy and movie quotes to one another exclusively. Seriously, I don’t think a snippet of English passed between the two of them. But they made each other laugh all night long. I’m pretty much inured to it so I tune it out and just note that it’s nice to see Ronny laugh out loud so much. The other guys seem pretty used to it, too, as the game and normal conversation went on for hours.
Occasionally, and I mean very rarely, we’ll come across a guy who, in response to Ronny’s Family Guy or movie quote, will respond with a blank, confused stare and a subtle shaking of the head. Ronny knows immediately that the two of them have absolutely no hope for any sort of conversation or friendship. It’s his way of sniffing the other dog’s butt. If there’s no mutual interest, he’ll walk away without a second thought. That’s just how it is. And at that very moment, no matter how good of a time I may be having, and no matter how excited I am to be out with another couple, I know in my heart that we will never have another double date with this couple again. It’s a sad, sad realization.
This post took an entirely different turn than I had planned. That said, my next post will hopefully go more in line with my original intent.
That’s one of the cool things about writing. You may or may not know what you want to write about, but then what actually comes out can surprise you completely.
Until next time…