This is brilliant. When I have nothing to say, I don’t say anything and people take offense. Most people could stand to talk less.
Bob and I are alike in that way.
Also I love the last panel. Especcially in context with the 7th and 8th panels.
When I’ve got nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Say something once — why say it again?
I’m not quiet – everybody else is too loud.
And I’m sure when you do choose you open your mouths the things you say are so interesting, it makes it all worthwhile.
I really, really like living in a world where not everybody wants to kill me all the time. Safe, repetitive pleasantries are the rituals through which we create peace.
Another master work where every row, every column and even one of the diagonals could stand as its own 3 panel comic (sadly TL-to-BR is a non sequitur). Hats off!!!
@Jacob Adam — you’re absolutely right, except that you misspelled “fabulously” as “sadly” :-)
Nate… I guess you have to be able to delude yourself for it to work.
The alternative isn’t people wanting to kill you, though. The alternative is that nobody cares about you. You can pretend that they do with these social pleasantries, but it doesn’t really change things.
…this reminds me of a very good Russian animated short film I saw not long ago. A re-interpretation of a traditional fairy tale…
Well, I liked it, anyway.
This. Right here. Is what i think
The daily awkward elevator moments, at home and at work … I can’t get away, and I’ve always been too shy to speak. Why did I come to live and work in big buildings?
“Silent Spring”… and the last one was about “crutches”… I wonder if Dorothy has been listening to Bettie Serveert’s “Lamprey” album? :D
At work one day I was serving a nice old man who kept trying to engage me in conversation, but since I’m not one of those people blessed with the ability to spontaneously generate natural phatic responses to things like ‘my grandson really enjoys watching the race cars’, I just smiled and nodded through the whole transaction.
The woman after him, who had been following the whole interaction, said she was revolted at how impolitely I’d treated the man. I felt bad at that, but after a while realised it’s irrational to feel bad for not doing something I’m not able to do.
Since then I’ve tried to adopt a greater tolerance and understanding of extroverts, in the hope that this tolerance might eventually reflect back at me.
Hooray for one extra update per week!
And I think pretending to humour people while they ramble on about pointless bullshit is a useful social skill, especially in the workplace. Just so long as you whip out some snark every once in a while to restore equilibrium.
Working front desk at a hotel and sharing girl’s views from this comic do not mesh well. It’s storming outside–I can see it through the windows and hear the thunder–and I swear to God, I’ll have at least two people in the next thirty minutes tell me all about it.
simple is best
@yachris, I had to read your comment about six times to stop being annoyed and realize your joke. You know how it goes on the weekends.
Dave Barry knows it, too: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1994-11-22/lifestyle/9411190943_1_big-bag-boring-people-second-person
All this social grease being slopped onto machinery that isn’t moving.
Fried chicken has plenty of grease of its own. In fact, food seems to be used as grease for conversations all too much.
Dinner conversation is ridiculous. Eating and talking are completely incompatible activities fighting for use of the same body part, like playing piano and knitting, or having sex and going to the bathroom.
It’s sad that the activities we use as pretexts for talking– eating, playing a game, going to a movie– all distract and interfere with the act of talking. I suppose it means we don’t truly want to talk…
In my experience, eating and movie-going only hinder courteous folks’ conversational skills. Talking in a theatre or through a mouthful of food is, unfortunately, the norm for a significant number of people.
wouldn’t it be awesome if social interaction was just eye contact, maybe some fluttering of lashes, but didn’t require words until words were required?
Don’t say that sex and ‘going to the bathroom’ are mutually exclusive on the internet. The internet will prove you wrong.
I like to think about word as communication of ideas, representations of the world etc, but I have to agree with cat: we talk for social-scheme-reproduction. Really. We mantain our relationships thanks to our nonsense chats, more than to ideas-transference.
Anyway, it´s not like you could start saying anything just becouse you are keeeping your social contacts on. The thing is, everybody is just waiting for you to say something really idiot and out of place to make fun of you! That´s how world keeps going round.
True– although sex and bathroom activities are incompatible in my opinion, I know there are plenty of people who find them compatible, even pleasantly complementary.
However, such predilections are as incomprehensible to me as a liking for dinner conversation.
Hey! This comic is about my latest favorite word: phatic! http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phatic
It’s working, it’s working. I want fried chicken.
Through all that idle talk you gain the momentum in a conversation to make the final jump to something meaningful. Exchanging stupidities for half an hour can lead to five minutes of intense insight. Of course that doesn’t work when you’re doing the idle talk just out of politeness.
At this point in the comments, meaning becomes irrelevant.
“Oh, you’ve fallen down a 30 ft. well. Are you alright?”
This reminds me of the Jack Rabbit Slim scene from Pulp Fiction,
I don’t remember exactly how it went, but mine said something like
“I love how we can be quiet for five minutes and not feel awkward about it. I wish people could shut up for five minutes.”