Monday, January 24, 2005

Not Even!

Do people actually say that? I didn’t think so—until today when I took my son Sam to the ear nose and throat doctor, because he has large adenoids and they need to be removed. We were waiting and a mom and her Levis-501-wearing teenage son came in. I mention the 501s because I took note at the time and thought, Ahh yes. A solid young man in a solid, timeless pair of pants. Good for him. As it turns out, I should not have put so much stock in his pants. They sat across from us and he asked his mom how long it would be “There’s no telling,” she replied. There’s no telling? I made a mental note to start saying that whenever possible. Not only does it convey an extremely grave tone, but it is also archaic and dramatic in a way that few situations actually call for--thus rendering it useful for comedic purposes.

Since there was no telling how long they would have to wait there, the kid chose Popular Science to read. His mom was already reading a magazine. “I like to read these sometimes. There’s so much happening in science right now.” He said. Loudly. Initially I was pleased to hear his voice because I am curious and nosy and it sounded like Jason Lee’s voice (the bad guy in The Incredibles) and I like Jason Lee.

So then this fellow, who sat right across from me about 4 feet away, starts to read highlights from the articles aloud. Very loud. This was distracting because I was busy re-playing in my head all of my conversations from the last 24 hours (trying to get a jump on my bedtime routine), deriving pleasure from a select few and agonizing over the excruciating possibility that I misheard, misunderstood, misspoke, etc. As he got louder and louder I couldn't help but wonder, is he talking to me? Because his mom was reading her own magazine and, more or less, ignoring the Jason Lee voice boy. I could live with the reading out loud. But he became ever more enthusiastic about Popular Science’s vision of the garage of the future.

“No Way! Lasers will guide your car into the parked position and run diagnostics on your car regularly. Your car will tell you how to fix itself! Listen to this. Shelves will have scales in them and will track how much fertilizer you use! Unbelievable!” This last exclamation, made funnier by this week’s episode of The Apprentice, seemed a bit of an overstatement. His mom asked when all of this would be happening. In 10 years. “I don’t think I’m ready for that,” She said and returned to her reading.

Does it seem odd to you that the technology for scales in shelves is still 10 years away? I mean, does that seem “unbelievable”? I’d like to think that, were I so inclined, I could have that sort of thing right now.

“Roboticized trash cans that are programmed to transport themselves to the curb on trash day. NOT EVEN!” At this point I wanted him to stop and so I dropped all pretense of not hearing him and looked at him with big eyes and an awed smile, as if to say “Unbelievable.” I thought, if he were talking to me, this nod of recognition might bring the “conversation” to an end. It did not have that effect. But we were called back to see the doctor. I do not know whether he continued after Sam and I left. Probably. And, really, who can blame him because there’s so much happening in science right now.

15 comments:

  1. That sounds so much like an ERP story that it is scary. I wish there were a magazine called "ERP monthly" because there's so much going on in ERP right now.

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  2. Funny you should say that because I have never seen ERP or Marlsven and have become particularly paranoid about running into them and not knowing it. I actually entertained the thought that the Jason Lee voice boy WAS ERP--I would never even know it. Last night a boy named Eric served me at McDonalds. I barely kept from saying, "ERP, is that you?" It's ridiculous.

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  3. If you come to the show on Friday you can actually meet all these people.

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  4. NOT EVEN! And by that I mean, I will see you there.

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  5. I'm so shallow that I don't even GO to a doctor, dentist, etc. unless they have People or US magazine. I'd never actually pay to bring that trash into my home but you better believe I'll sit and devour it shamelessly for free. What doctor are you going to that has science magazines?? God bless you. And I'm shamed that you have a bedtime routine that involves any self reflection. I can't even remember going to bed last night except I woke up with chocolate on my fingers and figure I must have been into the chocolate chips again.

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  6. I think you are good at using facial expressions to convey messages...I like to try and picture you. For example, in this post with the "big eyes and awed smile," wondering how I could use that..but my favorite was the young women post with the inflated cheeks blowing out with raised eyebrows. I actually did this while at my computer to get the full effect.

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  7. um...I say "not even"...sometimes. lol

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  8. Shelves that weigh fertilizer? Robotic garbage cans? now I've heard eveything!
    Can anyone top this blog? NOT EVEN!

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  9. Anonymous5:32 PM

    I tried out the "big eyes and an awed smile" just now at my computer. Marcy is right: you ARE good at describing facial expressions. I commend you for delivering said expression to the irritating lad. I like to put young people in their place.

    "There's no telling" reminded me of a phrase my 6-year-old has started saying recently. Last night she said, "It's five o'clock, is it not?" How proper!

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  10. Hey! That was me, not "anonymous"! Not Even!

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  11. Even the little boys work hard to impress you… the power you have over people Kacy.

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  12. I have to agree with Rebecca on this one. You have a certain je ne sais quoi about you that makes people want to impress you...heck, i'm builing a to scale model of Norway in my back yard just so you'll think I'm smart and cool... is it working? There's no telling...

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  13. I am afraid to ask, but does the fact that I didn't know "there's no telling how long" is archaic mean that I am archaic?

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  14. I'm NOT EVEN going to say what you'd hear at the doctor's offices I go to here in sunny southern California - what I could translate anyway!!

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  15. Popular Science is crappy science. Most of the stuff in the magazine is about as likely to happen as what you see on the cover of The Enquirer (because enquiring minds want to know).

    I have no clever use of the "not even" and "there's no telling" phrases to offer, but I appreciate everyone else's.

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