Coinciding with my return to Tweeville, my good friend, partner in procrastination and sometime-saviour Ugly Dog has taken a temporary leave of absence from Bardland to go and not-write his essays in the sunny skirts of our cousins across the Atlantic. Let’s hope they don’t notice.
Some people miss their friends when they’re not around. For others, this approach is too passive, too clichéd. If your friend leaves town, their (and by ‘their’, I do mean ‘my’) logic goes, don’t get down about it, get creative: start replicating all their physical tics, their speech patterns, their reactions, until you’ve essentially assumed their identity. If you really want to go the extra mile, move in with their parents, show up to their job and start answering to their name. I’m fairly certain this is in no way illegal. Anyway, the idea is that you can’t miss them if you’ve become them. Or something. Rather, the idea would be that, if absorbing traits was something over which I had EVEN AN IOTA OF CONTROL.
Put simply: I unintentionally but increasingly sound and behave like my mutt friend, and it’s starting to unnerve people (not least me). Some changes those who know me may have noticed:
- Every conversational turn begins with an exaggerated ‘SO…’
- Conversational turns also frequently begin with extraordinarily general references to previously-identified shared interests: ‘SO….Game of Thrones, eh?’
- Statements become questions by virtue of having ‘eh?’ stuck on the end, eh?
- Alternatively, turns begin with questions relating to a previously-identified shared interest, which will bear no relevance to the former topic of conversation but will be made to sound like they do by the addition of ‘then?’ on the end: ‘SO…who’s your favourite Game of Thrones character, then?’
- Conversational turns about shared interests will be rendered creepy by reference to personal information divulged at some point in the dim-and-distant past: ‘SO…Game of Thrones and Dr Who returning on the same weekend, eh? Going to need a new pair of trousers for that.’
- Sentences become hopelessly divided by pauses and irregular emphases: ‘Going. to need. a new pair. of TROUSERS. for THAT.’ Sort of.
- Acknowledgement of a statement’s creepiness and demonstration of pleasure in said creepiness is indicated by jutting the head forward with eyes bulging and lips pursed in the seconds afterwards. (This one goes down spectacularly well in office conditions)
- Outrage (such as U.D. may feel while he reads this) is demonstrated by opening the mouth as wide as you can without unlocking your jaw. Teeth showing, no drawing back of the lips.
- Embarrassment (such as U.D. may feel while he reads this) is expressed the same way, but usually followed by a clasping of hands with arms at full length and a turning of the head into one of the shoulders.
- Any well-meaning advice such as ‘don’t get your sleeve in your coffee’, ‘don’t touch that radiator, you’ll get burnt’, etc. is usually responded to with ‘MAYBE I’D LIKE THAT.’ Followed by the bulgy-eyed, pursed-lips look. (Also a winner at the office)
Am I making my friend sound like a psychopath? Probably. Then again, making people close to him sound like they’re crazy is another of Ugly Dog’s particular talents, so this probably just marks my further absorption of his personality. By inverse logic, by the time U.D. comes back from America, he will probably be doing my victory dance and writing this blog.