Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rule Number Four

Rule Number Four, The Shelf Life Rule: All people have a shelf life.

Maybe it's just me, but sooner or later people annoy me. Is it because I have no patience? Is it because I'm a elitist snob that thinks he's better than everyone else?

I don't know which it is but I do know that people have a shelf life - the amount of time I can spend with them (or the amount I can learn about them) before they spoil.

We've all been there. You decide to go on a road trip with your oldest friend and a couple days into stopping at every antique shop in the western states you jump from the car at highway speeds imagining that a few broken bones (or even death) might not be so bad as another story about Aunt Pearl's three legged dog Stewie.

With friends shelf life is renewable. With new acquaintances it can be devastating. I always like going somewhere new where I don't know any of the people. It is in those quiet first few days when you don't know that any of them are completely mad. That's really why I don't ask people too many questions. I'm afraid of the answers. I'm afraid to learn that they collect potato chips that look like the Catholic saints. I'm afraid that they harbor secret desires to shave kittens. I'm afraid they might try to suck me into their twisted little worlds and never let me go. As such, I say limit your contact to the same person for too long. Meet them often, but for short times...like radiation.

The real problem is that I like people. I like their stories. I like their quirks. It's just that sometimes I wish they were on the other side of a thick set of bars.

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