Stupid things I sometimes do.

wereadultsI’m supposedly a mature adult with mature adult responsibilities, but at times I catch myself doing things that are, to put it simply, stupid. Things that put the lie to the idea that I am a mature and responsible anything.

Things like:

  1. Trying to sing the catchy instrumental parts of songs. I’ll be singing along to some song on the radio (like you do) and it’ll get to that awesome guitar solo and, rather than shut up like any normal person, I’ll attempt to sing along with gibberish noises that my inner five-year-old would like to believe sound exactly like the instrument I’m mimicking, but that actually sound like the death squeals of a cat caught in a taffy puller. Neener-neeeener-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-neener-NAAAAAAAAAAAAA! It’s even worse when it’s a drum solo or, heaven forbid, an oboe.
  2. Beatbox. I’ve done this one for years only I didn’t know it was called beatboxing until it became the hot shit thing to do on YouTube a few years back. I always called it “making stupid noises with my mouth.” In spite of my many decades of doing this I have nowhere near the talent of the people on YouTube. This is in part due to the fact that I don’t do it in an attempt to recreate the sounds of a drum kit producing a recognizable tune. It’s more of a way to disperse nervous energy in an annoyingly audible way that is almost always embarrassing when I get caught doing it. Which happens often because I don’t usually realize I’m doing it at the time. It’s like my mouth gets bored with not having anything to do and just starts spitting out random noises in an attempt to feel like it’s contributing to the task at hand. My wife catches me at it more than most. Usually prompting the question: “What the hell are you doing?”
  3. Talk back to the radio. Not because I’m angry, but because it amuses me. I often listen to NPR on the way into work and just before the break at the end of the hour both the hosts of Morning Edition as well as the local station will announce their names. I’m Steve Inskeep. And I’m Renee Montagne. And I’m Christina Shockley. To which I will always shout out “And I’m Les Jenkins” as if they could hear — or even give a damn — that I was there. Note that I’m the only person in the car when I do this so it’s not like I’m amusing anyone else.
  4. Announce my name to the waitperson at restaurants. Every time the waitperson walks up and says “Hi! My name is Laura McWaitress and I’ll be your waitress tonight.” I always say “Hi! My name is Les Jenkins and I’ll be your customer tonight.” It’s stupid and yet I do it all the time. It’s a testament to my wife’s patience that she’s gotten used to me doing this. Every. Damned. Time.
  5. Call a gyro (the food) a gyro (short for gyroscope). Granted there are a lot of people who make this mistake, but I’m doing it intentionally all so I can follow it up with a very stupid joke: “You know, the well-balanced meal?” This actually goes over pretty well in a college town like Ann Arbor. I’ve even had one waitress tell me she was going to use it on her Greek sister-in-law who was an engineer. It’s still a stupid thing to say.

There are other stupid things I sometimes do, but I can’t recall them at the moment. All of them are pretty much habits I’ve never been able to resist. Most folks who witness them smile at me weakly and make a mental note to avoid the weirdo if at all possible.

10 thoughts on “Stupid things I sometimes do.

  1. I think we all do those types of things. I have the horrible habit of f-bombing at the drive thru windows. Could be fast food or the bank. I get excited during movies and talk to the screen. Really no big deal at home but I do that shit at the theater too. I think those things that we do are quirky and fun .

  2. These are not stupid! I even whistle along when there’s a whistle part, and I always repeat the NPR announcer names because they’re fun to say, especially Corey Flintoff, Sylvia Poggioli, and the incredible Ofeibia Quist-Arcton, DAKKARRRRR.

  3. I also tell the waiter my name – generally followed by the comment, “I’m the one who leaves the tip.” I get good service.

  4. dammit, Les. I do all of those things as well, it embarrasses my kids to no end. But, do you also make up song lyrics to sing to the dog or cat, often using the pet’s name over and over in them? I do that all the time.

  5. Ginny, I’m particularly found of saying Yuki Noguchi’s name in a rising and falling crescendo way. Every time her name is mentioned I have to repeat it. It’s just so fun to say.

    David, the wife and I both have invented some pretty complex songs for our cats in spite of neither of us having any song writing skills. The cats don’t seem to appreciate our efforts all that much.

  6. For me “Come on people give me a break is a favorite to mumble when what I am doing isn’t getting done right. I also swear a lot out loud. I tell the birds and animals to lay off the noise! All this and I am the only one in the house!! You see it definitely runs in the family!

  7. I’m so absurdly glad to learn that I’m not the only one who makes up song lyrics for my cat. I also have a habit of christening him with multiple new nicknames every day based on what he is doing and/or how he looks at the moment. He just stares at me like I’m a moron and he’s probably right.

  8. I sometimes talk to myself at work, to help plan out by progress. To an outside observer, it would sound like my alternate personality is a grumpy supervisor, (me) telling his barely-competent grunt, (also me) step-by-step instructions on the job, salted with insults. Dumbass, pronounced “Dumas,” like the French author is pretty common. Fortunately, I usually work alone, so I’m the only one to hear.
    Hey Dumas, you can’t fit a Phillips bit in a torx screw! Fuckin’ shitty battery…Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do…

  9. Love this list and the comments, I do a lot of these things. Also, I talk to myself out loud while shopping, especially if there’s a lot to remember, and I like to talk to other customers in the check-out line, cracking jokes and such, especially when extremely technologically-impaired people are holding up the self-checkout.

    “Dumas”, classic, I got that one from Shawshank Redemption.

    I don’t know why I’m surprised that so many sing to their pets. I do that one a lot, I’ll sing along with a song but switch random words or lines to “Erik is a good boy” or some such, whatever fits the line. Unlike with you cat owners, the pup loves to be sang to, especially if his name and “good boy” are involved. If he’s feeling snuggly, he’ll nuzzle my chin and grunt back while I do it.

    When I first met my girlfriends grandma, everyone knew we’d get along because her favorite curse expression was “well, shit-fire”, and one of mine was “Oh, pisswater”. Random silliness is important in life, IMO.

  10. I can totally identify with you on the beatboxing thing. I love jungle / drum and bass music and i cannot stop either (a) actually listening to it (b) doing the drums with my mouth all the time or (c) tapping drum rhythms on everthing ( like on the bench with my spoon as i wait for the kettle to boil etc ). It’s actually driving me insane because i always have these damn drums pounding in my brain in one form or another. Sometimes the jungle music is replaced by a non stop repeating part of some random song, it just plays over and over and over untill either another song pops in there or the drums start again. Seriously i’m actually doing the beatboxing right now and have been all day involuntarily! Even when i’m trying to sleep i can’t stop the drums in my head. Perhaps i should see a doctor or psychiatrist about this i don’t know?

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