Monday, January 10, 2011

A LongTalker walks into a bar

A LongTalker walks into a bar. And that is one more reason people drink: Getting stuck with a LongTalker. Oh, the LongTalker. I know you know what I mean. Someone who turns a tale that merits two minutes of time into a 30 minute sitcom (or dramcom. Or borecom.) segment.

I am all about details so do not think I am throwing rocks. Believe it, I can tell a story that takes us halfway through dinner. But is that story funny? Or entertaining? If so, tell it, tell it, tell it. And while I love details, I can trim and snip a story into 20 words or less. By that I mean, if you ask me what I made yesterday, I don't simply answer cake. I say, I made the most amazing chocolate layer cake with Italian Cream filling and raspberries in the layers. See? It is detailed but succinctly detailed. Do you know how a long talker answers?

Well, I got up and it was so beautiful and then I decided what should I make and it occurred to me I hadn't made this cake in ages. You know, I made it for a friend once, and she claimed it was better than a NY bakery. And then as I was getting the ingredients out, my friend from college phoned, and she and I were thick as thieves back in the day, have you ever been to the campus at.....

Are you picking up what I'm putting down? I believe you are. Now, I know I have LongTalked it up especially back in college when feelings were involved but I didn't know better. Now, especially in a corporate workplace, nothing moves me to malcontent quicker than sitting in meetings with LongTalkers. I used to work with a LongTalker that drove me coo coo bananas every time I would get cornered by him in the elevator. It wasn't a simple "Hi, how are you?"

But I got the full throttle of his aches, his pains, his kids, their aches, their pains all which drove my inner monologue to ask where is the cyanide and how quickly can I have a taste.

My malaise for the long talker is because at times, I am with but a scant modicum of patience. I try to mask it by envisioning this person as lonely or in need of conversation. But then you realize that most LongTalkers are this way with everyone they encounter, and their stories are so long and meaningless they often can not recall which details have previously been shared so why not reiterate them all again.

There is a guy in our neighborhood who is a LongTalker and has been nicknamed (of course he has a nickname) as The Trapper. Because he traps you with his longlonglonglong story. I will even share he once told me a story so long I prayed for acid rain. Why? Because I am not patient, his story was meaningless, and it included many details of his tummy troubles. I swear if you LongTalk me and the word diarrhea is involved, I will carry earplugs (or mace) next time.

If you know a tip for either dissuading the LongTalker, besides either carrying my cell phone and immediately pretending to be on a call, which will not work in meetings OR pretending I too have tummy troubles, I am all ears. As long as your tip is not wrapped up in a Long Talk.

27 comments:

singedwingangel said...

LMBO people like that I simply say.. Ok can we get from point A to point B without the detours through f h and l?? Let's cut right to the chase shall we?

undomestic chica said...

Oh the long talker. I don't have any advice but don't forget his distant cousin:the slow talker. Hopefully you don't live by one of those too.

Nat said...

Haha! I know exactly what you're longtalking about. A friend (think we're borderline no longer friends after I told her to stop phoning me to Longtalk at work)suffers from the verbal diarrhoea syndrome...every converstaion follows a detour to another unrelated topic that you've already heard about 100 times!

Little Ms J said...

This is so painful. One of my BFF's is a Rambler Stage Five. It's like streaming consciousness that she can't turn off. Thank Gawd we're close enough that I can tell her my ears are bleeding. She tries to bullet point now. Soooo much better. One suggestion? If they say something interesting (AT ALL) then jump in with a question. It throws them off, gives you a little power back because then you can say sometimes redirect them or tell them you have to run. Sometimes.

Godspeed my friend.

Jen said...

I avoid the LongTalker by being a SAHM and avoiding all contact with real people :) lol! I can feel your pain all the way over here, as I too have no patience. Love your neighbor's nickname, we have one just like that RIGHT NEXT DOOR :)

KittyCat said...

My sportsman is a long talker-storey teller, whether drunk or not.

When we go out to the bar with friends, i try and stick him with another equally long talker.
and then i walk away.

; )
Mean? maybe,but i do live with him. So I know first hand.

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

Long talkers should be shot...who do they think they are taking up my precious time like that!

Kristina P. said...

Oh, this is the worst! How do you get out of it?

Dumblond said...

I tend to do that when I've had a bit too much to drink. Luckily, my drooling usually cuts me off before my audience comes to blows...

Eva Gallant said...

Longtalkers can be exhausting! I know from whence I speak...I'm married to one. He's not always a longtalker but sometimes! I usually say, "Can we skip the condiments and get to the meat of the story?"

ladytruth said...

Why not longtalk them back? And no gaps for them to jump in, no, no, no, no! But make it gory with the word 'vomit' in and as an added bonus re-enact the scene step by step. Longtalk THAT, sucker! :)

Grand Pooba said...

I despise long talkers! I have a couple of co workers like that and I just walk out of the room! They keep talking as I'm walking down the hallway!

Mrs. Tuna said...

I confess, I tell long rambling stories but I include hand gestures so thats not so bad is it?

Ed said...

A gun?

Ducktape?

I usually either say, "Wrap it up today!" or "Your point!"

The best is course of action is to either just walk away, or put your fingers in your ears while saying "La-la-la-la-la-I can't hear you-la-la-la!"

secret agent woman said...

I have never heard a story so interesting I want to hear a long version of it. And since what I do hour after hour and day after day is listen to other people's stories, I have almost zero patience for it otherwise. I have been none to nod vacantly for a minute and then express dismay over the fact that I need to leave right that instant because "my kids are waiting" or some other excuse.

DeNae said...

My husband - the Fed - calls them "Hostage Takers," and whenever he's cornered by one he sends me the "come negotiate my release" signal.

I'm not necessarily a long talker, but I am an over-informer.

Cathi said...

I work with one and when he starts talking I always say "to make a long story short" haha....and it's still long!

My brother did that at my dad's memorial and from the audience I did the hand across the neck gesture to him so he would wrap it up...He made it quick after informing everyone he'd been told to wrap it up...

Kristy said...

We have a couple of identified long talkers around here where I work. Isn't it something? Everyone knows it, and talks about it, and tries to avoid them like the plague. You get pitiful looks from others as they walk by and see you STUCK. With one of the people, I just walk out of the room. I know that sounds really harsh, but I wait for someone else to enter, then I mumble something and walk out. This person DOES NOT CARE, they just keep talking to whoever else is there!

Maria said...

Ah, the LongTalker...usually hits when you are in a rush. And NOTHING is worse than having to listen to a LongTalker with three kids in tow. NOTHING...and even that doesn't stop them! It usually brings about another story, related to children BORED out of their skulls.

No advice today, sister. Just a nodding of the head to every major (and succinct) point...

J.J. in L.A. said...

My brothers have a Long Talker friend. He calls constantly. They finally figured out that if they don't answer the phone, he can't talk. Oh! And he doesn't leave voicemails because they cut him off.

Jen said...

Uh oh... I think I'm a LongTalker.. :-(

DaisyGal said...

I fear I am a LONG TALKER......in fact I'm sure I am.

(so my comment stops here..without the LONG STORY ;)
xo

Tami G said...

HILARIOUS!
I know people exactly like that. Drives me crazy!!
so I just talk over them about something else! ha ha
KIDDING!
(kinda)

Also wanted to stop by and invite you to my NEW blog...
just got it started tonight but I'd love for you to come over for a visit!

http://balancedequilibrium.blogspot.com/

bluzdude said...

I used to have to deal with a longtalker at work. I made it my habit to never ask him an idle question, ("How's it going?") and to never stop walking. Otherwise, this was a guy that if you asked to borrow a pen, he'd give you the oral history of ink.

Talia said...

This is absolutely hysterical and oh, so true! I have the misfortune of working with a LongTalker and ugh...I am losing years of my life listening to her go on and on and yes, on...

Thank you for the well needed laugh. What a hoot!

vanilla said...

Beloved Beautiful Better Half simply says, sweetly, "Excuse me. Get to the point." Probably wouldn't work in every situation, but it works on me. ;-)

HalfAsstic.com said...

Heh! Back in 1993 I knew a woman that... NO! Wait a minute! I was really going somewhere with this! LOL
Honestly? I'm thinking semi-automatic weapons. ;-)