Yesterday at the gym, a man walked into the locker room wearing all black (black bandana, black tank top, black shorts, black sneakers, black socks). He had heavy black tribal tattoos. He was also quite large - in a muscular way. Later I saw him on the treadmill in front of me. I did not meet this man, but here is the conversation we had in the cardio room.

ME: I’m scared of you.

ME: Really? You want me to be scared of you?
MIB: Yes.

ME: Why would you want that?
MIB: People are less likely to start up a conversation with me because of how I look. And I enjoy not talking to people.

ME: Is that a hint?
MIB: What do you think?

ME: It probably is. But I might push my luck and continue talking to you anyway.
MIB: Do so at your own peril.

ME: There are grooves in your head. Is that your brain? It can’t be your brain because you have a skull. What the hell is that? Unless the top of your skull is missing.
MIB: The top of my skull is not missing. I just have a bumpy scalp.

ME: I always wonder if dudes that shave their head are going bald or just do it to look cool. I would bet you are doing it to add to the whole psycho body builder motif.
MIB: I actually don’t shave it. I use Nair.

ME: Holy crap. Nair? That stuff burns. I once knew this guy who Naired his chest. And then it dripped in the shower. And well, he was both bald and irritated – down there.
MIB: I like the burning sensation. Plus that’s how you know it is working. Like Selsun Blue.

ME: Ah yes the tingling. I know that well.
MIB: But you don’t have dandruff?

ME: Exactly…I think we just switched from Selsun Blue to Head & Shoulders by the way.
MIB: I think you’re right.

ME: So what do you do? Besides work out and intimidate others with your wardrobe and large imposing stature.
MIB: I’m a kindergarten teacher.

ME: Is that a joke?
MIB: No. I love working with kids.

ME: Do you ever eat paste? I would eat paste all the time if I had access to those big tubs of it.
MIB: It goes well with the dry macaroni.



As I drove down the street the other night to drop off a friend at her apartment, I saw a tall bald man standing in the middle of the street. He had binoculars on a strap around his neck and was looking through them. I did not meet this man, but here is a conversation we had in the middle of the street.

ME: You know what I am going to ask you right?
BINOCS: You’re going to ask me what I’m doing in the middle of the street late at night looking through these binoculars.
ME: Yes. That is what I am going to ask you.
BINOCS: Well go ahead and ask then.
ME: You’re going to make me ask you.
ME: Sigh. What are you doing in the middle of the street late at night looking through binoculars?
BINOCS: I’m bird watching.
ME: But it’s pitch black outside. What kind of birds could you possibly be watching?
BINOCS: Glow-in-the-dark birds.
ME: Glow-in-the-dark birds exist? Are you freaking kidding me? That’s awesome.
BINOCS: Well I haven’t seen any yet.
ME: You mean tonight?
BINOCS: No. Ever.
ME: Oh. Well what makes you think that they’re out there then?
BINOCS: Faith. If I believe in them, they will come.
ME: How many nights have you been out here looking for them?
BINOCS: Since 1974.
ME: Wow. You’ve been out here every night since 1974 looking for glow-in-the-dark birds.
BINOCS: Not every night. Only Wednesday nights. They only come out on Wednesday nights. Actually that’s not true. They’re out during the day on Wednesday too. But you can’t tell that they glow-in-the-dark because they just look like normal birds.
ME: Are there other animals that glow-in-the-dark?
BINOCS: I guess I really never thought about that. I suppose there could be. If there are any other animals that glow-in-the-dark, it would most likely be kangaroos.
ME: Why kangaroos?
BINOCS: Because they hop.
ME: Thank makes sense. Sooooooo…can I watch with you?



As I walked toward my car to leave for the day, I passed a redheaded woman. She smiled at me. I smiled back. I did not meet this woman, but here is the fake conversation we had in the parking lot.

ME: I’m married.
RED: Excuse me?
ME: What’s that?
RED: Did you say you were married?
ME: I may have mentioned that at some point during the conversation.
RED: What conversation? You just blurted out “I’m married.” Neither of us had been speaking prior to that.
ME: You smiled at me.
RED: And you smiled at me.
ME: Exactly.
RED: Exactly what?
ME: We smiled at each other. I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea.
RED: What idea would be the wrong idea? Because the idea running through my head right now is that you are slightly crazy.
ME: That would be A wrong idea. But not THE wrong idea I was referring to. THE wrong idea is that I would like to sleep with you. Because that is not what I meant when I smiled at you.
RED: Excuse me?
ME: You said that already.
RED: Why would I think you wanted to sleep with me just because you smiled at me?
ME: Because that’s exactly what I thought when you smiled at me. I thought you wanted to sleep with me. Is that not the case?
RED: No. It is most definitely not the case. It was a smile. I was being polite. I was being cordial. I was being a human being recognizing another human being with a nonverbal greeting.
ME: Oh.
RED: Yea. Oh is right.
ME: You’ll have to forgive me. It wasn’t that I thought you were a slut or anything. Because you don’t look like one. You’re very pretty obviously but not at all cheap or hussy-like.
RED: Are you sure you’re married?
ME: Yes. Didn’t I mention that earlier?
RED: I bet you’re the kind of guy who goes to a strip club and thinks the stripper is in love with him just because she made eye contact with you as placed a dollar into her g-string.
ME: I don’t know what you’re talking about.



Waiting to vote at my local elementary school, I noticed a man two places behind me in the queue. He was wearing oversized sunglasses and a newsboy cap. I did not meet this man, but here is the fake conversation we had while standing in line to cast our ballot. (He looked like a Rick – so I will call him Rick)

ME: I like your glasses.
RICK: They are big. Like a bug’s eyes.
ME: I suppose so yes. They are bug-like. Your hat is also very cool. I always try hats but I don’t think I can pull them off.
RICK: You just have to be confident. Own it. Here try on mine. I’ll show you.
ME: No I’m good. Don’t want to get hat hair.
RICK: You want to try on the glasses?
ME: No. I’m good there too. Got my own. Fully protected from the UV rays.
RICK: Gotta have protection. Glasses. Condoms. Guns. All that. Can’t be too careful.
ME: Guns huh? So are you a McCain supporter?
RICK: I prefer not to answer questions about my political affiliation. And it is illegal for you to campaign this close to a polling place. I'll have you brought up on charges.
ME: Whoa. Sorry. Didn’t mean to pry. I am certainly not campaigning and apologize if you were offended in any way.

(awkward silence)

RICK: I’m just fucking with you buddy.
ME: (nervous laughter) Wow. You really had me going there.
RICK: Well, I am an actor. So you know.
ME: Well it definitely shows. Classically trained I bet. Would I have seen you in anything?
RICK: Just some local theater stuff. I’m currently auditioning for a commercial in which I would play a Pez Dispenser. So, keep your fingers crossed.
ME: Good luck. Good luck. I didn’t realize Pez was still advertising. Wasn’t even really sure they were still around.
RICK: Oh it’s not for Pez. It’s for Zima.
ME: Ooohhhh. Also did not know they were still around.
RICK: Yea. It’s kind of a relaunch. The whole campaign actually attacks Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Talking about how it’s just a cheap knockoff. Zima is still the standard. The original. Still the best. That kind of thing.
ME: Hmmm. Don’t see where the Pez comes in but I will definitely be on the lookout for those.
RICK: For sure.
ME: Well, looks like it’s my turn to Barack the vote. That was a little pun there. So long.
RICK: Don’t forget. You can wear a hat, but you must have confidence.
ME: I'll remember that



The Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosts a huge celebration for The Day of the Dead. Hundreds or people show up to dance and eat and celebrate their fallen friends and family. I drove by the celebration and gawked at the enormous crowds. I also noticed a man selling hot dogs from a small cart. I did not meet this man, but here is the fake conversation we had outside the cemetery.

HOT DOG VENDOR: Would you like a hot dog wrapped in bacon?
ME: I don’t eat meat.
HDV: I also have hot dogs that are not wrapped in bacon.
ME: The hot dogs themselves are made of meat.
HDV: Are hot dogs meat?
ME: Sort of. I guess. Yes.
HDV: Are you enjoying El Dia de los Muertos?
ME: I would be enjoying this a lot more if I were dead. Not that I want to be dead. It’s just that this is the only day anyone is ever happy to see them – so it’s a good day for them. It must suck to be dead the other 364.25 days a year.
HDV: I don’t know. It might be fun to be a ghost. Have you ever seen Beetlejuice?
ME: Those people are miserable the entire movie.
HDV: Not at the end. (singing) Jump in de line, rock your body in time.
ME: OK, I believe you!
HDV: What brings you here? Is there someone buried here that you’re visiting?
ME: No. I just enjoy cemeteries. Used to hang out in them from time to time. Actually I enjoy them when they are deserted and quiet. But I thought it would be interesting to see one like this.
HDV: Have you ever robbed a grave?
ME: Ummm, I’m going to ignore that. But I have always wanted to dig a grave for some reason. A new one I mean. There’s something satisfying about digging a hole.
HDV: Would you like to dig a hole in my yard? You can.
ME: What an odd and generous offer. Do you need a hole in your yard for something?
HDV: No.
ME: Why would you let me dig a hole in your yard then?
HDV: Because you look like a guy who needs to dig a hole.
ME: I’m not sure what that means.
HDV: Well it wasn’t an insult. But it wasn’t a compliment either. Here’s my address. Come on by and dig whenever you want. You have to bring your own shovel though. Are you sure you don’t want a hot dog?
ME: Do you have a tofu pup?



After seeing a mediocre movie on Halloween, I went to Borders to find a new book. Browsing the bookshelves was a girl dressed in a slutty goth-like outfit. I did not meet this girl, but here is the fake conversation we had in the middle of the store.

ME: Is that a costume or do you dress like that normally? Sometimes on Halloween it’s hard to tell.
SGG: Is that a costume or do you dress like that normally? Sometimes on Halloween it’s hard to tell.
ME: I am wearing normal clothes. But you make an excellent point. I guess that’s one of those questions you don’t ask. Like there is a girl walking around here who may be pregnant or may be dressed as Juno or may just be fat. I can’t tell.
SGG: She’s just fat.
ME: Good thing I didn’t ask then. I see you’re looking through the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 4TH Edition). Are you a psych student or are you just self-diagnosing your insanity?
SGG: What do you think?
ME: I was a psych minor. So I would say you just picked up a random book and were standing here in a slutty leather outfit wanting people to gawk at you because you are starved for attention. And if anyone really stared at you, you’d probably pretend to be all hard and scream at them. “What they hell are you looking at you dumb fuck?” Something like that. Your insecurity most likely stems from daddy issues. You can read all about it on page 348 of the book you’re holding. How’d I do?
SGG: I’ll read it later and let you know.
ME: Did you read the DSM -III? Because if you didn’t then this one might be hard to follow. Like my wife wanted to go see High School Musical 3 and I said no way because I would be completely lost after not seeing the first 2.
SGG: I really don’t think you would be lost.
ME: Are you a big High School Musical fan?
SGG: I’d rather not answer that question.
ME: So yes.
SGG: Yes.
ME: You look more like a Twilight fan. You know – because of the fangs and the leather and the dead guy lying next to you with 2 holes in his neck with the blood pouring out of them.
SGG: Jim’s not dead. He’s just taking a nap. He had a lot of candy early today is crashing from his sugar high.
ME: I think I’ll go get a pumpkin spice latte. Nice meeting you. Enjoy the manual.
SGG: What are you reading?
ME: It’s Hard Out Here for a Shrimp by Pepe the Prawn. He’s a muppet.
SGG: Okay.