And welcome back to the comic, John. I thought it had been a little too long, since John made an appearance.
This week’s comic is a true story. Well, actually, the entire webcomic is pretty much a true story, but this week’s strip exists with far fewer embellishments than usual. Most strips are based off of my everyday experiences, but the exact circumstances and wording undergo some careful adjustments for appropriate storytelling. This week’s strip, however, is an encounter relayed to me by John from one of his LA bar experiences. While I cannot verify that the stranger in this particular encounter was in fact a wedding planner, the rest of the strip is a pretty close retelling of the tale as it was told to me.
It is also a damn good representation of my perception of the outside world. I dislike strangers. On some level I have been known to dislike people altogether. The truth is, I don’t mingle well with people I don’t know. I don’t ease into conversation, I don’t exude confidence and charm, and by and large I just don’t react well to large crowds of people that I do not know. For that matter, I don’t respond well to small crowds of people that I don’t know, or hell, even two or three people.
Strangers are an unknown variable. As children we are taught not to trust them. We are told the strangers with candy stories for good reasons. At some point, I guess, we are supposed to take the moral of that story to heart, and move on with our lives. Me, I still don’t trust them.
I follow the change is bad, philosophy. And when has that ever gone wrong?
The point is, when I step out of my apartment, and into the world, this is my worldview. Each and every stranger is just one more unknown variable, one more threat, one more change to and violation of my everyday routine. I am wary of each and every one of them. This is why it is so difficult for my friends to get me out to a bar. One, I like solitude, so the crowd itself is a problem. Two, as is blatantly obvious, I am not a fan of strangers, which I know are going to be crowding and pushing through every inch of an LA bar. Three, well, points one and two are enough for me.
The moral of this story: thank you, John for sharing this true encounter. Now, I have one more real life example of the awkwardness of forced conversations with strangers, of their potential fascination with dangerous pastimes (like drug-trafficking), and of the hazards of the LA bar scene. Next time I’m asked out, I think I will stay at home.
Unless of course your bribe me with a fine PBR. Then I might have to reconsider.