I had never been one with words, at least out loud. In middle school, verbal book reports would render me borderline hyperventilating into a small paper bag that was hidden under my desk. The night before, I would practice for hours until I could recite my speech, strawberry red in the face and Stepford wife-robotic in under 2 minutes flat.
The art of speech sometimes escapes me still. At times, I rely mostly on wild gesticulations and non-word noises like ‘Ooooh,’ ‘Urrrgh’, and ‘Blargleschborg’. Thank god this isn’t the case with written words. Give me something to write, and it’ll be obnoxiously executed in impeccable MLA format, with thesis and transition sentences intact. Heck, I can even throw in some properly used semi colons. If you’re lucky.
My little speech problem returned a few weeks ago, when I was in the presence of a very famous young billionaire. I respect this man deeply, as he has virtually improved the quality of my life one hundred fold by giving me the ability to surreptitiously stalk my friends and foes from past and present. Let’s call him Dark Buckerberg.
After bragging for weeks about how I would be the one to strike up appropriately breezy, intelligent, witty banter with Dark Buckerberg during the company holiday party, I had the eye of the tiger as I monitored his every move throughout the night. Finally, I saw him coming. I knew it was my moment. I had to make an (extremely platonic) move. As he walked past me, I gave him a very purposeful, firm tap on the shoulder (although some argue that it was a sloppy, open-handed slap on the forearm) I looked at him. With a quizzical expression, he did a double take at me. I got scared and ran away, obviously.
Immediately I regretted what I had done. Being so caught up in the initial tap, I hadn’t the foresight to think of what to say post tap. I hoped that like most young billionaires, his epidermis would be so hard and unfeeling from taking baths in tubs full of $1,000 bills that he wouldn’t notice the sudden hard tap from a perfect stranger.
It was not so.
Annoyed boyfriend: Go talk to Dark Buckerberg! He’s looking at you right now and he’s really confused.
Annoyed boyfriend: That is my CEO. I’m going to get fired. Now go say something!
Me, sheepishly: OK…
I walked back up to Dark Buckerberg, scurrying a bit in embarrassment. A deep breathe, and then…
Me: Thank you.
Another tap for him, but this time without a doubt on the forearm. One for his girlfriend too, for good measure. Blank, empty stares into my pathetic, worthless, soul came from both of them.
Thank you? Thank you for what? For the gin and tonic I was drinking? For employing my boyfriend? For creating the de-tag tool so that I could disassociate myself from all unflattering photos of me online?
And that concludes the time I physically assaulted Time’s man of the year.