I was in the shower yesterday and overheard, out the open window, some guy on the street saying, “What?! What?! What?! What?! What?!”. Now, this was loud enough that I could hear it on the fifth floor and over the noise of the shower, but it made me laugh. I thought, “he must be on his phone”. He kept saying the “What?!” really loudly for nearly 10 minutes straight. I dried off and walked to the Kitchen to look out to the street. Sure enough, the guy was walking around yelling “what?!” every so often, but he wasn’t talking on the phone.
This guy was ranting at every passerby, whether they acknowledged his existence or not. The fact that it looked like he had no pants on, and only a long shirt, might have been the reason for the yelling. I think he was on something. It’s sad when thinking someone was on drugs is kinder than thinking they weren’t.
Anyhow, this occurrence got me thinking. Have you ever told a story about something like this, in which you acted out the crazy person’s activities? If so, you fall into the category I’ve now determined must be necessary in this world: the “crazy acting person talking about the crazy acting person”. If I overheard someone talking about a belligerent person while they were in a public place, and I didn’t hear that this was a story being told; I would conclude that the story teller was, in fact, a belligerent person.
I’m not saying there aren’t thousands/ millions of crazies out there. I’m thinking there’s plenty of crazy to go ’round. I’m just proposing that there might be a lot of misunderstood expressive communicators out there.
Anyhow, be aware of your whole audience, not just your intended audience, when telling these types of stories, and you’ll be o.k.