I like to listen to how people talk. Diction, pronunciation, enunciation, accents, all these things make me giddy- I especially get a kick out of when things are pronounced wrong or words are horribly misused. This quirk of mine is so bad that I will randomly break out into fits of laughter at constant use of lowercase words on a page (or chat program, or Twitter post, or what have you). I don’t know why, it just does. Unfortunately, this makes me a bit of an ass during some conversations, as I will purposely steer some social encounters down horrible social roads so I can visualize my own perceived bits of hilarity and laugh on the inside.
Case in point! One day I was in the break room at lunch when the conversation steered to how much a co-worker’s food cost for the day- she paid somewhere along the line of $10 for some carryout food, and with me being… uh, “me”, I randomly offered this nugget of wisdom:
“You know, we’re going to have to start saving money around here since this place can’t pay any bills . They might fire us any day now. Time to stock up on Rice-A-Roni!”
“What’s that,” the coworker asked. I waited for her to give me some sign that she was joking. She didn’t. I dove on in anyway.
“It’s the San Francisco Treat! You don’t know what Rice-A-Roni is?”
“No, what is it?”
I was at a loss because I didn’t know how to exactly explain what Rice-A-Roni was. It just is, you know?
I tried anyway.
“It’s that rice in a box that you get in the store and you cook it and-“
The look on her face was one of disgust.
“Nuh uh, that’s poor people’s food, I’d never eat that.”
The break room instantly chimed in with “HUH?!”s and “WHAT?!”’s and “UH UH!” and all other sorts of monosyllabic expressions of shock and discontent. My brain did the usual thing does when I hear something I don’t quite understand- it cursed about the situation as I analyzed it due to the one part of it that wasn’t going nuts.
IF YOU SLOW THE WORLD DOWN, THIS IS HOW MY BRAIN WORKS… ALLEGEDLY.
QUESTION #1: In the confines of this conversation, what is classified as “poor people’s food”?
ANSWER: Food you can buy for cheap, i.e. Rice-A-Roni.
LAME CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN EFFECT: In that regard, there’s lots of “poor people’s food” out there according to this person’s reasoning- the Dollar Menu at your favorite fast food restaurant (which this person also goes to and complains about the diced onions on their McDouble), economically awesome sales at your local grocer (A sale on frozen burritos?! Yes please! That’s dinner, a late night snack, and for those crazy Sunday mornings… breakfast!), etc, etc. In short, “poor people’s food” covers a lot of stuff in this case. Food is food, right? Food in your stomach is a plus, and being able to obtain that food without destroying your funds is a double plus.
Maybe this means that we’re all poor, and my coworker is rich!
IN CONCLUSION: I find myself in the middle of odd conversations a lot.
AND THAT’S HOW I GRADUATED COLLEGE IN FOUR YEARS… LAME CRITICAL THINKING AT ITS FINEST
I started thinking about all the cheap food I like that other people probably wouldn’t touch (Oh hi, ramen noodles!) and I came to another (lame) conclusion- who cares about what we eat as long as we’re happy with it?