The following dialogue was inspired by an actual conversation. No friendships ended as a result of this interaction.
Joe: That’s interesting.
Aaron: What made it interesting?
Joe: It held my interest.
Aaron: That’s tautological.
Joe: What does tautological mean?
Aaron: It’s a kind of circular argument, like something is interesting because it held your interest. So, what’s interesting about what I said?
Joe: No, you see, it’s not what you said, so much as the way you said it and, of course, the fact that it was, indeed, you who said it. Like, remember that time you said that our boss was having an affair with the man she kept insulting at work and then, lo and behold, she was?
Aaron: Yes, I remember that was because she was having an affair with you.
Joe: Oh, right. Good times.
Aaron: Can you tell me how what I said interested you?
Joe: But, first, did you read the latest thing about Donald Trump?
Aaron: Which one?
Joe: The one where he’s mad at the media and the media is reporting about stuff he says isn’t true.
Aaron: You’re going to have to be more specific than that.
Joe: You want specifics? How about Russia?
Aaron: What about it? It’s a country.
Joe: You’re funny.
Aaron: Stop calling me funny and tell me what Trump and the media are disagreeing about.
Joe: Are you angry?
Aaron: I’m trying to have a conversation.
Joe: Conversation. That’s interesting.
Aaron: What’s interesting?
Joe: It’s like the way you’re looking at me right now. You know what I mean?
Joe: You have your eyes open and your eyebrows are up, like you’re expecting me to say something interesting, when, you know, you’re the one who always says interesting things. I read interesting things. This
morning, I read something compelling about Trump and the media.
Aaron: OK, let’s go with that. What was compelling about it?
Joe: It was just, you know, well, maybe you wouldn’t think it’s compelling and maybe you knew it already, which means I probably don’t have to tell you.
Aaron: I want to talk about something.
Joe: We are talking about something. We’re talking about me and you and this weather. You know what I’m saying?
Aaron: Not really.
Joe: The weather is all around us, right? And, it’s all around everyone else. Except that, when people are somewhere else, the weather around them isn’t the same as it is here. So, to experience weather, you really have to be here.
Aaron: Right, uh huh. Go on.
Joe: Now you’re looking at me differently. You’re frowning. You need to laugh more often. That’s your problem.
Aaron: I don’t have a problem. I’m trying to have a conversation.
Joe: About what?
Aaron: Well, a few minutes ago, you said what I said was interesting and I’ve been waiting patiently to find out what you thought was interesting about it.
Joe: Oh. Let me think. I’m going to replay the entire conversation in my head and then I’ll let you know.
Aaron: Right, sure.
Joe: No, really. Was it before or after the conversation about the weather?
Joe: See, I was listening. I remembered that we talked about the weather.
Aaron: You weren’t listening to me. You were listening to you. You brought up the weather.
Joe: Right, OK, I have a confession to make. I wasn’t listening to what you said all that closely, but I know it was interesting.
Aaron: What part? Do you remember any of the conversation?
Joe: Not really. I have to go. It’s been nice chatting with you.