Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Cranky Debate

Friday night Kellen and I went to a debate. It was a packed room, and at the beginning of the debate it was made clear to the audience that the expectation was respect would be shown to the debaters no matter which side of the question you supported. I wish the moderator would have included a plea for showing respect for the person sitting next to you.

On my left was my son. That was the good side. On my right was a guy with a camera so large I am not sure I would have been able to lift it to take a picture. He was clearly taking photos to include in some kind of publication. His gigantic camera was attached to his phone in a way I didn't quite understand, and every time he took a picture he entered something in his phone. He took a lot of pictures.

That camera spent a large part of the evening parked within 10 centimetres of my right ear. Not only was it huge, it was also loud. And very, very annoying. If it had just been the camera I might have been able avoid feeling cross. Unfortunately this guy felt the need to fill every moment he wasn't taking pictures with snide remarks. So much for respect.

Added to that was the noxious scent some debate attendee was wearing. I have an aversion to strong scents, and this one was particularly offensive. As the evening wore on my head began to feel like it might explode, and it wasn't from the weighty topic being debated.

The final Q&A period was also annoying. The point of a Q&A is to ask a question and get an answer. Without exception every person who went up to the mike felt it their duty to make a speech of some kind, try to push their own agenda, or ridicule their supposed foe. Even when the moderator would ask them to pose a question they seemed to have a hard time doing so. In my book it is not really a question if it includes a three minute preamble.

I know. I really shouldn't go out after 6:00 PM. It just isn't my time of the day. The one redeeming feature of the evening was I got a lot knit on my current sock project. The camera guy sitting next to me probably didn't realize it, but it was a good thing for him too as it was the only thing that kept me from reaching over and slapping him. Okay, I might not have really ever slapped him, but it kept me from thinking I might like to.

Here are my Zauberball Crazy socks, hot off the needles. It took four tries to get a good picture. I will include all four so you can see why it was so hard.


Sock attack from the right

Sock attack from the left
I'm innocent!


I was able to get this picture by holding Fergus back and using my zoom. A talent I am sure the camera guy from the debate does not possess.



12 comments:

  1. OH I'd have been all riled up too! You hit on all the things that make me furious, and sick. The rudeness of the "camera" guy...he should've moved to an aisle, or to the back...and the noxious perfume, I had to give up going to movies on traditional date nights...and the Q&A that's really just a forum for jerks to listen to themselves. You are a model of decency -- especially compared to me. :)

    And the socks, 100% delightful.

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    1. I think my inner rage and urge to slap the guy disqualify me from being a model of decency. I was saved by the sock knitting, and the fact Kellen was sitting next to me. I try not to humiliate my kids in public. :-)

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  2. Very funny! The best part is the dog....
    Q&A What was the subject of the debate?
    Linda McG.

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    1. I better not state the debate topic or I might start up a mini-debate here! And to be honest, after Friday night I am kind of burned out as fas as debates go. Let's just say it was about a question as old as time itself, and not one that will ever have a definitive answer. :-) It's nice to see you comment Linda!

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  3. You are very restrained (and polite)! I think I would have told Camera Guy off in no uncertain terms. (When I reached the half century mark, I adopted a new motto - Fifty and Feisty.) And don't get me started on the topic of personal fragrance...when we had our house up for sale, I got sick of coming home after showings to find the house reeking of perfume/aftershave etc. I think it's incredibly rude to impose those volatile fumes on other people. Okay, end of rant...

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    1. You are giving me way more credit than I deserve! I was very seriously annoyed. In hindsight I should have said something to the guy. Or had a strategically placed double pointed knitting needle. :-)

      That is gross about coming back to your house and having it smell like perfume. It is bad enough in public. To be invaded in your own home would be awful.

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  4. I don't think the 'after 6 pm' is the key part here...it's sitting beside a very rude person. Personally I may have 'accidentally' jabbed him with some knitting needles! And as for the question/answer period... YES! I've been to so many wildlife meetings/seminars where the same thing is done...long speeches with absolutely no question in sight. Annoying.

    The 3rd picture of the socks is my favorite. And nice socks at that!

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    1. The thing about after 6 PM is my tolerance levels go way down. I wish I had thought of the knitting needle "accident" during the event. :-)

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  5. Sorry you had to sit next to such a rude person. Were you ever tempting to let one of your needles slip??? I'm not sure what the seating was like at the event, but when I attend public activities that have folding chairs for the audience, I try to sit on the end (after moving my chair six inches into the aisle).

    Not humiliating the kids is a good policy, but slightly embarrassing them once in a while can be fun.

    PS - Yes, I think marijuana should be legalized and taxed. The tobacco industry is fading and our governments need a new sin tax to keep the wheels of civilization turning. I've never tried it myself, but hard to imagine it would be as dangerous as our legal alcohol. :)

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    1. Several suggestions have been made for a needle "accident." I only wish I had been quick-witted enough to think of that idea during the debate! I will try to remember your seating suggestion if and when I attend such an event again. And that would be a big "if."

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  6. I am continually astounded by the way people behave in public. I have to remind myself that for every rude person who is a nuisance there are many more who are kind and polite. Restraint is usually your best option, because I'm sure those needles would be considered a weapon! I empathize with your picture troubles - for me it's the cat! You mean you didn't put that on the floor for me??

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    1. You have made a good point. It is easy to notice the one obnoxious person (who I had the unfortunate bad luck of sitting next to) and forget that the rest of the audience was being well-behaved. :-)

      It's funny, but our cat never goes after my yarn, and I could take as many pictures as I wanted and she would never come near the project. Maybe it is because she is old and Fergus is still a puppy.

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