Old guys constantly interrupt each other. Regular people do it as well, but do it to agree with, or to counter a point that was made. Old guys do it for a different reason. We interrupt because we’re afraid we’ll forget what we want to say. The thought will evaporate into thin air if we don’t get into the conversation immediately. And, when it does, we stop listening and spend our time trying to resurrect it from the murky sludge inside our skull.
It’s not hard to break into a conversation when the old guy talking runs into a memory block and says something like, “What was that guy’s name?” It creates a pause in his babbling, allowing for an easy path to grab the reins. When that doesn’t happen, and we can’t wait for an opening, we interrupt.
My friend Mike (with an S at the beginning and end of his name) has developed a counter measure to stop an interrupter. He hops back into the conversation, looks the guy in the eye and says, “Sorry I was talking while you were interrupting!” It throws him off. “Huh,” he responds, not quite getting the point. Too late! Mike is back in the driver’s seat.
One old coot conversation that takes place without interruption is what we call “Old Man Poker.” A guy will say he had a knee replaced. Another guy will say he’s had both knees replaced. A third will say, “Oh yea; I’ve had both knees done plus a hip.” It’s like a poker game when the betting is over and it’s time to declare your hand. On and on it goes in old man poker – knees – hips – shoulders, heart stents and so forth until someone comes in with a royal flush and says, “I haven’t had anything done; all my parts are intact and working fine.” We hate this guy. He won’t be invited back.
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