All my life when I wanted to tell someone about something, say; when I heard about a black labrador retriever who tried to “retrieve” a lobster trap (which was actually in the ocean, full of lobsters); all anyone wanted to know was what I considered unnecessary details:
- Where did the dog come from?
- Whose dog was it?
- Whose lobster trap was it?
- What day of the week was it?
- Did the family who owned the dog get to keep the lobsters (no, by the way)
…and so on. All I really wanted to talk about was the fact that the dog actually hauled that sucker nearly all the way back to shore. Isn’t that enough?
I don’t know how many times I’ve launched into a story about someone, something someone did, a pet that learned how to spell, or a singing donkey; you name it. All I wanted to say was the story part, not the who, what, when, where, why and how of it. Who cares? It happened, isn’t that the point?
Getting back to the dog (whose name was “RV” by the way), what does it matter if which cove the dog was swimming in, what time of day he tried to haul in a lobster trap, what was the name of the lobsterman who placed the trap where it was, and yadda, yadda, yadda. For me, the real story was that it was funny.
I can’t count how many times I’ve read or heard a story that just captivated me. All I want to do is share it with someone, so I start telling the tale and then here’s what always happens:
Me: “I heard the most wonderful story today—a little boy was with his parents at the ocean and—
OP (Other Person): “Which ocean?”
Me: “Um, the Atlantic, I guess. Anyway, the little boy found a glass bottle on the shore and it had a NOTE in it! He—”
OP: “What kind of bottle was it?”
Me: “What does it matter? The kid found the bottle and it had a real message in it!”
OP: “Well, did the bottle have a screw-top or a cork? Because if it had a cork, it would have broken down in the salt water and then the water would ruin the note, and—”
Me: “I don’t know what kind of top it had, but there was a note in it and the boy was able to get it out of the bottle, and—”
OP: “It must have been a screw-top then.”
Me: “Sure; whatever. Anyway, the boy was able to read the note and it said–”
OP: “How did he get the note out?”
Me: “I really don’t know, but he did get it out, and it turns out that the note was–”
OP: “Wait, wait—wouldn’t that note be illegible by then? I mean, even if it didn’t get wet, it probably was bobbing around the surface where the sun would get at it and fade it—”
Me: “The POINT of this story was that the note was signed with the boy’s great-grandfather’s name!”
OP: “Yeah, but wouldn’t it—”
Me: “Ok, we’re done here. Bye!”
OP: “Hey, wait! Aren’t you going to tell me what the note said?
Me: (walking away) “Doesn’t matter now. Bye!”
These days I am trying to just keep stuff like this to myself….as my late mother-in-law would have said, “Oy vey!” I couldn’t agree more.