So many terrible things going on in the world. Death, war, famine, Heidi Montag. You really want to put some good out there today. You don’t usually talk to strangers out of the blue, but a strange feeling is stirring in you this morning – the need to interact with your fellow human beings in a jovial and compassionate manner.
You wonder if you might have a fever. You grab a thermometer.
You do have a fever, but that’s not going to stop you from spreading the joy in your heart, along with perhaps a few harmless (probably) germs. You set out for the day and immediately begin complimenting everyone you see. “Nice hat!” you shout to your neighbor. “Love those shoes!” you say to the mailman. “Are those new fishnets?” you ask the corner prostitute. You know your fashion.
But you’re not just a shallow, superficial mouthpiece. You move on from clothing, wriggling deeper and deeper into the psyche of humanity. “How are the kids?” you ask your grocer when you purchase a kumquat. “New hip treating you right?” you query an elderly woman as you wander into the old folks’ home. “Have you been working out?” you ask the security guard as he escorts you off the premises. You’re making so many new friends!
Once safely back on the sidewalk with a brand spanking new restraining order, you decide to spend a little time in the park. “Adorable shorts!” you shout at a nearby lad. “I love your pigtails!” you yell at a little girl. “Where are you going?” you demand of the hordes of parents dragging their kids away in alarm.
Finally, your gaze comes to rest on a rather portly woman whose tummy bump can only mean one thing: a baby’s on the way! You saunter over with a spring in your step and a gleam in your eye. Beaming from ear to ear, you tap her on the shoulder and cry, “Congratulations on the little bundle of joy!”
Why isn’t she smiling? Why is she reaching into her purse? Why won’t she — is that pepper spray?
She scowls angrily as you stare a little harder at the voluminous folds of her muumuu, and suddenly it clicks. She’s not pregnant! She’s just morbidly obese! Your mouth goes dry and you rapidly lose the power of speech, grasping for an apology that you both know will never come. You look around frantically, as if maybe someone else said what just came out of your mouth. But there’s no escaping it. You’re an idiot. You’ve just ruined this poor woman’s day, and, quite possibly, her life. Well done.
So if you want to suck at life, congratulate a woman on her fictional baby. As you flee in terror, embarrassment, and spicy excruciating pain in the ear, nose, and throat area, you once again remind yourself of the lesson learned today: never talk to anyone, ever again.