Posted on June 5th, 2009
I am pretty much clueless when it comes to rhetorical questions.
I just thought I'd put that out there. This way, if we ever meet, there won't be an uncomfortable moment for you when you say "How are you?" and I respond with a ten minute dissertation on that strange burning sensation when I urinate. Or when you say something like "Why me?" and I give you a lecture on how God really doesn't like you very much, and your current plight is probably because The Almighty is punishing you for all that sinful masturbation.
It's a tragic character flaw, but at least now I know that I have a problem with rhetorical questions.
There was once a time that I was clueless about being clueless about rhetorical questions.
But all that changed one day thanks to my friend Oliver.
Olver is a very cool, very British, former co-worker who is incredibly fond of saying "Well that's not right, now is it?" when faced with a situation gone wrong. He says it constantly. There'd be a pickle on his sandwich when he asked for no pickle... "Well that's not right, now is it?" A print-out would be smeared with ink... "Well that's not right, now is it?" A woman with an unfortunate haircut would walk by... "Well that's not right, now is it?"
With most people, this would be annoying as hell, but when spoken with Oliver's posh English accent it never got old.
Apparently what was annoying was my constantly answering Oliver whenever he said "Well that's not right, now is it?"
Because one day when Oliver said "Well that's not right, now is it?" after the wrong text was placed in a document... I replied with "No, it most certainly isn't right!" and Oliver shot back with "THAT WAS A BLOODY RHETORICAL QUESTION! OF COURSE I KNOW IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!"
All I could say was "Oh, sorry!" and admit to myself that I have a problem.
This was only reinforced today when I was getting help at the drugstore and a very smelly woman waiting behind me mumbled "How much longer is this going to take?" Apparently I was asking too many questions about the right kind of splint to buy for my sprained finger.
Given my smart mouth, I really shouldn't have answered that particular rhetorical question...