Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Loud Talkers

There are loud mouths, big mouths and loud talkers.

Yes, there is a difference, and they are not to be confused with those who have loud voices. I have a voice that carries – a loud voice if you will. When I whisper, they can hear me in Paraquay. Growing up, this caused me a lot of problems. If a group of kids was carrying on, I was the one who got yelled at because my voice was the loudest and the only one anyone heard.

In musical theater, it was a godsend.  I never needed to be miked. I was once called a male Ethel Merman. I am still trying to figure out if that was a compliment. In situations where someone leaves his lights on, they always come to me and ask that I get everyone’s attention and make an announcement. For this reason, I never talk on my cell phone on public transit. No matter how hard I try, the whole world is going to hear my conversation.  

Loud mouths blabber everything to everyone. Tell a loud mouth a secret, and the world will know it in less than 24 hours. From across a crowded room, “My wife tells me you were fired. I bet you never saw that one coming.”

Big mouths also blabber, but they tell your secrets to whomever you are nearest. You are standing in a bar, next to a really hot guy, and the big mouth walks up to you and your future husband, points to you and says to Mr. Right, “You should have seen this guy last week. Scratching like there was no tomorrow. Crabs are a bitch I always say. Don’t you?”  

Loud talkers are different. They are just loud, and what they have to say has nothing to do with you. They won’t tell your secrets because your life is of no interest to them. The more boring their lives, the louder they get.

The loud talkers always pop up when you really don’t want to hear anyone else’s chatter. They love busses and restaurants. For some reason, they don’t ride trains. People read or sleep on trains.

Back in the day, the loud talker was the big guy in the big suit in the middle table of the restaurant going on and on about his latest business deal. If you listened carefully, you learned that he sold ball bearings. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but how fascinating can ball bearings be? I guess to another ball bearing salesman – very.

Today, the loud talkers use their cell phones to let the world know all their business. One day, I was sitting next to a man on the bus, and behind us, a relatively attractive young woman was carrying on a very loud conversation on her cell phone that went like this.

“I don’t know why I cannot meet the right guy. I never get a second date.”

“These guys have issues with commitment. I call them the next day, and they don’t answer their phones.”

“You should have seen how the last one dressed.”

“I usually screw them on the first date because I never seem to get a second date.”

“He couldn’t get it up.”  

I said to the guy next to me, “It is a wonder she gets a first date.”

Then there was the woman who spent twenty minutes explaining the difference between corn and tortilla chips or something like that. When she got to her stop, she was still talking and held the door, so she could finish her explanation before stepping out into the rain. Without realizing it, I said out loud, “Get the hell off the bus,” and of course, everyone heard me – and smiled.

When I was a teenager, I would get my hair cut at a beauty school, I told you about earlier. One day, a woman I knew was in there getting her hair set. Mind you, a hair cut cost $3 and a wash and set cost $7. Her style was similar to Jackie Onassis in the 1970s. Picture shoulder length hair that is teased and combed straight back with a thin ribbon wrapped from underneath the back then behind her ears and tied in a bow at the top of her head. While they were finishing her do, she kept saying in the loudest voice as she retied the thin bow, “It is a classic style. I have been wearing it like this for years. It will never go out of style. I get compliments all the time.”

Well, everyone looked at her, and I need not tell you what they were thinking.

The sad thing is I knew her, and I also knew her husband was going through some difficult financial times, so I figured she was overcompensating. I also did not tell anyone I saw her there. In spite of what my mother would say about my being a big mouth, I wasn’t.

Speaking of hair, the other day I was at my new favorite barbershop getting my $9 do, when this young guy walked in and started his loud talking. He was sitting two chairs down from me, and I heard – well, everyone heard:

“I bet you never expected me to let my hair get this long. I don’t use shampoo anymore. I figured my hair would get nasty, but you can see it isn’t at all.” The barber cringed.

“I don’t wear deodorant anymore. I want my body to sweat.” Obviously, he doesn’t know the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant or how they work. I’m glad I was two chairs away.

“Yeah, I moved back home. It’s great. I take care of my little brother. My mother cooks for me and does my laundry. It’s great.” That isn’t what your mother said.

“I quit college. Who needs an education? I work in my uncle’s take out across the street. It’s great.” How lovely.

While he was getting his hair cut, his parents were dumping all his belongings on the curb, fumigating his room, and changing the locks.

As I always say. Life often writes itself.

If you know or are a loud talker, get on my email list, follow me, join me, share me.

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