He’s Plotting My Death

Today, I’m going to tell you guys about my imminent doom. Sound a bit melodramatic? Good. That’s what I was going for.

As you’ve all probably figured out, I have a slight dependency on caffeine…slight. Anywho, this of course means that like many other stereotypical 20-something/wanna-be writers, I spend a disproportional amount of my “free” time in coffee shops- mainly Starbucks because it is only a block away from my apartment(go ahead and roll your eyes and groan, it’s OK, I don’t blame you).

ANYWAY- due to the significant amount of time spent at this particular Starbucks (no, stalkers, I’m not telling you where it is, nice try), I have not only become a regular, but I have also learned to recognize the other regulars. Some of my favorites include:

-The Two English Teachers who are also total Bros: 30-40 year old chums (I say chums because they are English, and have awesome accents) they come in frequently to swap teaching stories and argue over grammatical errors

-The mom with the three cute little kids who come in to drink “coffee” (fruit smoothies) and play with puzzles.

-The old lady who comes in for several shots of espresso. No joke, she always starts with one, then goes back up 2 or 3 times. She is all I aspire to be as a future old lady.

-Sir Hipster and his Lovable Mutt: This guy makes the list because he is just cool. He rocks an actual top-hat and a swanky overcoat, and he sits outside with his dog (a total mutt but the most well trained dog I’ve ever seen, and very friendly) when it’s warm enough and plays gypsy-style guitar music. Coolness factor: maximum.

Of course, with the sweets come the sours. Although a majority of the regulars are seemingly wonderful people, there is always ONE CREEP that ruins the experience. In my case, the creep has been nicknamed Mr.McMeanMugs. The name sounds a little cutesy, but that’s on purpose. It helps me cope with the fact that there is nothing cute about the fact that I see this guy on a regular basis, or rather, that he makes it a point to see me.

Have you ever been able to visualize Old MacDonald? You know, the farmer with all of the talking animals and the weird obsession with vowel sounds? Whenever I pictured him as a kid I saw an old, slightly plump man in over-alls and a flannel shirt, a balding head and a long white beard. (Yes I know, stereotypes are bad, shame on me and children’s literature, shame shame shame). But guys, seriously, this could not be a more accurate description of McMeanMugs, except he has no talking animals and he is possibly the angriest looking gentleman I have ever had the displeasure of sitting next to awkwardly.

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Seriously, this is an EXACT replica of McMeanMugs in toon version. He has the cane, and the beard, and the glasses, and the anger. It’s him.

To be fair, typically, when I see a grumpy old man in a public place, I assume he is just a lonely old codger and he is simply looking for human interaction. Naturally, however, 9 times out of 10 I couldn’t be more wrong. This situation is no exception.

Initially, I sympathized with McMeanMugs, and I tried to play nice. My first interaction with him was on a particularly chilly Wednesday evening. The coffee shop we were in was PACKED, so seating options were few and far between, which meant I had to sit next to strangers despite my strong feelings against doing so. As fate would have it, I got to placed next to McMeanMugs.

He was no more happy about this than I was, and he made that very clear with about 16 overly exaggerated “hurumphs”. He made this ugly little throaty growl noise whenever I moved, or typed something, or blinked. Finally, in an attempt to make peace with the creep, I made the worst decision possible. I said hello.

That’s it. That’s all. One measly little “um, Hello” to ease the tension was all it was, and now I’m doomed to die. Why You ask? That’s a great question. As an introvert myself, I understand a little resentment towards being forced to interact with people, but I have never (ok, very rarely) had homicidal thoughts after someone says “Hello”. McMeanMugs obviously operates a little differently.

In the history of mean mugs, this guy has the meanest mug of them all. (For those of you who have never heard this expression. here’s Urban Dictionary’s rendition):

1.

Mean Mug:

to give someone the evil eye or to stare them down while wearing an angry expression

In response to my greeting, McMeanMugs began staring me down…and he HASN’T STOPPED SINCE. Seriously guys, this incident happened at least 5 months ago now, and every time he and I end up at my second home at the same time, he makes a point to sit either close to me or directly across from me and stare at me the WHOLE time. He thinks I haven’t noticed his creepery or something, every time I glance up at him, he looks away for two seconds, then looks back at me as if I didn’t just completely bust him.

As this little game of ours goes on, I have been trying different tactics to suggest to him passive-aggressively to BACK THE FLIP OFF. So far, none of them have worked. I will, of course keep trying, but I make no promises of victory.

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I’ve tried mimicking his mean mug from across the room…

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I’ve tried confronting him telepathically…

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I’ve even tried looking as pathetic as possible to try and appeal to his human sense of pity or empathy. I have determined he does not possess either…

Since none of my brilliant attempts at discouraging this loon from staring me down every week have proven to be successful, I have come to a horrific conclusion; he is plotting my death. It all adds up. He watches my EVERY move to learn my habits, to memorize my movements so he can analyze any weaknesses I may have (and since I almost always spill something or trip, he has probably realized that he’s got plenty of material to work with).

So, friends, it is highly possible that this will be my last post. Clearly I sat next to a homicidal freak on that fateful day 5 months ago and it is only a matter of time before he ends my awkward life. His vendetta towards human interaction is so severe that it has evolved into a murderous, sinister death plot for all those who dare interact with him. Surely I, AmyTheKlink, will shortly be mean-mugged to death. It has been a pleasure knowing you all.

Say something nice at my funeral will you?

-Klink

The Box : Captioning Capers

Hello Fellow Awkwardites!

This is probably the part where I should apologize for my absence in the past oh, 8 zillion weeks…but I don’t wanna! Instead, I am going to craft a ridiculous excuse, but I’ll try to make it funny. So before you roll your eyes (too late?) Let me explain why I have been a bad blog mom recently.

As much as I would love to exist solely in coffee shops and do nothing but record my random thoughts for your enjoyment, unfortunately, life is cruel, and that means I have to like…be responsible and succeed and junk. Most weeks, my life consists of school, then work, then school work, then work school (wait, what?) ANYWAY, I find that I have very little free time – especially lately.

First, there is school, which apparently I am supposed to sell my soul to in order to graduate or whatever. Naturally, I disagree with this theory, but alas, society thinks otherwise. Plus, my family is pretty amazing, and someday I would like to be able to spoil them as much as they’ve spoiled me, and that requires a certain amount of success/accomplishment/soul-selling…so regrettably, society wins this round.

Beyond school, a vast ,majority of my time goes to The Box. This is the cute little nickname I’ve given my job – because sincerely, I work in a box. It is a lovely box, if you like gray cubicle walls and literally NOTHING else. The job itself isn’t so awful. I can’t tell you too much about it because the clients we work for are super secret spy-ninjas and they like their privacy. Just kidding, They are actually just really really REALLY  old and like their privacy. I work for a company that provides real-life telephone captions for those who are hard of hearing, or who would rather not listen  to people so they just re-read the conversations later instead. (You think I’m joking, I’m not).

Due to the fact that some phone conversations are more private than others, I had to sign a million and two confidentiality agreements in order to work at The Box, so I am not allowed to give you names, or specific details because if I do my boss will show up in my apartment in the middle of the night and stuff me in a trunk and drive into the river with me in it…or maybe I’ll just offend a bunch of old people and lose my job, it’s basically the same thing. HOWEVER, one thing they can’t prevent me from doing is making my job a bit more enjoyable by making it funny. (take that, FCC!)

Naturally, providing real-life captions means that I have to re-voice EVERYTHING I hear the clients say, whether it is appropriate or not. This alone sets me up for some…interesting experiences. In addition, the voice-to-text software we use gets a little confused sometimes, so occasionally even if I say the right words, it guesses wrong, and the result is usually horrifying and/or hilarious, never both.

Over the course of my employment at The Box, I have compiled a list of some of the best (and the worst) captioning errors that have popped up on my screen and deeply confused the octogenarians on the other end of my line. The following is a list of some of my favorites, and also some that were just too gruesome to ignore. Keep in mind, these were all real conversations between two actual people – most of them 80+ year-olds. I hope you enjoy!

CAPTIONING CAPERS ( terrible guesses made by stupid technology that could’ve gotten me fired if I didn’t catch them)

*KEY: The captions that appeared are  in the original sentence, the errors are in bold, and the correct words that should have appeared are in parenthesis

*NOTE: Some of the language that comes up is..less than appropriate. So if you don’t like swear words or references to certain…eh hem, private parts of the human body, don’t keep reading. Also if you are 13 years old and under, don’t show this to your parents or you and I will probably both get grounded.

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– “You know, that thing Fat Kelly said?” (that)

– “Ok, well, we just wanted to call and say you suck! Bye bye!” (good luck) (this was a conversation between a 10 year old and his Gramma)

-“We always have to bring our own dope when we travel; those little containers they give you in hotel rooms just don’t cut it. “(soap)

-“Well I finally got my new crotch door installed. It was more expensive than I thought.” (garage)

-“Did you remember to call Bitchy today?” (Richie)

– “Alrighty, Mom, give hell! Love you!” (get well)

– “Thanks Freaky, take care,” (Franky)

– “I’m always in the mood for good rapes.” (ribs)

-“We went out and bought a great big bunch of sweet porn yesterday.” (corn)

-“I go to Nipples to shop all the time.”(Naples)

-“Yeah,he took another job; it pays a… whore or something.” ( uh…more)

-“Don’t forget to take your stripper cassette!” (percocet)

-“I added some excrement to my tea and it tastes much better that way.” (extra mint)

-“It finally stopped raining, spank Bob.” (thank God)

-” Yea, I’ll be home soon but I have to stop and get a full tank of cats first.” (gas)

– Oh kill the kids!” (fiddlesticks)

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If you feel a little guilty chuckling at some of these, just imagine how I felt when they came up during one of my calls. Fortunately, I don’t totally suck at my job, so I was able to correct these before they did any damage – but even so, if this isn’t a prime example of how technology is out to make things more awkward for all of us, then I don’t know what is. Spank Bob for quality control! (thank God).

‘Til next time Awkward-teers! I will try to be an actual person and update you on my misadventures on a more regular basis from now on.

Awkwardly Yours,

-Klink