Monday, September 7, 2015

     In my Toastmaster organization, we time our speeches. Most are 5-7 minutes We have a system whereby a member holds up a green card at 5 minutes, a yellow card at 6 minutes and a red card at 7 minutes. The red card indicates that the speaker has only 30 seconds to wrap up his talk.

     I would love to have cards like this in social situations when people start their monologues that bore me out of my tree. Five to seven minutes would undo me, so I would say, perhaps, the same concept could be reduced to 1-2 minutes. Why do some people think you want to know every detail of their story? The ones that annoy me the most are the stories about people I don’t know, will never know or care to know. Does the storyteller need attention? Does the spouse of the storyteller ignore the other, and that’s why when he or she finds a captive audience, they just go for broke? The common ingredient to all of these bores is alcohol. Once the second or third drink kicks in, I know I’m in for an all-nighter. ugh.

     So, I would like a tiny card system that would not offend. Once the story begins, I would
listen for 60 seconds. I would flash the green card. At 1.30 seconds, I would flash the yellow card, and at 2 minutes, I would furiously wave the red card. Do you think I might lose some friends?These are the same people who know nothing about me or ever bother to ask, and whose life history I have heard multiple times. Maybe I need to go back and read the definition of “friendship.” Or better yet, maybe they should. The King said to Mozart, “Too many notes.” I say to some people, “Too many syllables.”

P.S.  See “the graceful exit” blog.