Saturday, October 01, 2005

Eccentric City (warning: naughty word included)

The following is a fair approximation of a recent converstation between an Air Canada flight attendant and myself.

FA: Would you like something to drink, sir?

Me: Yes, could I please have an unopened can of Coke?

FA: (puzzled) You just want me to open it?

Me: No, I want you NOT to open it.

FA: (still puzzled) You want one that's already opened?

Me: No, I want one that's never been opened.

FA: (pause) Oh, okay.

Now, I don't fault the flight attendant for not getting what I wanted, right away, and I give her credit for happily giving me what I asked for once she knew what that was.

But it did make me wonder what I would have said if she had asked me why I wanted an unopened can of pop. The long answer is something like this: I like to have the can because if they just pour you a cup, you hardly get any, especially if there's ice, AND the can is better than the cup on the plane because it's less likely to spill, AND I like the feel of the can in my hand, AND I enjoying popping the little tab at the top because I like the sound as well as the pleasant aroma.

But you can't explain all that on the plane, now can you?

So what I would have said is this. Why do I want it that way? Because I'm an eccentric.

I was quite pleased when I thought of that, because it seems like a good way of explaining the vast number of strange elements of my character. Why do I divide my clothes into Tier 1 and Tier 2? Why do I insist on desserts with no fruit involved? Why do I carry my own lectern to class (and it's not a podium by the way)?

I'm an eccentric.

Eccentric is not crazy, of course. An eccentric is just someone who likes something a certain way and isn't too intimidated to suppress or hide that desire. I suspect that most people are closet eccentrics, they've just been to ashamed to admit it.

Well, I say no more. Say it with me. I'm eccentric, I'm here, get used to it, don't fuck with me.


Iain Dughlais said...


I've heard it expressed that poor people are crazy, rich people are eccentric. I like your definition better.

PS There are no naughty words, only naughty intentions! ;)

I think fuck is a pleasent word. It excites more laughter than fear.

K said...

I prefer to have an even number of candy, and have been known to give the odd candy back. I've taken to counting the candy first so its not as wierd when I give someone back a candy ten minutes after they gave me candy. Then it seems like, I've been filled somehow by ten candy when in truth I simply don't want to ask for a twelfth. The reason for this eccentricity? I prefer to chew the same amount of food with either side of my mouth so that when I get older my teeth, should they ever fall out, would fall out symmetrically.

I'm not sure if this is eccentric or OCD.

Patrick Marsh said...

Wow, you used a naughty word. Well placed too. I actualy searched for the naughty word, after reading the rest of the entry. It makes you seem more.....human....the Illuminati like that.

Anywhoo, there's a huge difference between OCD and being an eccentric. OCD is flicking a lightswitch on and off 30 times before and after you leave a room, or washing your hands frequently because you can feel the germs crawling on your skin. Being an eccentric is just a sign of extreme organized though, IMO.

K said...

I'm not sure anyone said OCD and eccentricity were the same, but I do dissagree that eccentricity is a sign of organization. If you like to give everyone you see wearing a strawhat $20 you are eccentric, but not necissarily organised. Further, though I would discribe Todd as Organised, his eccentricities are not organisational per se.