I slipped out of my home and blended into the urban landscape. Nothing to notice here. Just another lost soul looking miserable and drifting along with the tides of refuse dotted across the city. For good measure I even added a limp which wasn’t that much of a stretch since my ankle was still smarting from being smashed on a rock during our last whitewater rafting trip. (A story that has yet to be told.)
No fedora, tattoos, Nike footwear, North Face jacket or 1890’s neckbeards for me. I was projecting identity that screamed, “Leave me the fuck alone.” It helps a lot to be ugly and look as grim as possible.
And so it was I moved silently through the city. Which is rather odd for me since I seldom leave the house. We’re the quintessential Portland family. We have less automobiles than residents in our home. My wife was gone so that meant I had to make other arrangements.
Arriving at the bus stop I leaned against the sign. I must have just missed it since it took many spawns to arrive. I climbed aboard and asked the driver, “Is it okay if I don’t have exact change?” He said it was so I stuck in three one dollar bills for the $2.50 fare. My transfer printed and I couldn’t help but notice no change was offered. So that’s how that shit works. I paused for a reflective moment of gratitude that I hadn’t tried a one hundred dollar bill.
Attention critical thinkers! Gather near and lend me your hears.
It is time to listen.
It is time to pay attention.
This is always an important skill, but now, more than ever, aficionados of the lost art of avoidance are in for a treat.
The idea is a simple one. When someone is asked a question, listen closely. Listen fierce.
Proactively listen with all of your concentration.
The goal? To glean and identify that magical moment of the artful shuffle. That moment when the respondent has artfully dodged and changed the subject.
Some are so expert at this that we walk away no even aware that we have just been bamboozled.
Well I say, “No more!” Questions should be answered. Answers should be on point – not the verbal equivalent of covert ops.
Thanks to the nefariousness of News Corp., there will be many opportunities to get up close and personal with this phenomenon. Watch closely! See if you can identify these moments!
If you want, make it a drinking game. Take a swig everytime someone shifts the discussion away to something else. Just make sure you have plenty of booze on hand or the game may have to be called before reaching its natural and satisfying conclusion.
Pay attention! Watch closely! Always be asking yourself, “Is the question being answered?”
Once you’ve opened your eyes this may end up being the only thing you see.