Weather… Yes, Really!


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Hello, anyone so inclined to read an article with such an appealing name (Sarcasm!) Before I start, I’d like to introduce myself. My name’s Jack, and if you’ve not read about me in the SDL Staff section of the website, I should say I’m a new writer! I usually am found getting excessively angry at video games, watching soccer (See what I did there? You’re welcome.) and writing as much as I can to avoid being left alone with the thoughts in my head! As a student, I studied zoology and English literature, but I digress. I know already what you’re thinking – the weather? A joke, surely? But is it boring to talk about the weather? As someone that lives in Britain, when I’m not finding numerous excuses to avoid brushing my teeth and drinking copious amounts of tea, I’m enduring tedious, awkward conversation with other British people where the only barebones conversation that we can muster is a vague and slightly brief conversation about the weather. Having visited U.S.A on various occasions to visit family, I noticed that, in great similarity to the awkward British weather conversations, whenever entering a shop, the staff are similarly inclined to enquire as to how you are – a question I’m sure would be met with some great regret should I answer truthfully in great detail about my confusion over American currency, or how I can’t get used to the time zones. The difference, however, is that in the UK, the weather conversation is a staple everywhere, and I don’t think anyone knows why since the UK, particularly at this time, maintains its seemingly endless tradition of having almost every shop and road completely brought to a standstill by even the faintest covering of sleet, or, god forbid, snow, which has the inane ability to reduce the general populace to quivering wrecks, where citizens themselves venture out only in the highest protective gear – and even then it’s only whenever necessary to leave the confines of the deepest, darkest pits from whence the person has sprang. And yet, I still find myself, day after day, greeting people who instantly, in a snap reaction that would catch most cats off guard, ask me what I think of the weather. It takes great, great skill and fortitude not to barrage the people asking with a verbal array of insults. It completely bemuses me that there’s no other conversation that the we can scrape from the tattered pages of the ‘conversational 101’ that surely must list better ice breakers than the weather (Aha! A pun.) At this point, I might even enjoy being asked why I look so strange, or even, and this is almost at a point where it’s no longer an exaggeration, something completely random, like which position would give your husband the most sexual gratification – just to have some variety in conversation.

Now, I know this is a pitiful excuse for a blog post, much less one that is supposed to cater to things that you, the reader, might be interested in, but keep reading, because i’m confident — or, perhaps that should read ‘hopeful’, that this blog post ends in somewhat of a point.

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Perhaps I’m just looking into it too much. A colloquial greeting of all sorts, don’t get me wrong, is voluntary, and I often find myself asking whether I should in fact just be grateful that someone actually took the time to say anything to me, given that I could quite easily be confused for some kind of hungover ape when I eventually awake from my drunken slumber, whip on the nearest clothes and avoid shaving to leave the house to buy another packet of cigarettes, much less the fact that in my half asleep condition it normally takes a full ten minutes to respond, five of which are spent comprehending why anyone would take the time to greet the large mass of dirt and cigarette smell that seemingly arose from the nearest gutter, and the other five trying my very hardest not to respond with a sarcastic response as to why the question is such a stupid one. Despite going off on somewhat of a tangent, and the slight difference in conversation between the UK and the USA, my point (or lack, thereof) seems to be this – cater to your audience. Mix it up a little. I know for a fact I’m never going to engage in flirty conversation with a beautiful young girl if I start a conversation with the same bloody sentence thats been indirectly chanted at her throughout the day from various people who, despite living within the confines of what must be some of the worst weather on the planet, still cannot believe the weather! And I’m assuming and hoping that this translates somewhat to the USA. If you’re not trying to bore the socks off the poor bloke/woman that crossed you at a particularly chirpy point, ask them something else.

I guess, the thing that drove me to write whatever this became, is the dire repetition that is spewed forth, and perhaps, I write this almost as a public service announcement that masquerades as a blog post/rant so that when I next put down my notepad or game controller and beer, and venture out into the cold wilderness that is the British countryside, I might not be greeted by a “Can you believe the weather today?” and instead by a much more simple greeting that holds a purpose other than making me want to catch you off guard with a vicious left hook.

 

– Jack Wichard

Follow Me: @JackWichard