For the past several years, my job has involved interviewing people over the phone. The upshot is that I’ve become pretty skilled at pulling conversation out of anyone who is not entirely comatose (and one doctor who called me after a night shift almost crossed that barrier).
But this first date was testing my ability. Clearly, he was alive, or had been when he asked me out that afternoon. Yet he had nothing to say. His answers were monosyllabic and he offered almost no questions. I had gotten to the point of stream-of-consciousness babbling (really– I was talking about my old roommate’s boyfriend’s dirty socks) when I discovered the problem.
“Whoa, what was that score?” he asked.
“Hunh?” I said.
“Oh, I was just checking out the game on that TV over there,” he explained.
“I didn’t even know there was a TV here,” I said.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t go to a bar without a TV,” he said. “It would be too boring.”