austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Tear me apart including this old heart

So here's a very minor mystery of our main pinball league. They're a fun, relaxed place, yes, and since it's a bunch of people having a good time and hanging around a bar, there's a modest amount of trash-talking. Much of it is directed toward our league's champion, who responds in deadpan kind before --- sometimes --- breaking out a smile. A good bit of it is towards the more iconic personalities that we've got, and we've got a charmingly eclectic bunch. The whole Missing FunHouse prank, while it didn't happen at our hipster bar, gave bunny_hugger and two of the league regulars an evergreen subject for teasing one another.

Thing is, I'm just not part of that. bunny_hugger pointed out that people don't trash-talk me, and it's one of those things I had never thought to notice but, yeah, that's so. Why not?

I'd like to think it's just that I don't seem to make sense as someone to trash-talk: I'm too obviously watching other people playing respectfully and commiserating when they have a bad ball, even when I'm playing directly opposite them. One of the regulars even said I was taking his (uncharacteristically) lousy game worse than he was. That's not show; I really do want people to be playing great, even if I'd rather they weren't quite as great as me. But it's hard to razz someone who's rooting for you.

But there's also a simpler reason, I guess. Playful teasing is a way of expressing that someone's in your group, but it's also fraught with peril if someone doesn't like being teased, even in play. And I don't remember actually trash-talking anyone else, so it's reasonable to suppose people aren't forcing me into that particular circle without my explicitly joining. Which is probably so, but it's interesting that the group's that mature even considering it's got a lot of guys, a big noisy competitive sport with plenty of elements of chance to get involved, and Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap.

Trivia: The historian Procopius records deaths of about ten thousand per day in Constantinople during the Black Death plague of 541-542. Source: A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped The World, William J Bernstein.

Currently Reading: Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics, Alfred S Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann.

PS: Reading the Comics, February 4, 2014: Neutral Edition, about which I expect you to feel indifferent. But you read it already if you read its RSS feed or if you've added its Livejournal Syndicated version to your Friends page.

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