Sometimes in the building where I work, I run into people with whom I am only slightly acquainted, and they try to make small talk like normal, functional adults. Anyone who has ever attempted to chat with me for more than two minutes has figured out that I am saddled with a socially crippling addiction, so some of them just save time and take the shortcut.
This happened yesterday when a guy said, "How ya doin'? Still ridin' that bike?"
Most people—even incurable bike junkies—have the social acumen to simply reply with something like, "Yup. Sure am. How have you been?" But not me.
Now, I'm fully aware the guy really didn't give two shits whether I've been riding or not, but for a few milliseconds my brain raced through the conversational options.
Was he referring to my usual habit of bike commuting? I haven't been riding to work much lately, which is a source of frustration and uneasiness. Should I lapse into a defensive mode and start explaining myself to a guy who drives every day?
Or should I fixate on the singular nature of his inquiry? What did he mean by "that bike?" Perhaps I should lapse into full bike-dork mode and say ...
"That bike? What do you mean that bike?
"Damn it, man, which freaking one are you talking about?!"
That would certainly be one way to discourage idle chatter in the men's room.