January 29, 2015
Most of my office returned to work today after a day off for a snow storm. If you live in the Northeast, this is the storm that dumped around two feet of snow and caused all life to grind to a halt. Except if you live in NYC, then you simply had an annoying 5 inches of snow. (Yes, annoying, Not the “storm to end all storms” the weather service predicted, but enough snow to make you break a sweat while shoveling out your car.)
So we all returned to work today, including one guy who works on the other side of the office. I don’t know him, not even his name. He sits alone and works and never seems to socialize. He has a strange haircut and keeps his shirts buttoned up to the neck even in the hottest weather. I suspect he’s the type of guy who’d call in a bomb scare to Netflix if they weren’t streaming his favorite episode of I Love Lucy.
A whole bunch of us were standing around fairly close to his desk and some of the women started talking about the boots they were wearing. Someone else in the group noticed that none of the men were wearing boots and the subject came around to why we weren’t. I said that “men usually don’t care about boots unless they are a cowboy or a General.” It was just a forgettable, silly throwaway line.
“What about Privates?”
It was the weirdo. He was talking?
“You think Privates don’t wear boots?”
I said that I know that Privates, along with everyone else in the army, wear boots. It was just an expression. Then I asked “were you in the army?” That’s me, being all friendly.
“Privates wear boots. They do! It isn’t just Generals who wear boots, it’s all ranks in the army. All the armed services!”
I was going to thank him and then casually call the police, but he turned back to his computer and began typing. Was it about Privates wearing boots? I don’t know.
The conversation petered out after that.