Shut Up, Griffy!

Posted by on May 28th, 2010 at 6:51 AM

[ Warning: real facts, made-up names ]

Christ, it’s hot. People think Canada doesn’t get hot in the summer. Then they move to Canada and pretty soon they’re cursing and sweating. If they’re me, they also wonder about the lunatics with whom they spend their time.

Griffy, the concierge of my building, told me a 15-minute story the other day while I was trying to air myself on the building’s front steps. Seems he found an abandoned wallet that contained just a $20 bill and a piece of photo ID of the inessential kind. Not a drivers license or health card, more like a gym membership, but it had the girl’s picture and name, and an address somewhere outside of Quebec. I forget where. I honestly was not paying as much attention as Griffy thought.

Griffy figured he would mail the girl her wallet, ID, and $20 bill, which he did. He thought she would be impressed by the stranger who performed this random act of kindness. But the package came back “Return to Sender.” Nobody was at the address.

And that was the story. Fifteen minutes.

Worse, Griffy thought he was being entertaining. He drew the story out so long in the interest of being a raconteur. If I had half a brain, I would have simply told him to stop. But I wanted him to stop because he was being so tedious and self-absorbed, and under those circumstances how do you speak up without cursing and yelling? Griffy has thin skin. So I threw in muttered interjections on the order of “Yeah, okay” and “All right, so anyway.” When Griffy, describing his decision to mail the wallet, said, “I did this because –” I cut in to say, “Because you have time on your hands.” Griffy: “No! Because I wanted her to see that,” etc., etc.

Finally I leapt to my feet. “Sorry, I have to go check the computer,” I said, and ran indoors. The excuse was safe because Griffy knows nothing about computers. He lives up in his top-floor cubbyhole with CNN and half-read copies of The London Review of Books. I always say he’s a great cautionary example for anyone thinking of a career as a failed intellectual.

“All right,” Griffy said, unperturbed. “I’ll go to the park.” For all I know the story continued there. Squirrels and needle-marked panhandlers heard how Griffy shook the package, turned it upside down, pondered the handwriting of the “Return to Sender” notation.

This is my life. I don’t know people who can exist outside their heads. They all fly around in the blind caverns of their personalities. And what can you do? They aren’t going to change and there’s no one else to talk to.

But the Internet is good for something. So I’ll say it here: Griffy, shut the fuck up!


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