“Don’t let me stand in your way, please don’t let me stand in your way. The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth… You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… If you catch me running off with my mouth, just give me a poke on the chubbs…” – Del Griffith (John Candy) PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES
We all know him……Captain Oblivious, the self absorbed, non-contributing zero who comes to us with powers of boorish behavior and general cluelessness far beyond those of mortal men. Immortalized on film by John Candy in John Hughes’ 1987 comedy classic, PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES, I think it is safe to say that all of us have borne witness to the escapades of Captain Oblivious at least a couple of times in our lives. He may take many different forms and identities, but when he shows up, you know he is there.
Last night, Captain Oblivious made a personal appearance at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Row 103, Seat 16 for the Hawks/Raptors game, where he sat in front of us and proceeded to talk (apparently without human limitations such as the need to breathe) for the entire game. The fact that the two guys he was carrying on this one sided conversation with didn’t even turn to look at him was lost on him, as he threaded his way through a one sided discussion of politics, career, future goals, marriage, vacations, and before long, back to career. I found myself profoundly grateful that I was sitting behind him, as I can only imagine what the night was like for the poor saps sitting directly in front of him, having to hear every word as clear as day, not to mention loud as an out of tune foghorn.
Captain Oblivious may be a man of mystery, but he wasn’t last night. Believe me, we all knew everything about him by the time we left during the third period. I’m sure that if we had stayed for the game, we probably would have become familiar with his bathroom functions and sexual preferences (how do you spell “T-M-I?).
I learned that Captain Oblivious owns his own company. What to say except that I feel sorry for whoever has to work for this guy. Note to self: if you go on a job interview and he’s the one on the other side of the desk, run like a river when the snow melts.
I learned that he has been married for over 28 years to his lovely wife, what’s-her-name. I’m also going to go out on a limb and assume the woman hasn’t spoken a complete sentence since 1983.
I learned that he apparently makes frequent business trips to Japan to oversee his company’s operations there, which explains why our reputation overseas isn’t exactly stellar. Forget President Obama and his foreign relations gaffes, it’s the Ugly American who will screw our good corporate image every time.
I learned that his departure brings great and exceeding joy to those around him, as evidenced by the applause and collective sighs of relief when he finally got up to go get a beer.
I discovered that Captain Oblivious is impervious to comments made about his behavior. Water off a duck’s back has nothing on this guy’s ability.
I found out that you cannot out talk Captain Oblivious, he just keeps cranking it up louder to make sure his voice is heard above all else. He is invincible.
Captain Oblivious is not deterred by body language that says “go away”. Never once did the victims of his ramblings ever turn towards him or encourage him to continue in any way, yet he plowed ahead with all the tact and subtlety of a wrecking ball on steroids.
I figured out that captain Oblivious loves to talk for pretty much no other reason than to hear himself talk. It takes a special kind of guy to laugh at your own joke…..every blessed time.
I learned that Captain Oblivious is a chameleon….we weren’t sure there for a while if he was a preacher, politician, or businessman. What we were sure of was that he would have been a piss poor representation of any of them (and that’s saying something).
You never know what form Captain Oblivious is going to show up in next….fortunately, we have photographic evidence of last night’s appearance.
But be careful out there…..tonight, it may very well be you who ends up sitting beside him. He cannot be stopped, and God knows he will not be silenced. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a boor! It’s a jerk! He is Capta-a-a-a-a-a-a-in Oblivious!
(Author’s Note: Yes, this was a rant, borne out of the frustration in seeing a perfectly good game, complete with club seating, shot to hell…….but I’m feeling much better now…)