My friend, classmate, and sometime travel partner Tom is usually a pretty cool guy. It seems like he really makes an effort to be fashionable, wears trendy t-shirts, etc... In contrast, most of my wardrobe is made up of clothing I either got free from some school event 5 years ago or received as a gift.
One thing about Tom is that he rarely turns down an opportunity to shoot out a witty insult or other biting comment to jab his friends. Having not grown up in a house with brothers, I am not good at the playful art of trading insults and put-downs, so I usually just ignore him. But Tom seems especially interested in commenting upon my wardrobe, saying things like, "nice socks, Captain America" or "isn't that the sweater you've worn the past 8 nights in a row, because it's really great to see it....again."
A few weeks ago we traveled to Galway for the weekend. The bus was mostly empty. Tom sat two rows ahead of me. We were about 15 minutes into the bus ride, when to my disbelief and somewhat pleasant surprise, Tom put on a pair of massive, gargantuan, 1970's era, "let me plug these directly into my new hi-fi, reel-to-reel system" headphones. Delighted by this fashion slip-up and pleased with my good fortune, I smiled and considered my next move. I thought to myself, "What should I say? Should I even say anything?" I knew I had to be ready for any comeback insult...for any comment I would make would surely open myself up to a swift counter-attack. I was a little scared, knowing that my inferior "insulting" skills may not be able to handle the more stinging barbs Tom would shoot back.
I decided not to over-analyze the situation, as I am prone to do, and I just said the first thing that came to mind when I saw Tom's mega-headphones...
"Hey Tom! (Tom looks back at me and dismounts from the megaphones.) You look like Diana Ross in the 1985 'We are the World' video!"
Tom looked at me....
Coming tomorrow...the exciting conclusion!
Thanks to www.springsteenlyrics.com for the pics. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcrwu6WGoMs