Anyone who works with the public develops the ability of making lightweight conversation. My skills in this regard were called upon at last weekend’s Wild Arts festival.
A woman stopped by my table and chuckled over the Mischief book. Intuition told me she was a teacher, so I asked if that was the case.
“How did you know?” she replied. “I’m a counselor.”
“Oh, I’m pretty immature, so I can spot these things. Are you a school counselor?”
“Yes! Sort of.”
“What grade or age kids do you work with?”
“Teenagers who are 18 or 19.”
“Oh, young adults! I can only imagine the kinds of problems mature people like that might have.”
“I’m a drug and alcohol counselor.”
“Ah.” Pause. We avoid eye contact. “Now I can imagine it.”
Mercifully, she left shortly afterwards. But please don’t worry, it wasn’t awkward at all.
(EDITORIAL CORRECTION: It was hideously awkward.)