June 15, 2005

Same Joke Twice

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my... I suppose cousin-in-law, Tiago. He's one of the rare cousins that I can talk to in English, and--call me discriminating--I find it a bit of a relief. With most of my wife's family, I've had to learn a new language to communicate, and although I can speak well now, I don't think I'll ever get up to the level of comfort I have in English.

Anyway, I like Tiago cause he's an intelligent guy. Nice guy. Since I can talk English to him, I take advantage of that fact to utilise my smashing sense of humour to its full extent, unlike what I can do when I have to speak French.

But upon reflecting on our recent conversation, I realise I may have betrayed a psycho-social lapse. You see, before this recent, short conversation, I had also had a similar conversation with him about 10 months previous, and I realised that it had centered upon the same topic. One thing that I immediately remarked this time around is that when he answered one of my questions, the answer sounded, although technical, to be relatively familiar.

We were actually talking about his internship in sales at a retail store. Both times I had to ask him precisely where he was working. I forgive myself this because we had only talked twice in a year, so naturally the details were hazy in my mind. At some point, I jokingly asked him if, when a client asks for a product, Tiago tries to sneak in a couple of other products. I thought this was a funny thing to ask; I said to try to get a laugh. My cousin-in-law then logically disagreed that, actually, no, it is much more profitable for the store if he only proposes the necessary products, because then the client is more likely to enter into a longer-term, more profitable, relationship.

This is the somewhat technical description that should have been unfamiliar to me, but which sounded vaguely like I had heard it before. As I remembered that conversation this morning I realised, with some perturbation, that what must have prompted the familiarity of this description to my mind was the fact that I made the same joke both times I talked to Tiago.

Do I come across as a total fool? Hopefully he forgot, as I had, the first time I had posed the question. Yet still, if I could remember it now, there is a chance that he could as well. And if we are judged by the brilliance of our conversation, then, in his eyes, I am quite damned.

Next time I really need to think of something new to say.

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