I have made a recent addition to my list of people to avoid. From now on, along with those who use our beaches as an ashtray and able-bodied types who park in disabled spaces, I’m putting a big black mark against people with opinions.
How many times have you been trapped by a loud-mouthed obnoxious bore? Once is one time too many. I’ve done my time smiling and nodding politely, knowing that trying to get a word in edgeways is useless. People with opinions don’t want to have a discussion, they just want you to listen awe-struck to their dissertation, which is why they always talk so loudly.
I was with a group of people recently, one of whom was a very opinionated man. There’s a reason why “opinionated’ is used in a derisive fashion. He was a supreme example. Everyone else had been beaten into silence but I took advantage of the fact that he was a smoker. When he took a pause to drag on his cigarette I seized my chance.
I pointed to a nearby waterway. “Are there eels in that river?” I asked, looking at everyone except the opinionated bore. “If you went for a swim would you find an uninvited guest up your bathers?”
The result was amazing. Everyone had a story about eels; catching them, being frightened by them or eating them. I even found out that eels can travel over land, a most unsettling discovery. As we swapped stories and anecdotes, I noticed Mr Opinion shuffling uncomfortably. Once he was no longer the centre of attention he didn’t know how to interact. Eventually he shuffled off, probably to go and park in a disabled spot and stub his cigarette out on the beach.
Don’t get me wrong, I love ideas and I love discussion but it seems to me that having an opinion and having to tell everyone about it is a very alienating hobby. Macramé would be much more useful.
But then again that’s only my opinion.