Sunday, February 28, 2010




1 : resembling or characteristic of a wag : displaying good-humored mischief
2 : done or made for sport : humorous

i worked for some time with a young man who only had one and a half arms. i think he once told me the fate of the missing half—some tragedy in his childhood—but the reason i don't remember is because said young man was extremely annoying. after a certain point i just didn't listen to anything he said. he told cheesy jokes—the kind someone's out-of-touch uncle tells. not necessarily sexist, but full of generalizations: girls like shopping, boys like football kind of stuff. he often cornered me with work-related small talk: what time are you working? today's my friday. i didn't get my break until 7:30! having fun yet? and he would casually ask all the girls if they were single.

this is someone i would describe as WAGGISH. i know it doesn't entirely fit the definition, which seems to be more along the lines of a class clown type. but when i think of that type, i think of someone who is hiding behind some kind of front. the practical joker guy who can only get close to people buy pretending to use them as the subjects of his tomfoolery. i have a feeling the guy i worked with may have had some trouble connecting to other people because of his handicap, so he became silly-joker-sorta-creepy guy. what complicates this is that most people aren't going to tell someone with a handicap that they're totally annoying. it's as if he had an unlimited get out of social jail free card. that's probably why he got so annoying in the first place—no one ever bothered to tell him to shut-up.

is this thoughtless? hardly. i empathize with his plight. but i do not empathize with his WAGGISH behavior, which, unlike his handicap, is a choice. we are all victims of circumstance. what we do with those circumstances is up to us. i could have very easily been a white trash slut—poor girl, rich town, broken family—but there was a point when i was like, you know what? not into it.

1 comment:

  1. We do all own our own destinies - but maybe he needed someone to tell him outright he was waggish. Not a great example, but have you ever seen the British television series Coupling? One character, Jane, is terribly annoying, socially awkward, and makes things up about herself to seem more appealing. In reality, she's bordering on psychotic. Well, in the 4th and final season, a love interest of hers (also socially awkward, but in that sci-fi, comic book kind of way) called her out for what she was. Naturally, since this was TV everything was all wrapped up in a tidy manner. But perhaps this coworker of yours really needs someone to call him out, in a way that is not nasty, but helpful. Hopefully someday that will happen. haha.