Posted tagged ‘Conan the Barbarian’

Impulse

January 30, 2013

My friend had started a new job and he had taken to it like a smudge on a Polaroid print. All his colleagues are a good laugh and relations are great in the workforce, he said. The camaraderie is such that they spend a lot of their leisure time together as well. They had planned an evening out at a posh hotel. Eager to meet these funny, interesting individuals I asked if I could come along.

“But you don’t know anyone,” said my friend “ You’ll just be sitting in the corner laughing at all the jokes.”

He was right. It would be hard for me to integrate myself with all these strangers that were well acquainted. Still, I was feeling impulsive.

“I like laughing at jokes. I’ll sit in the corner. Please don’t deny me the chance to laugh at jokes.”

Reluctantly, he agreed and the big night drew closer. It probably wasn’t a wise choice of reading that I did before I went to the rendezvous. I read L. Sprague de Camp’s Conan the Barbarian novella, The Blood-Stained God. This is a sword and sorcery bloodlust tale that makes Titus Andronicus seem like a Sunday school play. There is total annihilation, Conan is the last man standing. (you won’t need to read it now).

With the confidence of a Cimmerian I strode into the hotel. Fashionably, I made sure I was late. A maitre d’ escorted me to the correct table. As I neared I could hear the raucous laughter of my friend and his new work mates; happy at work, happy at play. I announced myself to the gathering. They stopped talking and looked at me. I could see in the distance an empty chair which, obviously, is where I would be placed. What would Conan do? Conan wouldn’t sit in the corner.

An impulse came upon me again. I eyed the dining table. It was populated with all the culinary accoutrements that are customary: knives, forks, spoons, plates, wine glasses- which were filled, glass vases with freshly cut flowers. The first dish, soup, was in the process of being eaten by the patrons when I appeared.

I had to make a good first impression. This would be important if I were to have any future with these funny, interesting individuals. I wanted to do something I’d never tried before and that would bring the house down. The classic pull off the tablecloth trick.

“Everybody get your hands off the table” I shouted.

Grabbing both ends of the tablecloth I prepared to whip the cloth away and prove that Isaac Newton’s first Law of Motion works. The laughter had stopped as I whisked at the cloth.