Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sooner or later it had to come up.
The break room is the easiest pass-through area on the floor if one is travelling north to south or back. I avoid it if possible, but when I do make that trip I do it quickly and with my eyes firmly locked on the tile floor.
I'd heard the talk in there between 11 and 1, and knew it would all be over if I were ever pulled into it.
But it happened.
"Hey Garrick," Crap. I'd been addressed directly.
"Yes?" I pulled out my BlackBerry to look for something more important to do.
"Which do you prefer," the question began,"The overtime rule in the NCAA or the NFL?"
I froze. My stock answer of "the other team just wanted it more" would not work.
"You know," I began, trying to remain calm, "I haven't given it much thought."
It was immediately apparent that this was something that I should have indeed given much thought to.
Suspicions aroused, my co-worker closed in with,"How long is the shot clock?"
"Yeah, I don't, uh . . . " I was lost.
"How many goals in a hat trick?"
I knew at this point that they had switched sports on me, but I was still too lost to come up with the answer. This was one of those answers that dawns on me five minutes after a conversation ends or when I'm the only player left without an orange pie piece in Trivial Pursuit but it isn't my turn. Three. The number is three. But I did not say that.
I was desperate to change the subject. So desperate, in fact that when two women from accounting wandered in to use the microwave I needed them to say something about a broken server or anything I could fake my way into.
Unfortunately, what the speaking one said went something like,"It said tea-length is appropriate but I don't even know what that means."
And I jumped conversations in plain sight of everyone with,"Tea-length is traditionally considered mid-length with the hem falling between the bottom of the knee and the bottom of the calf."
I discovered that that statement is like a "Get Out of Sports Conversation Free" card.
And yet, I feel even more compelled than ever to keep my head down when crossing through the break room.

Gwynyth is at work with me today. I will not be playing Barbies with her.

Until we get home.

Or maybe on lunch a little.

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