Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Freak Magnet

I am, by nature, a freak magnet. Freaks, ranging from mild eccentrics to full blown lunatics,* tend to engage with me. There are two reasons for this (that I'm aware of).
  1. My entrenched, Virginia-bred politeness makes it difficult for me to overtly blow people off. Freaks sense this.
  2. I kind of like freaks. Freaks also sense this. (Freaks may be freaky, but they're generally also pretty smart and are often remarkably astute at detecting where there freakishness will be well received or at least tolerated).
The downside, of course, is that, fundamentally, freaks is freaks is freaks. A bit of casual freaky banter is all well and good, but you gotta draw the line. When I was younger I got sucked into endless quagmires of tortuous freak-chat, patiently listening as various weirdos opined about the merits of industrial hemp or lamented the prohibitive cost of bathing in cottage cheese.

I'm all better now. My robust arsenal of freak-deflection techniques includes:
  • Careful management of eye contact
  • The polite but non-committal "hmm..."
  • Pressing engagements elsewhere
  • Fabricated cell-phone calls
  • Feigned deafness
It's working pretty well. How do you deflect freaks? (Or if you're a freak, how do you thwart our techniques?)

* to perverted squirrels


  1. "I'm due back on the planet Earth" sometimes works.
    "I'ya donta speaka da English" sometimes works
    "I think I'm having a heart attack and I have to get to a hospital fast!"
    Faking an epileptic seizure

  2. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Outfreaking the freak!!

  3. Anonymous7:10 PM

    I'd like a *much* more elaborate and probing account of why you are a freak magnet. The reasons you offer are weak tea.

  4. Try the Unsettling Gaze. Instead of making eye contact with the freak, stare fixedly at a spot about six inches diagonally up and over from his/her ear.

    Or try the old "Hey, is that Superman?" trick?

  5. I don't know, Herr Professor Matt, why am I a freak magnet? Weak tea is all I got.

  6. Not actually knowing you personally, I'm guessing you are a freak magnet because you are unusually nice. I like to think this because I, too, am a freak magnet.

    I keep walking. That's my only strategy. My husband gives them pennies. That tends to make them angry, however, and I wouldn't advise it.

  7. Anonymous9:44 PM

    I think you need a successful freak's perspective here. We evade your techniques by:

    1. Flattery (including regular commenting on your blog)
    2. Bribes (of various forms--booze, flowers, gifts for children)

    I also think you should recognize that you can be a double freak-magnet. Having drawn a mild freak like me, you increase the freak-drawing force and start pulling in real freaks like Old Magister Wesson Oil!

  8. Anonymous11:15 PM

    you are a freak magnet because you are a freak.



  9. Aye, there's some truth in that.