Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part six
As Kai Landry has proven this also works on on a Texas Holdem poker table if you want to mind-f somebody do and say stuff that makes no sense at all. Try as they might they won’t be able to stop themselves from replaying the situation in the head time and time again.
This is even more effective in Omaha poker and suddenly you'll be typecast as the nut who never has it. You want action? You'll get it.
Anyway, back to the store, when we paused as my wife saw something flashy, glitterly and likely improbably expensive that attracted her eye, the saleslady engaged in some of the banal conversation openers that she learned in some hour long training seminar on how to engage the customers. She knew she needed to ask us our names and like a good hooters waitress knew she’d increase the likelihood of a sale, or an up-sale, by initiating physical contact.
By the way, strippers learned the immense value of this sales technique first, and everybody from a car salesman to a shoesalesman now tries to manipulate you in the same fashion as was first done to garner a lap-dance by making contact with you. If you have trouble saying no to skilled salespeople, picture that same burly Home Depot employee asking you for a lap-dance rather than trying to upgrade you to a riding lawnmower you don’t need for that patch of grass you call a front yard.
I don’t like being manipulated nor did the thought of this woman giving me a lap dance endear me to her. Her second or third opener was “Doing your Christmas shopping?” as her hand strayed to my shoulder. No, we are casing the joint to rob you of all these baubles that are priced inexorably high but are generally worthless, in their future I forsee trying to sell them for maybe two dollars in a yard sale, and despite the fact, I still want to burglarize you of them all, so I can suffer the indiginity of haggling over their value with a parade of glib old-woman bargain seeker. Well, that’s what I thought, but not what I said. I looked her square in the eye and then conspiratorially whispered “yes” while looking over my shoulders like I didn’t want anybody to hear.
“Oh, good, I’m Claudia…” she extended a hand. I looked at it for a while, she continued “And you are…” I still looked at the hand as though unfamiliar with the gesture and I couldn’t answer until I figured out why it was outstretched. Undeterred by my social faux pas she continued “…Mister?” A big smile, straight out of the hawking Avon products handbook, spread across her face, still holding that hand out.
“Mister… Mister,” I said nodding. For the briefest of moments, she scrunched her face. A tell, a micro-expression I learned about from playing poker, that let’s me know she wise to me but she doesn’t want to show it. There is more truth in these tiny reactive looks than in any other transfer of social communication. When I reference the unpopular 80s band, Mr. Mister, my wife knows what’s up and in a far more explicit noverbal communication, than Claudia’s, lets me know she was wise to me, by literally sprinting away.
I block the path between her and saleswoman, to hopefully let her shop in freedom and to give myself the private pleasure of engaging this 1950s librarian looking woman who probably would be able to look dignified even if she quatum leap-ed into a “girls in jail” movie. She was going to be a worthy adversary.
Meanwhile, I notice her hand still hanging in determined solicitation of contact, but she is also looking over my shoulder at the real decision maker. Before she can press by, I know I have to engage her, I hold my hand up in “High-five” fashion, and say, “Where I am from we don’t shake hands…” I pulled at her hand, "You take these broken wings..."