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The Stranger I Met Today: Andy

The people I meet each day are just giving it away. Little bits of themselves, that is. I’m ready to become wiser. Even if it takes just a moment, I'll start with the stranger I met today.

Okay, it was my fault. I was talking about choosing a name for this blog. I wasn’t whispering and I was in 15-passenger van with seven other adults. I only knew one of them, the one I brought with me.

One of my best friends, Kate, and I were en route to an afternoon of river tubing. We left later than we should have, despite the fact that Kate and I were early. Another group of tubers thought that the 2:00PM launch time meant saunter up to the van at 2:20PM.

I asked Kate what she thought of ‘Talking with Strangers’ as a blog name. She said it sounded too much like ‘Strangers with Candy’, a Comedy Central show that died several years back.

From the front of the van we heard, “So, what type of blog is this”?

I glanced up and met the van driver’s eyes in the rearview. Now, pre-blog Angela may have nodded and turned back to Kate. Instead post-blog Angela said, “Yeah, how much did you hear already? I don’t want to repeat what I don’t have to.”

He laughed and summarized what he had heard up to that point. His name was Andy and he listened as I talked about the merits of blogging. He responded by listing several reasons why blogs are pointless.  

Andy mentioned that he would rather read a book rather than a blog. He then excitedly told us what he liked about Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and Into the Wild.

By the time he finished his summary of Choke and quick comparison of Stephen King’s early and recent works, the van ride was over and it was time to launch the tubes.

I absolutely wasn’t expecting such a great conversation. Honestly, I would have liked to have heard more. But, the promise of a relaxing float down the river won over remaining in the smelly van with Andy. 

The Lesson Learned

Of course, I should say something profound about not ‘judging a book by its cover’ because, frankly, I wasn’t expecting Andy to provide such thought-provoking commentary. But, that would be a lame play-on-words and rather cliché.

Instead, what I learned is that it’s time for me to read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I confess! I’ve avoided Palahniuk because I’ve heard it’s an acquired taste. But, Andy convinced me that it’s time to face that challenge. I’m going to start with Fight Club and see where it takes me. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Terry August 21, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Andy sounds like he could be quite the character. I wonder how many of the other van passengers overheard your interchange and were similarly affected. As for blogs, I've written a couple over the years and met some really good friends through them, ones that expanded my horizons and left me more open to people who live lives a lot different than mine. So, I agree that they have merit, just a shame that so many people have abandoned them.
Angela Speakman August 30, 2012 at 06:55 PM
As it turns out, I recommended this particular tubing company to a friend of mine. My friend is going tubing with this outfit in a couple of weeks. I told him that if he runs into Andy, he's going to have to ask for some more book suggestions. Blogging is such an awesome experience for the blogger and the reader. I'm happy that it was so significant to you! I look forward to hearing your feedback on future posts.

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