Monday, March 07, 2005

Echoes Are Redundant

~ A few people I have conversed with from time to time have the annoying habit of repeating the questions asked of them before answering. "Hello Jim. How are you?" I would ask. "How am I? I'm fine thank you," he would respond. "How's the job going?" "How's the job going? It's going well, no problems."
~ In a nutshell, that is the way a conversation will go when I run into him on the parking lot or in the store. This habit is not left for only me. The girl at the checkout counter inquired, "Would you like paper or plastic?" Of course he responds with, "Would I like paper or plastic? Both. Put a paper bag in a plastic one." She nods then asks, "Will that be cash or charge?" "Will that be cash or charge? I'll charge it today." "Do you want cash back?" "Do I want cash back? Yes, fifty back please."
~ So it goes with good old Jim. Ask him a question and expected it to be repeated verbatim except for the pronoun. Don't try to cross him up either by abbreviating the question. He won't fall for that trick. "Sick of all the snow, Jim?" you ask. "Am I sick of all the snow? You bet I am!" As you can see, he sniffed out the missing 'Are you' like a bloodhound.
~ I just had a thought. It might actually be construed as a cruel joke though. Imagine Jim at the Grand Canyon at Echo Point. You speak softly, almost whispering as you ask, "Have you ever seen such a sight?" You wait for his reply, "Have I ever seen such a sight?" His pause before continuing is timed perfectly. The echoed question strikes his eardrum, "Have I ever seen such a sight?" He responds, "Have I ever seen such a sight?"
~ I ponder which will last longer, the echo or Jim? I slip quietly away, leaving Jim and Jim in their interrogative exchange.
~ I found out a couple of things. One, there is indeed such a force as perpetual motion. Secondly, echoes are redundant.

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