Asking the Bleeding Obvious


Had a Bad Day?

There is a curious social behaviour that occurs here in Malaysia especially amongst the Chinese.  It is a phenomena that I can best describe as, “asking the bleeding obvious.”

Let me give you a few examples.  Say that you are eating dinner at a local restaurant when a friend happens to come by your table.  He might say, “Eating, eh?”

Or you might be at the department store’s annual sale with your arms full of over-flowing shopping bags when you run into your aunt and she says, “Shopping, ah?”

Or yet another scenario where you are at the supermarket with a shopping cart in tow and you are testing the firmness of the apples on display when an acquaintance might pass by and say, “Grocery shopping?”

That’s what I mean by “asking the bleeding obvious” and sometimes when I encounter such a query, I feel this dark primal urge boiling up from within me to say something sarcastic.  I am too polite to actually say it but boy, do I think it!

“No, no.  I ‘m not eating.  I am just curious to see how much food I can cram into my mouth.”

“Shopping? Oh,no.  Just shoplifting as usual.”

“Oh, I’m not buying anything.  I just like polishing apples while pushing a fully loaded grocery cart.  It’s better than joining a gym.”

Anyway, I had a real strange conversation with my local car mechanic just recently and it went something like this…..

Mechanic:  “Are you here to see me?”

Me: “Yes” (my sarcastic thought: “Yeah, especially since there is no one else here or do you have an invisible friend?”)

Mechanic: “Something wrong with your car?”

Me: “Yes” (my sarcastic thought: “Why would you think that? Actually I would like your help to pull out all my rotten teeth.”)

Me: “One of the license plate numbers has fallen off.”

Mechanic: “So you want that I replace that missing number?”

Me: “Yes.” (my sarcastic thought: “No, I would like to put up a Missing Poster for the return of that number.”)

Mechanic: “So where did you lose the number?” (well, I was stumped but at least it wasn’t asking the bleeding obvious.)

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18 thoughts on “Asking the Bleeding Obvious”

  1. I am laughing out loud! I hate it when people do that stuff. Some of my favorites – you’ll be outside in the ice, and some idiot will say, “Cold enough for you?” No, I think I’ll just sit here until my skin turns blue.

  2. the champions of this type behavior must be waiters. i believe they lurk behind the greenery so as to pop out just as you’ve taken a mouthful of food and gleefully ask, “is everything alright?” Or worse, “can i get you something?” all the while knowing you can’t answer so and they won’t have to refill your tea.

  3. It is amazing how we humans ask so many dumb questions. Two questions that I will never forget were asked while I was in the hospital. A nurse came into the labor room and saw me biting on the knuckles of my hand and asked “Are you in pain?” (This might be easier for female squirrel to understand) The second time was over a year ago when I was brought into the hospital by ambulance and was admitted at my doctor’s request. When he came in after his office hours to see me, he asked “What are you doing here?” I replied “Not enjoying it thats for sure.”

  4. Melanie,
    How did you know about my skinny dipping bubble bath antics? I usually do not wash my car during those occasions.

    Riot Kitty,
    Just hit them with a hockey stick and ask, “Did that hurt?”

  5. Mr. Charleston,
    Yes. I know exactly what you mean. They always pop up when my mouth is full. Kind of like the dentist that stuffs all kind of things into your mouth and then only asks, “So what have you been doing?”

    Joyce,
    I am amazed that you did not bite their heads off. I know well enough to keep my distance from a woman in labor.

  6. Now I’m strating to think you and Mago have been replaced by Canadians! I actually had a Canadian Border Patrol agent ask me out on a date once. “Wanna go out on a date, eh?” I said I was spoken for, but fortunately he still let me in the country.

  7. melanie,
    Dang! I’ve been stripped searched by U.S. airport security. Is that like a date? You pretty ladies get all the preferential treatment.

    Mago,
    Mago & Squirrel, eh? Or maybe Mago, Melanie & Squirrel?

  8. I get that from customers in the grocery store where I work. They stand in front of a display (let’s say apples), look at the produce, read the sign then ask “These are $1.29 a pound?”

    I reply with a mundane ‘yes’ but I always have to fight the urge to say, “No, that sign is for the mangoes in the front of the store. The sign above the mangoes is the price of the cantaloupe melons over there and the sign over the melons is how much the bananas are. The price of the apples is over the plums, two tables away.”

  9. Crag,
    Good to see you here. You give a good example. I would retaliate by saying; “It’s $1.29 a pound. So how many bushels do you want?” or how about ” No, it’s $1.29 a foot.”

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