Monday, July 13, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Hear It Through The Grapevine

I wanted to teach A.J. how to deal with rumors.

AJ: Did you tell people I pulled a knife on someone?
ME: Nooo, I told Brad to tell people that you pulled a knife on someone.
AJ: Why?
ME: Because I want to teach you how to handle gossip and other forms of verbal nastiness.
AJ: Didn't we already go over that with the Dick Clique?
ME: I think it's time you had the advanced course.

Within minutes, it was all over the blogs--okay, maybe making that plural isn't altogether honest.

"AJ Goes Cra-Zay! Pulls Knife on Prism Patrons!"

Rhyming AJ with Cra-Zay? That's the best they could do?

AJ: This sucks! Now everybody thinks I'm cra-zay!

I was at AJ's apartment, which was shrouded in black--allegedly for the demise of his social life.

ME: That means now is the time to address the rumors.
AJ: By cutting you for starting them?
ME: No! By going out and having fun.
AJ: How does that help anything?
ME: Because people expect someone who's done something wrong to hide, kind of like what you're doing now.
AJ: And I'm not going to do that?
ME: No, you're going to go out and show that you didn't do anything and make people reconsider their point of view.
AJ: Man, I'm too tired to change perspectives.
ME: Tough. Put on your dancin' shoes, Johnny. We're going out.

As soon as we walked into Prisms, the atmosphere got tense. People dodged out of our way. There were whispers everywhere. It was like showing up somewhere with Shannon Doherty.

AJ: Kevin, people are staring.
ME: You're an exhibitionist. You should be enjoying this.
AJ: What's that mean?

Remind me to make AJ's next lesson one on vocabulary.

ME: Okay, let's dance.
AJ: But shouldn't I say something?
ME: AJ, in times like these, it's impossible to stop the spreading of a rumor by denying it. You have to just go on living life and let it die by starving it of any attention.
AJ: Kind of like Heather Graham's career?
ME: There you go!

We started to dance, and before long, people were coming over and talking to us.

RANDOM GUY #1: Hey, is that rumor true?
RANDOM GUY #2: Did you really pull a knife?
RANDOM GUY #3: I knew that was a lie! I've seen you punch guys out, but a knife? That just doesn't make sense.

Soon, all was forgotten.

ME: See? Just by acting like everything's fine, everything is.
AJ: How do you know how to do that?
ME: I grew up in a partly Irish family.

That was when I looked across the room and saw Tommy approaching.

ME: Uh oh.

He looked pleased--never a good sign.

TOMMY: You know, I know a better rumor than the one you started.
RANDOM GUY #1: Who's this guy?
TOMMY: The one about the four hot messes who failed at being transformed by a washed-up small-town gay socialite.
RANDOM GUY #2: Isn't that on the CW?
AJ: Kevin, who is this guy?
ME: This is an old friend, AJ.
TOMMY: Hardly. AJ, if I were you, I'd drop out of Kevin's little school.
RANDOM GUY #3: School?
TOMMY: It's about to be shut down.

With that, he walked away.

AJ: Kev, what was he talking about?
ME: Nothing, AJ. Don't worry about it.

But even I wasn't convinced.

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