The Blowhard Next Door

Have you ever had an otherwise pleasant dining experience marred by the fact that you sat next to some blowhard?  It happened to us last night.

I didn’t notice the couple when we passed their table and were seated at the next table over.  As soon as we were seated, however, I heard the guy’s droning nasal voice yammering non-stop, with nary an interruption from his unfortunate dining companion.  I tried hard to tune it out — really, I did — but his voice was so loud and insistent in explaining some mind-numbing workplace occurrence that it kept intruding into our dinner table conversation.  I think he was a professor or literary type; at one point he actually held forth on how quotation marks should always precede punctuation marks.  (Seriously!)  This tweedy tool was so dull and self-absorbed he could have bored his own mother.

When the couple finally left it was a relief, but there was one last moment of interest.  As they were gathering their things, the guy, perhaps experiencing a faint moment of self-awareness, finally asked the woman a question, about one of her friends.  When she said the friend had been on a respirator for 45 days — I swear I am not making this up! the guy didn’t know what to say, so he muttered something, then said, brightly, “let’s do it again soon!”

I sat with my back to the couple and I never turned around, although I was tempted.  I’m not sure what the appropriate etiquette is in that situation, although I expect it doesn’t involve telling the Leaden Professor to shut his yap and stop boring the entire restaurant with his dim-witted yakking.