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Talking to yourself

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By Ken Begley

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.”

Franklin P. Jones (American Businessman, 1887-1929)

I’ve always tended to talk out loud to myself when I’m writing. You know, just to see how things sound, and such. As I get older, I tend to do this more and more. You may not know it but they say this is a sign of great genius.

“Who says that,” you ask.

Well, just me right now. But I’m sure others will pick up on this little-known fabricated fact in the not-too-distant future. I’m especially sure my wife, Cindy, will.

Just last Saturday we had an academic discussion on this topic of interest around my house. I was sitting at my desk trying to decide what to write and . . .

“OK, lets see here. Need to write a column, need to write a column, what should it be on?”

“I’m drawing a blank. Maybe a serious one this week.”

“Yeah, that might be what you ought to do.”

Cindy came in and said, “Hey, who’re you talking to?”

“What do you mean?”

“I said who were you talking to? You were jabbering up a storm and there’s nobody here but you.”

“Will you quit that. I was just thinking out loud.”

“Well the way you were going on out here, I was beginning to wonder if you had jumped on the bus to Crazy Town. I thought I might have to call the men in white coats to come with a net and cart you off to the rubber-walled mansion on the hill. That’d be a shame because I’d sure hate to have to get a new husband after taking 21 years to break you in just right.”

“Ha, Ha. They haven’t worn white coats in years. By the way, did I talk to myself when we first got married?”

“Not really.”

“I rest my case.”

“OK, whatever you say. Supper will be ready in about 10 minutes. You and your little friend better get ready to eat.”

“What little friend?”

“The little invisible one you were talking to a minute ago.”

“For Pete’s  sake, will you let that go? I like to think out loud when I’m putting together a column. It’s no different than a musician playing the music that he just composed to see how it sounds.”

“OK Beethoven, then why do you talk to yourself in the shower?”

“Same thing.”

“Riding the lawn mower?”

“Same thing.”

“Exercising on the treadmill?’

“Ditto.”

“Riding down the road?”

“Ditto, ditto.”

“You don’t see a pattern here, do you? I think the bus to Crazy Town is revving up it’s engine.”

“No, I’m just thinking all the time and constantly testing out story ideas.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really, really.”

“That must take a lot of time.”

“It sure does, but it’s the perfectionist in me.”

“Quick question.”

“What?”

“How come your articles aren’t any better than they are? With that much thinking, you should have composed something as good as the ‘Gettysburg Address’ by now.”

“Are you finished? I’ve got important work to do like finishing this column.”

‘I’m sorry. Dinner will be ready in a couple of minutes now.”

Cindy slowly edged away without letting her back show. After a minute . . .

“Is she gone?”

‘Yep, she’s in the kitchen finishing supper.”

“That was close!”

“You’re not kidding.”

“I like the way you threw her off the trail with all those justifications and rationalizations. You’re slicker than a pack of lawyers chasing an ambulance through a hospital parking lot.”

“I’m quick on my feet when cornered, but I think she’s catching on. I was wondering something though. How come nobody else can see you but me?”

“Because you’re special.”

“Hey, that’s really sweet of you to say that. You hungry?”

“Yep, lets go get something to eat.”

“Last one in has to write the next article.”