On some days, it seems like I live solely to banter. It’s almost indescribable how much it delights me. Truly. It’s very strange.
Before Netflix I used to get butterflies in my stomach on my way to the video store. Video store clerks are incredible at bantering with the customers and I always used to look forward to it. On the walk over, I would hope that Carl was working because I could always count on him to insult my taste in movies, lie and say I owed him late fees, or just generally cut down my appearance. But he called me by my name when he said I was his laziest customer and that was everything.
Ever encouraged, I, of course, always questioned how he could still be in business, told him of my growing customer satisfaction at the other major video rental chains, and whispered loudly in my girlfriend’s ear (so he would overhear) that I would never be caught dead wearing any t-shirt or merchandise that promoted his establishment. It was the best of banter, it was the worst of banter.
It makes me think the Netflix website should really focus less on trying to recommend movies I would like and instead make fun of me for liking the ones I do.
By far, the worst medium to banter over is the text message. You might be thinking who banters over text message? Trailblazers, that’s who. But I’ve found the odds of hitting a doozie via texting is about 1 in 4 for me, yet on the email I am good for a 1 to 2 doozie to dud ratio. Sure, if you are patient you will eventually uncork a doozie but I’m all about firing doozie after doozie. My goal, after all, is to beat you silly with doozies and then steal your wallet.
However, the crucial ingredient in the recipe for witty banter is not the medium but the messenger. Some folks are just plain better at it than others such as:
Bantering with single girls is the highest form of banter. When it goes right, it’s the closest thing I’ve known to speaking in tongues. Something about it feels so right, yet so dangerous. Perhaps because I know how quickly friendly banter can turn to firing squad bullets.
Dudes On Greyhound Buses
If there was a professional league for banterers where you sat at the back of a crowded bus and just chewed off every person’s ear off who went back there to use the restroom but you didn’t get paid a cent, these guys would be all-stars.
Video Store Clerks
The best of the best. I often want to have a t-shirt making device on hand when I go to a video store because I know the clerk will utter an amusing catch phrase laced with just the right amount of insider knowledge and irony that, if printed on a shirt, would make me seem cooler than I am.
Grocery Store Checkers and Baggers
These folks get the nod because of sheer volume. Anyone that can even half-ass banter for as long or with as many buffoons as these robo-humans have to know a thing a two about turning a phrase.
People In Line For A Comedy Show
They aren’t funny enough to perform, but they think they are. Shamelessly, they treat the line forming outside the comedy club like it’s an open mic night and shower us with sophomoric banter-fodder. Did I mention I’m not only the president of this club, I’m also a member.
When I get right down to it, I think I’ve picked all my closest friends and lovers based on their banter. Of course, they had to like the cut of my gibberish too. I guess that’s why it’s so important to me, it’s a game I only play with those I cherish.