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I was in a technical presentation where the guy was presenting some pretty interesting information on stuff that people with lives probably don’t know or care about.

But I was getting into it.

And in my peripheral vision, suddenly the Taiwanese guy next to me… I saw his head droop forward.

I said to myself “Goddamnit, not another guy going to fall asleep and snore!  Not again!”

Yesterday in another talk being given by a guy I’ll call Bruised Fruit (because people nearly ran from his presentation at the intermission, it got so strange, and he was rightfully embarrassed – I was one of the ones to run, by the way) and the guy two chairs over was snoring repeatedly, woke up time and time again, only to nod off again.  I wanted to smack him with my notebook.

Fast forward to today.  Now I was again distracted.  I lost the train of thought required to follow a huge gnarly partial-derivative equation with lots of arcane notations…

I steeled my resolve, stirred my brains, and girded my intellectual loins, metaphorically speaking.  I was ready to push through this irritating little man’s distractions.

And out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash and a streak as he drooled into his lap.

Not a rustle, not a peep, not a snore, but there was this neverending river of drool collecting in this guy’s lap for the next three or four minutes.  It was awful but I could not avoid having my attention drawn to this embarrassing spectacle.

I couldn’t move without being a distraction to those around me.  I didn’t want to draw anyone else’s attention to Slime-Boy.  I did not want to get even close to him to nudge him for fear of being slobbered on.  So I cleared my throat – once, twice, and a third time loud enough to distract five or six people.

Slime-Boy gave a start, realized that he was wet from the chin, down his shirt, and up to and including a pool of saliva in his lap.

He whipped out a handkerchief and started mopping up his mess.

I sighed a sigh of relief, able to go back to equations and preliminary results of the experiment the speaker had done.

And Slime-Boy’s head slumped forward, he sighed once, and drooled into his lap again.

I just got up and left.  It was a lost cause.

Gosh I want to go home.  I’m going to miss the good seafood – I’ve eaten enough fish, calamari, crawfish etouffee, shrimp, and clams to tide me over (ha ha) for a good long while, but I will miss it all the same.

I miss tripping over my own cats (hotel cat room service is expensive).  I miss getting irritated by my own kids (plenty of other people’s irritating kids here).   I even miss Cruel Wife’s idiosyncracies that normally age me prematurely a handful of days at a time.  Trashy women aren’t sufficient.

Just a funny side note… One of they guys in the tech exhibit hall told me that a number of geeky-looking fellows were busted over in the red light section, on their knees and handcuffed along with some unreported number of hookers.  He was surprised because he said it didn’t look like that kind of neighborhood.  I doubt it was anyone from here but it was an interesting anecdote.  (What?  Someone has a bridge to sell?)

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