Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell
I Seeeeeeeeee You!
My second long walk of the day is ahead. This time Im walking through the dark, smoky hallways, past the human blobs and generic buffets and, worst of all, all the superior change banks I should have been sent to. Nearly every one of my fellow workers has to take the time out to stop and ask me where I'll be located. When I answer with "bank 14," I cant help but notice them giving me the guilty, pity-filled "Auschwitz" stare. They didnt mean for it to come out this way. The question is not asked with any malicious intent, it's just an effort to simplify the "spotting game."
Not many people know what the spotting game is but, nearly everyone has played it. The ironic thing about it is that the vast majority of the general populace plays it throughout their lives without ever realizing it's a game. I think the spotting game is played more often by casino employees than anyone else. I partake in the game a minimum of 20 times a day while at my job.
The rules to the spotting game are so simple no one ever has to be taught them. You simply glance around aimlessly for a few minutes, until you catch the eye of someone else with a familiar face. There is no law against the game being played intentionally, by a person searching a specific area for an acquaintance, but it moves far more smoothly, and the end results are much more fun, if you're both genuinely surprised at catching one another's eye.
Once you spot the person, you acknowledge it by getting a wacky grin on your face and giving an exaggerated wave. The exaggerated wave and wacky grins are usually replaced by an embarrassed blush and turn of the head if you are playing the "flirting" and "spotting" games simultaneously.
Regardless of race, creed, nationality or social status, people just love the spotting game. Even if you talked with the person you've "spotted" ten minutes earlier, unexpectedly catching their eye over a great distance is always a thrill.
It is somehow very amusing for people to notice their friends living a separate life from them. Spotting someone, when neither of you expect it, is like confirming that that person really is alive when you're not looking at them. It's like figuring out, once and for all, that a tree falling in the forest really does make noise if no one is there to hear it.
The smile from the party doing the spotting is from surprise and happiness, the same type of reaction caused by finding a ten dollar bill. The spotted party can react one of two ways; with a surprised giddiness, or by recoiling into a defensive feeling of vulnerability that comes from a friend staring into a part of their life that wasn't intended for him or her to see.
You can become a "spotting game spotter" in nearly any public facility but, grocery stores and automobiles are the ideal spots to spot people spotting. You can see when two acquaintances spot one another driving in their automobiles. They get the "I see you in your private time" smile beaming across their faces and then honk the horn a few times, point, giggle and wave. In grocery stores, just look for the people who are awkwardly smiling at one another, a little ashamed to be caught doing the exact same thing as someone they know, when the other party wasn't invited along.
Im pulled from my spotted-observations when I hear Kenny Daniels hearty voice blaring out at me. "Hey Wayne, where'd they put ya?" I hold up my key, revealing the "14" etched into it's side. "Oh man, that sucks," Kenny releases the patented gas-chamber sympathy sigh, "how'd you end up getting stuck there?" I tell him that it's just another subliminal message of hatred sent out from Richard. Kenny mumbles something about Richard being a dick and I go on my way.
The only trouble is, I suddenly get a disturbing sense of vertigo and cant quite remember where bank 14 is.
Go to: Chapter 13
©1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.
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