Um.

Ginger: Fourteen.

Ruby: Shh.

Ginger: That’s fourteen in one minute.

Ruby: I repeat – Shh.

Ginger: She has said “um” fourteen times in just sixty seconds!

Ruby: Stop counting her um’s.

Ginger: She actually said “The, um, um, presentation will, um, include, um, suggestions for these, um, situations.” How was this not a gauntlet thrown?

Ruby: You’re making her nervous. Stop counting her um’s.

Ginger: That’s not really as bad as when she said “It’s a, um, uh, um, uh, um, uh, a nervous habit that, um, can distract, um, uh, um, from the intent.”

Ruby: Just stop.

Ginger: It’s a presentation on public speaking!

Ruby: Maybe she’s doing it on purpose.

Ginger: Oh, yeah? Prove it.

Ruby: …okay, fine. Maybe she’s not aware she’s doing it.

Ginger: How could you not know you’re saying “um” every .23 seconds when you’re presenting on public speaking?

Ruby: Did you really just do the math for that?

Ginger: I dunno. Maybe.

Ruby: Why are we even at this presentation? Didn’t we graduate from college already?

Ginger: I attended a seminar done by this woman a few years ago. She said “um” 256 times in three minutes. After the first five minutes, I recorded her and went home and tallied the numbers there. I wanted to see if she had gotten any better.

Ruby: Well, statistically…she has.

Ginger: Not much.

Ruby: Wait, you knew she had an “um” problem and you came back?

Ginger: She invited me.

Ruby: Why would she invite you?

Ginger: Because I sent her the recording of her three minutes. I also included several helpful tips on how to avoid saying “um” so much.

Ruby: Was one of those tips “ban Ginger Blaze from seminars”?

Ginger: No. But she’s using most of my tips in her presentation now.

Ruby: Ah. That would explain Step 7.

Ginger: I didn’t write that one. At all.

Ruby: You didn’t write “Scan the audience frequently, looking for ‘zombies’ – people who are zoning out and should be your new attention target”? Really?

Ginger: I wrote “Scan the audience frequently in case zombies attack and you need to make a quick escape. Be prepared to sacrifice those in the audience who were not paying attention. Think of them as ‘Zombie Targets’.” She made up her own insanity.

Ruby: Riiight.

Ginger: Ruby, you have to be prepared for the zombie uprising at any time.

Ruby: Yes, Ginger, you’ve warned me.

Ginger: Y’know, I’ve heard people who don’t say “um” for five whole minutes at a time.

Ruby: Should we just go?

Ginger: Why?

Ruby: Because her um’s are distracting you to the point of my aggravation.

Ginger: But there’s free coffee afterwards. And cake.

Ruby: I will buy you two blue-frosted cupcakes if we can just leave now. And coffee.

Ginger: Oh, thank goodness, I thought we’d never get out of here!

Ruby: Were you waiting for me to offer you caffeine and blue treats before we could leave?

Ginger: No. I thought you’d tell me we were being rude if I said we should leave.

Ruby: Ah.

Ginger: Hey, Ruby?

Ruby: What?

Ginger: Can I shout a warning about the zombie uprising now?

Ruby: Wait til we’re outside the auditorium first.

Ginger: Okay. And thank you.

Ruby: Anything to jar this poor audience…

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