Ginger: Hey, Ruby?
Ruby: Hey, Ginger?
Ginger: If I get captured by ninja-pirates while on one of my travels and somehow manage to escape them, but then get lost at sea in a small dinghy because I wasn’t raised near an ocean and don’t really understand how tides and ocean currents work, but get rescued by pirate-ninjas and end up getting brainwashed into thinking they were my family all along and everything in my life was just prelude to meeting them and joining their cause, how would you save me from myself?
Ruby: That’s a very good question, Ginger.
Ginger: Thank you.
Ruby: I can tell your Netflix wasn’t working this weekend and you were left to your own devices.
Ginger: No, it worked; it’s just that my internet was spotty, so the movies weren’t playing well.
Ruby: Ah. That explains that.
Ginger: You haven’t answered the question.
Ruby: I have not – and I am very proud of you for noticing that.
Ginger: Thank you. I’m trying harder to pay attention to what people are saying when I’m in the conversation.
Ruby: That is a very good goal to set for yourself. Many people go through their entire lives without listening to what others say.
Ginger: I know. I find those people who don’t listen to me when I’m trying to answer their question really irritating. And I seem to work with a lot of them.
Ruby: It does seem to be reaching pandemic proportions. I find a large number of those people in my office, too.
Ginger: …you still haven’t answered the question, Ruby.
Ruby: No, I haven’t. Your listening skills have really improved. How long have you been practicing?
Ginger: A few days – a little more than a week, honestly. It’s harder than you’d think.
Ruby: Really? Why do you think that is?
Ginger: Well, like any skill, once you fall out of the habit of practicing, it’s harder to get back into it.
Ruby: This is true. I bet if we found a bassoon, you would have difficult time remembering how to play it.
Ginger: I stopped listening to other people more recently than I stopped playing bassoon, Ruby.
Ruby: I am relieved to hear that, Ginger.
Ginger: I mean, I played the bassoon for one year in 6th grade. That was it. I only stopped listening to people a few months ago. And that was because I decided to stop listening to idiots on the train and then that escalated.
Ruby: I think I remember you telling me about that decision.
Ginger: Well, if listening to idiots is putting you into a bad mood, you should make a conscious effort to stop listening to them so you don’t get into a bad mood, right?
Ruby: Makes sense.
Ginger: And then you start to realize there are a lot of idiots out there.
Ruby: Very true. But not everyone is an idiot.
Ginger: This is also true. …and you still haven’t answered the question.
Ruby: Why do you think that is?
Ginger: Because you think I would be able to avoid brainwashing by not listening to people?
Ruby: …that could be the reason. So let’s go with that.
Ginger: Were you not listening to the question?
Ruby: Ginger, it started off with “If I get captured by ninja-pirates…” and ended with “how would you save me from myself.” I’m pretty sure the boat sailed on saving you from yourself long before you asked the question in the first place.
Ginger: Are you suggesting I won’t be kidnapped by ninja-pirates on one of my travels?
Ruby: That is one of the things I’m suggesting.
Ginger: …should I go back to not listening to people so I don’t get annoyed?
Ruby: Only if you ask questions like that and expect an answer that doesn’t involve a heavy sigh.
Ginger: Do you have an answer for the question?
Ruby: SIGH. I’d lock you in a room with a TV playing all the episodes of Firefly except the final episode. If that wouldn’t bring you back, I don’t know what would.
Ginger: You’re a good friend, Ruby.
Ruby: I do try.