L a s t W o r d
For your weekly dose of everyday humour
Whenever I watch those Criminal Mind- type TV shows, they frequently speak of looking for the ‘ unsub’, and how he is tall and middle- aged with brown eyes or whatever. I have never found out what ‘ unsub’ means or asked anyone in case they think I am backward. Actually, I am more of an ‘ Unseen’ and our tribe, I am told, is quite large and suffers from similar symptoms of being invisible to the rest of the world.
We are the people who sit in restaurants saying “Scoozeme” to the waiters as they swan past with nary a glance and then we say, “Over here, please, yes, hello,” and three of them flit past to other tables giving folks like us the miss. Often, they come close enough to grab, then dance away to the grander callings of people they can see.
My family never stands with me to take a cab. Because the whole rank and file of cabbies will stop 10 feet before and then eight feet after where I am standing and happily pick up other people who have just fetched up, while I flail about waving my arms like one of those guys bringing his fifth aircraft in to park.
Get to the doctors 20 minutes before your appointment and, having studied the poster of the human body replete with intestines and what goes on beneath the skin, read a magazine from 2009 and absorbed the framed certificates of the medical genius you wish to meet, you are now into Hour Two of waiting and the nurses simply slither past in silent shoes as they invite others to be saved. It’s like your seat was empty.
Sister, sister, si- sss- turrrr… oh well, some day.
Sit on an aircraft and everyone gets served hot lunchies and munchies and stuff to sip and when it comes to you, the hostess says, oops, one second, I’ll just refill and she never comes back and, out of the pack of 310 people on the plane, 309 are crunching and slurping away, while you are observing all these food carts careening about the place and grinning to catch the attention of the crew zipping past you — not that they care because the fact is they cannot spot you.
Unseens will walk into a shop and all the assistants who generally follow you around with sticky suspicion like you were part of The Great Robbery gang will suddenly vanish to engage in loftier pursuits while you will be left in splendid isolation.
Come drive with me to a gas station and it is dollars to doughnuts that I will conduct a solo performance for several minutes as attendants cheerfully fill up other gas tanks and offer service with a smile, but for us it is a question of someone stumbling upon us and saying, didn’t s ee you and t hen disappearing again.
Exactly what happens at parties. Three hours into it, d i n n e r a n d d e s u l t o r y conversation done, some guest will come up and say, heyyy, look who’s here, didn’t see you, just walked in. Actually, no, been here over 150 minutes, about to leave.
So, where have you been hiding? I don’t have to hide, I just don’t get seen.
That’s the hassle with us types: even when we are ‘ seen’, we are miserable. Like whenever I see that the two tick marks have turned from grey to blue on mywhatsapp or SMS, I know that my message has been seen. Then I wait for the answer. Nothing. Now, I know it has been registered, it has been read, it has been digested so now I begin to worry. Didn’t they like my message? Have I offended someone? How could they read it and then go into stony silence mode?
Maybe t hey don’t l i ke me anymore. Perhaps the signal went off just after they read it... slender wriggle of hope. What sort of people read your message and then not answer it, do I send another message or suffer in silence?
Maybe they haven’t seen who sent it. See, you just cannot win.
[email protected] khaleejtimes. com