Stand-Up Comedian & Writer

Oh No Conversations: A Person Who Needs a Favor

Oh no…this person only ever comes around when he needs a favor. Our friendship is built solely on transactions. Cashless transactions.

First, he will start with small talk. A few how’s the family, how’s the job. As I respond, he won’t actually listen. Only a few head nods and a that’s great. His body language will tell me to make it quick. There is a reason why he has spoken to me. Life updates are not why.

As I begin talking, his body impatiently sways back and forth. His eyes stare past me as if the favor is displayed in neon lights behind me.

The moment I stop talking the favor request will begin. I debate how long I should talk. If I talk long enough will something catch his interest and change the trajectory of our conversation?

The answer is no.

Before I can share my interesting story about lobsters, I am interrupted.

I don’t want to cause you any trouble, but I got a favor to ask.

The next few sentences will determine the strength of our friendship and the amount of time sucked out from my life.

He rubs the back of his neck and stares down at his feet.

A pause combined with no eye contact is a poor start. My gut tells me a vehicle is required.

It’s not a big favor. Nothing too crazy.

Qualifiers let me know this will be an all-day event that must be completed on a Saturday.

I was hoping we could use your truck to go pick up some China cabinets at an estate sale.

Usage of my vehicle and manual labor. Two of the deadliest favor combinations. Before I can decline he offers what he believes is an incentive.

I’ll order us a pizza and some beers for the trouble.

I don’t drink and am lactose intolerant.

I mean the estate sale is only about 45 minutes away.

45 minutes? That is two 45-minute trips. A minimum of 90 minutes stolen from my precious Saturday. 90 minutes in a car with a person who only wants to listen to fringe conspiracy podcasts during car rides. For food, I do not eat. For drinks, I do not drink.

If you’re too busy I understand…

The guilt trip is initiated. Full details of the trip have yet to be revealed.

But the China cabinets are for my grandmother. You know how she hasn’t been feeling well lately? I thought this nice gift could help liven her spirits.

Your grandmother calls me oriental.

To my face.

She really likes you too!

Before I decline I remember his grandmother has season tickets to the Knicks.

Season tickets going unused due to her recent illness.

Of course, I will help you.

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