NOVEMBER 20, 2013

Watching people is hilarious
People are funny. I like watching people when they donít know I am watching.

I met a Southeast Journal reader last weekend at St. Vital Centre in Winnipeg. I was at Chapters doing a book signing for The Official Guide to Being a Winnipeg Cheapskate. Some of you are starting to recognize me from the Winnipeg Free Press Business section where I am, well, their cheapskate. Also, I know a few of you heard me on CBC Information Radio on Monday talking about the book.

But enough of those cheap plugs. The SEJ reader I met chatted me up and asked what it was like sitting at a table by myself for three hours. He said I looked bored and told me it was a good chance to people watch. Indeed, sitting front and centre at the entrance I saw lots of fun stuff.

The funniest thing to watch is people texting and walking into things. It was hilarious. Speaking of walking into things, I also like how people knock down something, stop, look at the item on the floor and then spend that second and a half deciding whether they should pick it up or simply walk away; most walked away.

Then you have the people that look away when you make eye contact Ė or they give you a side glare to see exactly what is on the table in front of you. Fearful I am going to call them like a carnival barker and sign them up for a credit card or Air Miles is what my scheme might be. Not so. There was a pile of books on the table. Itís a bookstore.

As Christmas shopping is getting into full swing, it was also funny to see the (presumably) girlfriends or wives motoring into the store only to see the (presumably) boyfriends or husbands down with handfuls/armfuls of bags caddying behind. I started to play a game: how many hours does his face say heís been shopping? I actually started to laugh a few times.

At the end of the day, it is great to meet new people and chat. I love hearing peopleís stories, especially when it comes to opinions about issues and current events. So bring it on! Agree or disagree with me, I always encourage you to speak out and reach out. After all, thatís why the website I started nine years ago is called SpeakFreewithJB.com.
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