Awkward Dave Returns in the Form of a Duck (or a Llama)
Awkward Dave reared his ugly head last Tuesday, and if it wasn't for my colleague Chantal, things might have gotten really awkward, but she heroically stepped in and saved the day; to understand the situation you need a bit of backstory . . . fifteen minutes before this Awkward Moment of Dave, I was introduced to a very silly game on Kevin's phone, called "Duck or Llama": the game is simple but frustrating, you are shown a picture of a duck, or a picture of a llama, and you must press the appropriate button -- "Duck" or "Llama" -- VERY quickly, or you lose; I was terrible at first but once I got the hang of it, I got quite good and scored sixty correct answers in a row . . . more than double what anyone else got; the pictures get more and more ridiculous and abstract: there are line drawings and close-ups and llamas with sunglasses and duck-butts and rubber ducks and stuffed llamas, and everyone has the same stupid story at the end of their round . . . either, "I was doing really well, and then I mistook a duck for a llama!" or "I was doing really well, and then I mistook a llama for a duck!" and this is the sort of thing that I can get obsessed with, which is why I don't have a video game system in my house, and so when a woman from another department, who runs a committee that I am part of, came up to help my sign up for a workshop at Columbia University, I really really tried to pay attention to her; she showed me some forms and explained how to fill them out . . . but then, without realizing it, I picked up the phone -- determined to get one hundred correct answers in a row -- and started playing "Duck or Llama," and I guess this nice woman, who went out of her way to help me out with this, made quite a face, but luckily my friend Chantal saw the face, and was a good enough friend to yell at me and tell me to focus, and this was enough to break my obsession with the game and allow me to finish the now rather awkward social interaction with the woman who had gone out of her way to climb the stairs and find me in the English office and help me out.