If things ever get a little tired, played out and samey-same for you, here's a tip for how to bring some magic and excitement back in to your pedestrian life. It’s a little piece of character acting I like to call "The International Traveler".
Its effectiveness depends entirely on a straight-faced delivery and total immersion in the moment. So listen closely and do exactly as I say. Here is how you will play it:
Slowly, and on foot, you will approach a local citizen of your home town and say, "Pardon me?" while smiling politely (with a dash of sheepishness).
You will then point at your wristwatch and say, in a world-weary voice, "Can you tell me the local time?"
That's it-- The International Traveler.
I've actually done this. Multiple times. In Denver.
Try it. It makes you feel like a senior vice president for a multi-national corporation or perhaps a spy. But don't let the apparent simplicity fool you--it's a complex series of moves requiring nuance, balance and impeccable timing.
Steps you must master:
1) The sheepish, polite smile. You have to achieve a “confused competence” here.
2) Pointing at your wrist says, "I'm not at all confident that I am speaking your language correctly". Don’t tap. Just point.
3) But the real closer is the phrase "local time". It is deliciously haughty. You have to say it like you mean it. Screw this up and your house of cards falls down around you.
1) Wearing a rumpled suit jacket will raise your level of play significantly.
2) You may squint after saying “Can you tell me the local time?” as if it pains you to have to rely on someone else. This lends believability and gravitas.
Good day, sir.
John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light at Red Rocks.
CAN YOU HEAR ME
by John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light. Directed by David Dyster/Umbrella Brigade.