Julius is freaking weird!
“Julius has gone freaking weird on us,” was how one of our fellow vacationers phrased it while sipping a glass of white wine.
“Yeah, we’ve known him well over twenty years when he was perfectly normal, but now he’s made a complete spectacle of himself,” chimed in her husband over his strawberry shortcake.
The situation? A group of us on vacation together during which “Julius” came up after dinner. I can’t recall the exact context or how Julius managed to enter our conversation. But somehow he did.
Pressed for details, our vacationer friends explained that Julius is now off into the weird, freaky, sick, disgusting, perverted (their words) world of cross-dressing.
“In fact,” said husband, “you can find him on Saturday nights dressed in drag on the streets of the gay section of town. And before he visits us, I warn my wife to hide her best dresses and panties so that they don’t come up missing.”
I remained poker-faced while others at the table laughed loudly, especially when the husband “entertained” us with limp-wristed gyrations and his “hey darling”mimicry of a female voice.
“And the thing about it,” said wife, “is that Julius is technically brilliant.” A second later, the conversation shifted back of Julius’ purported “weirdness.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” I stepped in. “Please say more about his technical brilliance.”
“Well Julius is on call to number of high tech firms across the globe as a consultant,” explained the wife. “The last time we saw him he showed us an article written about his work on some technology that has the potential to restore a blind person’s eyesight. He’s hoping one day to find a cure for cancer.”
“Yeah, and Julius keeps turning down high paying jobs, some even tripling his salary because of his ties to this city and its gay community,” said husband. “The guy is filthy rich.”
I retreated into my poker face – and now lukewarm filet mignon – as the conversation returned to more vivid descriptions of Julius’ weirdness.
After the last round of alcohol-lubricated laughter, and sensing that the group was about to move on to another subject, I made my move.
“Before we go on, let me share what I just observed, and timed.”
“Over the past twenty minutes that we’ve spent talking about Julius, I noticed that the majority of time – almost 95% in fact – was focused on his weirdness, and less than 5% of that time talking about his technical brilliance. I’m just saying.”
The table fell silent.
“Oh, oh,” said wife.
“Waiter, waiter, please give us our check,” said husband. “I think it is time to head back to our room.”
© Terry Howard is an award-wining diversity guru, trainer, corporate story-teller and senior associate with Diversity Wealth based in Douglasville, GA He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org