We introduce ourselves and I ask, immediately, what you think of Elon Musk. You laugh, thinking I’m making a kind of topical joke. But no, the joke’s on you, because the only type of joke I make is sarcastically saying bad things about Elon Musk’s business acumen. I begin what you assume is a prepared speech on the subject. You listen with a mixture of politeness and confusion until I pause for a breath.
You seize the chance to steer the conversation to something normal, and ask what I do for a living. You don’t realize that this is the new normal, where it seems like men with STEM degrees manage to make every conversation they have about Elon Musk for a living. I ignore your question to gaze wistfully towards the stars and explain how he will soon set us free from this pale blue prison.
Three minutes have passed, so I pull out Tesla Motor’s Q4 earnings report. You gasp. I assume it’s the excited kind. It’s not. You skim it politely. I say I didn’t know you were a speed reader. You ask what I mean. I ask you what Tesla’s annual gross revenue was, aggressively. You laugh, nervously, and say you didn’t know there would be a quiz. There is. You fail, and I begin to get visibly agitated.
We’re five minutes in now. You begin to wonder to yourself why I’m so obsessed with a millionaire I’ve never met. I correct you: billionaire. You apologize. I say “with a b,” menacingly. You apologize again. I sense the insincerity of your apology and become increasingly hostile. What once seemed like a non-threatening social interaction has turned to anything but, as now you suspect I’m going to threaten you if you don’t agree that living on Mars would be the best.
You notice my hostility and attempt to engage in the conversation. You ask if I saw that one video of the SpaceX rocket landing itself. I ask if you’re an idiot. Of course I saw it. My pupils start to dilate while I explain why it ranks at the top of my list of human achievements. You say you don’t know about that, but ya it was definitely pretty incredible. I get uncomfortably close to you. I could cut the tension with a knife. You hope that’s strictly metaphorical.
You attempt to lighten the situation by making a joke about “amber musk.” Your joke backfires. My eyes narrow. I ask how you know the name of my plan to preserve Elon’s body until scientists figure out how to do Jurassic Park. You insist that’s not what you meant and make a note of the nearest exit. I respond with a stream of unreserved praise for Elon Musk that begins to slur into a guttural chant.
You take a direct approach and ask if we can talk about something else. I ignore you. The chant grows in intensity. You’re getting scared. You turn to leave. It’s deafening now. Glasses rattle in nearby cupboards. You begin to run. I follow. You run faster. I’m close behind, downplaying the practicality concerns surrounding the Hyperloop in favor of highlighting how cool it is that they sold flamethrowers to bring attention to it.
You start to run in a zig-zag pattern. You heard it confuses predatory animals. But I’m still catching up. You can feel my breath on the back of your neck. I’m listing all of Elon Musk’s successful business ventures. You’re getting tired. You weren’t prepared for this, while I’ve been practicing for this exact situation every time I meet somebody new. I tackle you to the ground while screaming “SolarCity!” You give up. We lay on the ground, both panting from exhaustion.
I suddenly realize how ridiculous this is. I apologize and assure you that I’m finished. Of course we can talk about something else now. So I ask what you think of Bitcoin.