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I tend to monologue a lot. Another word for what I do would be “rant.” I am uncommonly good at preparing a lengthy series of complaints with little provocation and no preparation. It comes from having a good memory. I can quickly recall all the things that make me mad about something without having to dig around for the anger. My gripes are stored in RAM, as it were. That isn’t to say I’m an angry person. Far from it. I’m just good at rattling off the particulars of what I don’t like about stuff, people, etc. I’m also pretty good at quickly and succinctly enunciating what I like about something, but I tend to do it with less loudness and hand gestures.

 When I was a young man, a teen even (guh… TEEENS!) this skill made me quite adept at arguing. Rather, it made me good at seeming like I had won arguments when, in fact, I had simply managed to speak more confidently and for a longer period of time without confusion or exhaustion than my opponent. Since then, I’ve tried to truncate my rants (positive and negative) with a rule I learned from Seinfeld. Go out on a high note. When you get the big laugh say, “Goodnight everybody” and show yourself offstage. When explaining, ranting, whatevering the moment I get my point across and the audience seems to be receptive and understanding (if not amused), I try my best to shut up. I fail at this a lot on interviews, but I am trying to get better. I am endeavoring to use words more as a precision instrument than a melee weapon.

COMMENTERS: Are you a ranter? What gets your a-rantin’ a-goin’? Do you have to DEAL with a ranter on a regular basis? How do you cope?