I woke-up last Saturday morning with a very sore throat, which could only mean one of 2 things: I tried and failed to sing Katy Perry's Firework again, or I was being a loud and tipsy version of myself. I could have easily been doing both (that second one often increases the chances of the first one happening), but after letting my mind rack-up enough waking minutes to start thinking proper thoughts and not dream-addled fairy tales, I remembered: I was being a loud and tipsy version of myself.
The night before I was at a friend's little birthday drinks get-together, and the only person I really knew who was going to be there was the birthday girl herself. This seems to be happening a bit more recently - where I go to social gatherings where I will know only 1 person (at least, 2 if it's a good day) and that person will be the one who invited me in the first place. This would usually make me a tad nervous, but I think somewhere in doing all those ceroc dance classes, I've become a lot more comfortable talking to people who I didn't know an hour ago.
One of those things I've become accustomed to doing is to just let whatever thought is occupying my mind, based on the current topic of conversation, to come out. OK, so it's not as clear-cut as that (I still had to learn what to filter and what to let through), but it's like the internal censorship board within my own head takes a break for a couple of hours and lets through a lot more MA15+ material than normal.
I already do this to some extent in my day-to-day and work life, so I've had a bit of practice. If anything, it's taught me that once you start with your own thoughts on something, the other person/people can take that as a sign to say what they're thinking. If you ever worried that your own thoughts might be a little strange or borderline incriminating, just wait until the other person/people say what's on their minds and then be surprised at how much more ridiculous the things they're thinking can be than yours.
Case-in-point: that night I made a 'your mum' joke (it's a staple in my conversational repertoire), and after a few more different takes on the joke from others poking fun at other members of one's immediate family, eventually reaching to extended family, someone chimed in with words that amounted to: "Hold on, can you legally marry your cousin?"
I may have opened the floodgates, but it wasn't me that provided the water.
So it was a conversation killer... in any other setting. Instead, people got out their smartphones and started looking up the information on the internet while the rest of us who had phones that can barely connect dots, let alone connect to the internet, argued very loudly about it until someone could provide a comprehensive answer. Once someone did - quoting the New Zealand Marriage Act like they had at least 1 law paper under their belt - it became a bit of a recurring theme for the night. We were guys were all over the topic, whereas the birthday girl looked a bit ashamed at the company she managed to put together.
That wasn't the only time many of us got out our phones though. Maybe half-way through the night, a late-comer brought us the news that Japan had just suffered an epic earthquake. Our initial reaction was that he was talking about the one from a few days before, but no it was one that hit just moments before and that so much shit was hitting the fan: tsunami warnings across the Pacific, oil rigs in Japan on fire, towns being destroyed by multi-metre waves, and so-on. At that news, many of us got out our phones for more information or, like in my case, to find-out if our friends in Japan were OK.
Odd, that I had more friends affected by that earthquake all the way in Japan than I did by the earthquake just a few hops south in Christchurch.
I went straight to Facebook, and after maybe my 5th login attempt (my login e-mail is a .com, not a .cow) I found that my friends were alive and, while not as 100% as they would normally be, they were alive. So with my mind at relative ease, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, disconnected my phone from the internet, and carried-on with the night at hand.
So I may have over-done it with the 'say everything that comes to mind' thing, because the friends of the birthday girl were already quite open and very engaging, strangers or otherwise. Not every situation requires that I dial my sarcasm levels up to 11 (an 8 will often do, or even a mild 5) and not every situation needs me making loud or potentially inappropriate comment about someone's mother.
I didn't really need to overdo it and give myself a sore throat the following morning. I could've saved my voice the extra hurt and instead used it for another attempt at Firework.