The Crossroads of the Aether
Now, I know all of you have encountered these people at events, conventions and even innocent tea parties. They come in all shapes and sizes and sexes (Yes, I did say sexes. People have sex. Language has gender.). They usually show up at the event late. Often they are inappropriately kitted out (that means "dressed") and baring an attitude. This I can tolerate. After all, we don't all have three closets full of clothing to choose from and everyone has a dreadful day now and then. But it is what these persons do after they arrive, overdressed, under-dressed and cranky, that really annoys me.
Shortly after arriving the BBBs, as I will call them, will corner one or two unsuspecting persons and begin to complain about the sad state of the community. They whine about how they have been treated online. They criticize the costume of others as being "not Steamy enough' or "too punk", or worse they hold forth about what is, or is not Steampunk and how everyone is doing it wrong. They complain about how disappointing the last event was and how stupid, silly or ill-planned things were, without ever offering to jump in and help to make the next event, convention or tea party, better. In fact the BBB's will hold forth for hours about how much better the party would have been if they had been in charge, while never, ever volunteering to any organization to plan or just help out in any way. Often a BBB will brag about projects they are engaged in and how fantastic this will be at the next convention, while never producing anything. Then they will take their wet blanket and circulate it around the room, eat, drink and generally turn a convivial company into a sad collection of people fleeing as fast as they can pack up their tea things. Then with their work done and a "hale fellow well met" smile, they will beat a hasty retreat before anyone can ask them to stay for the clean-up. Every community seems to tolerate one or two of these people. Heaven knows why, but they do.
My usual response to such persons is to flash my fan/parasol, and politely excuse myself from boorish company. Lately, I have grown weary of allowing the BBB to rule the room and break up the party. I am not good at the snappy come back and usually think of just the right witticism, fifteen minutes after the moment passes.So I am hoping ya'll will help me to compile a list of polite questions to interrupt the flow of such persons and regain control of the conversation. The bar is reached when you hear one more word than you are willing to listen to, or you are feeling so uncomfortable you are looking for a reason to excuse yourself. Please post your BBB stopping questions or statements in the comment area.
Please use civil speech and try to restrain snarkiness. The goths cornered the market on snark some time ago and I wouldn't want to trespass.