Do You Know the Muffin Man

Contrary to popular belief this entry has absolutely nothing to do with muffin tops, but instead it is about the very popular game of “do you know …”

I don’t know the place of origin for the popular “do you know” game but I believe it reached its height of popularity around the time that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon surfaced.  In an effort to see if someone was in deed really only six people away from the star made famous through a rage filled punch dance in a town that had admonished the celebratory ways of music in the film “Footloose” (note that this film also launched the careers of celebrities such as John Lithgow and Sarah Jessica Parker) they began asking people they had recently met where they were from, vigorously scanning their memory for a contact, and then asking if they knew them.  I was horrible with this game as I continually confused Christian Slater for Kevin Bacon and in turn lead to a year long obsession with the 1986 skateboarding thriller “Gleaming the Cube”.

Now, back to the game.  Once people got bored with Kevin Bacon (or tired of the rejection that they weren’t 6 degrees away) they just wanted to see how many people they knew in the world.  This is similar to the current practice of adding as many people as possible to your MySpace page, Facebook, or LinkdIn Network.  This starts in high school with the following interactions:

new acquaintance: so, you go to Sweet Valley High?

me: yeah

new acquaintance: So do you know Kristin?

me: yeah

new acquaintance: cool! so do i! we should all be best friends

me: um, okay

This carries on through college, work, church, anywhere else where people are organized in any sort of directory.  Note that this also includes the phone book, as odd as this may seem.  Apparently people think that Kansas City is Mayberry and we all know each other so I continually get asked if i know  “Bob Smith” or “Sally Jones”.  Every once in a while I do end up knowing the person, and I like them, and it’s fun to have a contact.  And every once in a  while, i do end up knowing the person, and i CAN NOT STAND THEM and my facial expressions (and expletives) give that away and then I find out that the complete effing moron is their boyfriend, or son, or husband, or bff.  Which leads to the advice that if you do know the person that is in question, hold back any like or dislike until you find out the relation to the individual. 

What this all is leading to is probably my most recent game of “do you know”.  I was riding the elevator up to the 3rd floor (because I am dedicated to physical fitness, just not in my 3″ heels) and there were a few other people present.  I was pretending to be enthralled with a text or e-mail on my phone but they still started talking to me, granted they were my friends,  but whatever, that’s neither here nor there.  Another individual on the elevator recognized me and a friend as “runners” and asked if I knew “Suzie Q” (obviously not her real name).  The name drew a complete blank and I politely asked where I might know this person from.  It turns out that “Suzie Q” is a “runner” as well (by the way i hope you are enjoying my over-use of quotations, i keep picturing Joey using them in the Friends episode where doesn’t really know how to use them.  If you’ve seen the episode you are probably laughing now too, if you haven’t seen the episode then just think of a really funny episode of another t.v. show you like, i.e. the office, and then you will start laughing).  I just looked at the person and responded, very politely in my usual tone and manner, with “um, yeah, there are a few of us out there”.  Seriously folks, asking if I know a random person because they are a runner is similar to asking if they know “Bob” because he likes Cheetos …

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