In the Words of Shawn

There’s this guy I work with now, Shawn, who is a very amusing individual. He sits in the desk facing mine in the office, and usually when I peer over the top of the laptop on which I wrote most of the stuff that appears here, he’s playing with a styrofoam globe that sits on his desk, impaled by a sharpened chopstick and bound in however many rubber bands he can get his hands on that day. Sometimes there are tacks stuck into it, for safekeeping. Usually, when he’s in the room, he is playing with his (styrofoam) ball.

Okay, not any more. But I still share an office with Shawn, and he is still very amusing. He hasn’t made a new weapon in a while; since our new computers came in, he seems more interested in playing games and reading sports news on his computer. I think he’s playing some kind of fantasy football game with a lot of the other guys. (Not a slight; I myself pass the time playing another kind of MMORPG game.)

But you see, Shawn’s one of the most quotable human beings I’ve met in Korea. I remember him telling me about the night when he drunkenly stole a tombstone, or at least I think I do. But I also remember a story about some guy in Toronto doing that, so maybe I’m mixing up stories. Anyway, if I don’t publish this now, I suspect I never will, but it will probably be the subject of revisions over time. Maybe I’ll even make a subpage out of it for this website.

Here’s the collection:

I believe anyone can become a brain surgeon…
(-Shawn, arguing against overvaluation of formal education)

Would you date a foreigner? Why not?
(-Shawn, to a naive sophomore student in front of all her classmates)

(pensively)I wonder if I can make a weapon out of this…
(-Shawn, amusing himself between classes with the sharpened chopstick/styrofoam ball/rubber bands contraption)

It’s not like the swords are sharp or anything.
(-Shawn, discussing the decor of his home)

I just go right up to them and say, “Hi! What’s your name? Do you have a boyfriend?!?!?!”
(-Shawn, on how to deal with high school girls who giggle and holler, “Hi!” at him when he is downtown)

Enh…. but that would involve reading.
(Shawn explaining why our suggestions about how to pass free time would not work for him.)

See? This is what happens to you because you don’t like books, you don’t do email… so you’re forced to play all the time! Look what you’re reduced to!
(another teacher grinning at Shawn during another weapons-crafting session)

Want some, get some!
(Shawn’s strategy of life, gleaned from an ex-coach)

Yes, I’m a Christian! I just don’t think it’s humanly possible to sin! There is no such thing as evil, because it always seems like good to someone else!
(Shawn explaining his personal theology. Note: this is much compressed from the original statement.)

(In stilted Korean:) Who is moron? Moron! Moron! How?
(Shawn asking the secretaries in the Liberal Arts office how he’s supposed to test during week 16—as instructed—when the building is being noisily renovated.)

If you haven’t noticed, sometimes I say dumb shit.
(-Shawn, on office relations)

They’re gonna think I’m a moron!
(-Shawn, on this post to my blog)

I’m really not quoting him at his expense. It’s all very very entertaining, in a good way, and I think he’s a good guy. He just likes to argue, and when he does, sometimes the positions he takes for the sake of argument result in him making some very quotable statements. But it does make the time here interesting, now that I know not to take his arguments very seriously.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been very diligent in collecting my amusing Shawn-quotes. If you have any to spare, I’d love to see them among the comments to this post. And who knows, maybe Shawn will actually post a comment of his own. He’s a regular reader, and gives me feedback verbally, but never posts comments here, or hasn’t as far as I remember.

And yes, Shawn, I know, I need to add a new poll to this site. It’s coming.

UPDATE (22/10/2005): A few more quotes I’ve added follow.

“That’s just retarded!”
Shawn’s astute commentary on the many annoying things one encounters living abroad.

“That girl is HOT.”

“WALMART! I buy all my clothes at WALMART!”

… and I’ll finish this update with a few lines that Shawn is especially proud of:

Some Guy: “Hey Shawn, how you doin’?”
Shawn: “Well, I’m not kickin’ the world’s ass, but it’s not kicking mine either.”

UPDATE (Nov 22/2005): “What you don’t understand is that I am constantly improving.”

UPDATE (Mar 21/2006): “”Some people need hugs. I need a certain amount of arm bars.”

(Courtesy of Mike Hartman, who explains that arm bars are something like headlocks.)

6 thoughts on “In the Words of Shawn

  1. I am fun to hang out with. I don’t see what’s so bad about wearing clothes from Walmart. I get a lot of comments on how cool my clothes are. In fact the quotes came about because someone said they liked my shirt. I just don’t think about everything I say and I like to cause trouble.

  2. Shawn,

    Yeah, I said you were alright.

    You clothes look fine, Shawn. I wasn’t ragging you for buying from the wrong style set or something like that. We can talk about why I think Walmart sucks later, if you’re really interested — just ask me. It’s nothing to do with how your clothes look. But it’s not something I argue about for fun. It’s a serious issue to me.

  3. I have a professor at school in my MFA program–she says that there are interesting characters everywhere. That they are the people you always want to write about, although they are sometimes overwhelming ini real life.

    Shawn’s brave tolet you write about him! But I’m glad you did. Entertaining–is he even for real?!

  4. Hahahah! Oh yes, he’s definitely for real. He used to sit across from me in the office, and now he’s in the back corner. He lives down the hall. Yesterday was his wife Young-Hyun’s birthday. Uh, wait, I know that a fiction writer rattling off facts doesn’t prove anything, but Shawn is definitely real, and as you note, definitely not lacking in the courage it takes to let someone write about him.

    Though, of course, he knows mt site’s traffic isn’t all that high, as well. That probably helps!

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