Maybe it's just me, but That Guy seems to be taking over the world. I've encountered him multiple times in the last six months, in bookstores, restaurants and the grocery store. And as usual, he (it's almost always a he) is oblivious to his That Guy-ness.
You know him. He's the chap strutting through Publix in a muscle shirt and tight, sweaty shorts while talking on a Bluetooth. (For the record, talking on a Bluetooth anywhere outside of your car makes you That Guy, even if you're a woman.) Or maybe he's like the dude a friend and I endured at a too-trendy-for-its-own-good restaurant in Vegas. In between gulps of sushi (which he declared "orgasmic") and hitting on the waitress, he spent the night regaling no one in particular about blowing "Thirty Gs" or so while gambling. You know, no big deal. And I'm inclined to believe him, since most Bruce Wayne types favor stonewashed jeans and shirts purchased at Casual Male.
That Guy knows no class or racial boundaries. Take the kid I saw ambling the aisles of Borders bookstore a few weeks ago. He was elegant in his beret (yes, really), overcoat and scarf — positively French. But the pretentious factor was kicked up a thousand notches by the "Oh, my God, Carlos is insane!"-type bleating he did on his cell phone for the better part of 20 minutes. I'd bet good money that he never dreamed of being That Guy and has had more than a few hearty laughs at That Guy's expense. I don't doubt that it was a wild night at the coffeehouse poetry slam, but perhaps Carlos didn't anticipate his business being broadcast at such high decibels in Borders on a weeknight.
Then there was the kid holding court at Steak & Shake with what appeared to be the entire Leon High drama club. You've seen this version of That Guy: He's the smart but obnoxious kid who is always, always performing, even when no one but his friends wants tickets to the show. And because he is a teenage male with girls in the audience, his act comes with a side order of Annoying. This particular specimen was so loud and full of endless sub-"Will & Grace" quips that even my 7-year-old — no slouch himself in the attention-courting department — turned to stare at the commotion. I half expected him to turn to me and say, "Mom, is he That Guy?"
Yes, dear, he is. Be afraid.