06/24/2014 12:53 pm ET Updated Aug 24, 2014


A spout is a passageway for water or other liquids. It can be a thoroughfare, a stream, a conduit, a way to sp-out content. I like a spout. It comes in handy when I want to wash dishes or drink water or get coins from a change machine or water the garden. Unfortunately, some people get confused and think they are spouts, including me sometimes such as now when I am on a rant.

Spout people are those who have no spigot; that is; there is no plug to stop or start the flow through the spout. One does not engage in conversation with a spout person. If one attempts to do so, frustration ensues because there is no cessation of flow from the spout and to interrupt would be useless. One must restrain oneself from expressing an opinion or adding an observation to the unending stream of verbiage. The spout goes only one direction and that is out. A spout tolerates no input.

Spout people are characterized by three v's: velocity, volume, and verbosity.

Velocity is the speed at which a spout is compelled to speak. The velocity of a spout is always rapid and unstoppable. There must be no pause or break in the velocity, lest the party being addressed presume to intervene in the barrage. This person soon learns not to be so careless as to try to interject a comment. Occasionally, I have set a stopwatch to measure velocity and I have found that the velocity of the spout increases incrementally as the fear of being interrupted grows.

Volume is the measurement of loudness associated with the speaking habits of a spout. It is evidently imperative that a spout speak as loudly as possible in order to convey the importance of the message being delivered. This fullness of sound does not waver and has no relationship to the proximity of the spout's audience; always the volume is high and the voice strident with conviction. A soft-spoken spout is a contradiction in terms. Volume also permits the spout to talk over the feeble mutterings of the so-called conversation partner. Volume has no gender preference; women tend to screech and men to shout.

Verbosity is integral to the proper functionality of a spout. A spout cannot say anything in a few words. Economy of expression is forbidden in the spout rule book lest the meaning become too clear or too accessible. Furthermore, a spout must always add a dozen or so personal experience stories to whatever point he or she is making, thus adding the burden of boredom to the weight of verbosity. The verbosity quotient increases, of course, in direct relationship to the complexity of the subject. A spout cannot stop; there is no spigot available. Verbosity also seems to be increase as the interest of the topic and the fluency of language decrease.

The following passage achieved a measured velocity of 300 words per minute, a volume level of 10 on a scale of 1-10, and a verbosity quotient of 90 percent.

Why are you eating a hamburger for lunch? You know meat, especially red meat, is bad for you and you will soon drop dead and don't blame me for it. I read in all kinds of places that you shouldn't eat red meat or meat at all and if you do, then everything in your body will shut down and it's all over and if they find you collapsed, it's too late. And my cousin Steve told me his buddy Joe eats too much meat and he also likes candy which I do too but I stay away from chocolate because Sue said it hurts your spleen. I never heard that one, so I asked my friend Sally she said that's not true, it hurts your gut. Sally should know cause she works at the hospital. Is your burger any good? I don't use mustard with it, I like catsup better it's from tomatoes which are vegetables. Pork is ok it's not red meat, it's more pale and not so bad. Why don't you check the internet about food so you won't eat so much red meat? Cindy told me she always looks up everything she eats, so I started doing that too and it really helps. You could lose weight that way, you know. How about a cup of coffee? I've heard that coffee isn't good for you either, but I don't care. I'll eat whatever I want because I don't believe half of what they say anyway and I know what my body likes and doesn't like and I'll take care of myself and I can't afford to eat all that many vegetables because they're too much money to spend which I don't have anyway to spend. I hate it when people try to tell me what to do, I'll do as I please.