If you are an avid ESPN watcher then you will have caught on to the reference I made in the title to one of my favorite shows on ESPN, Pardon The Interruption, with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.  If you have not had the pleasure of seeing their colorful sports-related antics and banter, tune in at 5:30 and you won’t be disappointed.

Not a sports person? Have no fear, that is only obliquely related to my post’s subject matter, but it came to me in the gym so I figured a sports reference was in order.

So after I did this at the end of my workout, I was trying to catch my breath and get some water into my mouth between desperate gasps, I glanced over at my fellow gym-goers just to see what was crackin’.

Normally, I am “in the zone” and tend to keep to myself, not wanting to intrude on anyone else’s sweat sesh but I was done and dying so my mind wandered.  I saw a random dude (I assumed he was a freshman because he was an unfamiliar face) doing some dangerous looking stuff in the power rack.

Something like this was about to happen, I was sure of it:

If you saw this going down… would you interrupt?

Now, I am no personal trainer or certified specialist , but I almost had to say something to this kid to prevent him from injuring himself terribly and just tearing everything in his body.  But suddenly, I was like… “nah, I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ ” and just went about my stretches and mobility work as part of my cooldown.  I didn’t want to come off as a  totally condescending meathead by walking up and commenting on this guy’s gym-swag.  I know I would be pissed if someone came over and interrupted my workout with some criticism or suggestion, even if it was intended to be constructive.

As blood returned to my brain on my walk back toward the triangle (it was previously all in my arms and legs, which were screaming with soreness) I began wondering about other arenas of social interaction and relationships when we are forced to choose between bubble bursting and remaining silent.  Let me explain what I mean….

Often times, we might see a friend making what we perceive to be the wrong choice or engaging in risky business.  For example at one of the dimly lit, scantily clad dance parties and/or drinking binges that often occur at college.  When is it our place to step in and be ‘that guy’ who knows better and when should we let them be?  It is a fine line between ‘good lookin out’ and being nosy or between giving advice and being condescending.  Besides, what better way for our friends to learn than from their own mistakes?  Then again, we always want the best for the people who are closest to us, and it is increasingly difficult to stay quiet when we feel like they are putting themselves in harm’s way.

Obviously there are a full range of possibilities for these situations and varying degrees of severity for situations like these and sometimes the outcome isn’t such a big deal.  But I can think of a few nights of sleep lost in my college career over tougher versions of these quandaries of intervention  vs. detachment.

I am curious to hear any stories/insights that my fellow bloggers and readers can share with me on the subject.

Alas, nothing delicious to look at this week from my culinary adventures.  Val’s mediocrity has worn heavy on my culinary imagination and has me in a dismal culinary funk.  Perhaps something from town’s ethnic restaurants this weekend will appear in an upcoming post.  Something to look forward to.

Stay hungry my friends,