My problem with pineapple on pizza is primarily an issue of texture.

I like a little crisp on the crust, and the soft-melted cheese, which usually hides, but pineapple is far too fibrous for my liking. It becomes not a matter of eating pizza but a matter of eating pizza and eating pineapple, and I only like doing one of those things at a time.

I have similar issues with people. I am sure a lot of people are, at the bare minimum, okay, but I generally just don’t want to be around most of them. Some situations require the presence of others, and for the most part, it’s fine. However, there are a few sub-groups where I have a little bit of difficulty, for instance, kids.

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I have a couple of honourary nephews and they are cooler than a ranch Dorito, but I think I’m tapped-out on that front. From time-to-time, I help coach a youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program and I really have no idea how to talk to them. I try to approach them the way you are supposed to approach dogs. I get to their level and put my hands out to prove I mean them no harm. They are good kids so they listen, but yeah, it’s weird.

Another one on the list is couples. I am okay with a family. Families are cool for the most part because there are kids involved and I can remind myself at least that there are worse things than only being responsible for me.

Such things include worrying every day for the rest of your life and trying to deal with the parents of your children’s friends. (I’ve seen this in the wild once or twice and it is fascinating, Jane Goodall-type stuff. The dads will try to make awkward small talk about the weather or even venture into the riskier topics of sports and cars before realizing there is no reason for them to have any real connection. But I digress.)

But hanging out with just a couple? Good lord no. I don’t mean to get all bah humbug about love but… I just find it off-putting sometimes, being a single guy. What if they are your friends, you might ask? To that I would say I’m stoked my friends are happy but I don’t really need to hang with them solo. It’s just odd and unsettling, for the most part. Family members are the exception.

Anyone talking about politics in my free time is also to be avoided. This one is sometimes, but only sometimes, more about my dislike of politics than it is about my dislike of people but still, no thank you. This usually only comes up during elections but sometimes there are those bold enough to bring it up at a bar, which confuses me to no end. What conversation about politics at a bar didn’t end in some sort of scuffle? I think that’s how bar fights were invented.

Anyway, this one is a must-avoid and I have legitimately walked out of rooms when this happens. Can we keep it light?

I’m done now.

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.