Friday, June 10, 2005

Don't ask, or I'll tell

This classic piece is about all those irritating, innane, insincere, irksome and idiotic comments we each get from the other cogs in the service-machine that is modern capitalist society.

'So, how's your day been?'
'So, how's it going?'
'How's your day been so far?'
'So, everything going OK?

Jim Schembri has some great suggested responses ...

How's my day? You really want to know about my day, do you, honey? I'm going through a messy divorce. My business is collapsing. A close friend nearly died in surgery. My child is gravely ill. Sweetheart, do you have any idea what you're toying with when you casually ask that question?

or,

So, how's my day so far? Well, as soon as I'm done here I'm going to throttle an executive ... I'm making a porn film and you're invited to the casting ... I've just purchased five grams of heroin in Flinders Lane. Want some?

or my favourite,

Sparky, listen up. Sociologists call what we're engaged in here a micro-friendship. It only lasts a few seconds and is designed to help us both get through this transaction without pain or undue suffering.

Now, in the few precious seconds we have together, it's your job to make sure our micro-friendship - remember that term - is not sent off the rails by you asking me personal questions, the answers to which you're not in the slightest bit interested.

You see, sweet thing, we all have a hard enough time as it is dealing with dolts who don't care about our lives, so the last thing any of us really need is to be reminded of that fact each time we step into some stupid coffee franchise for a double-shot espresso. You with me?

Just think it through. The main reason people need coffee is because they're having a crap day. Why do you think caffeine was invented, for Pete's sake?

I just need a coffee, a smile and correct change, not a biographer. So, do us all a favour and don't talk to people like you know them, yeah? You may think you're being friendly, but your phoney air has all the charm of a perfumed fart.

Now, you think you can handle that? Or do you really want the skinny about my drug score?

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