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Like the Soldiers Say

HELPFUL NOTE: If you insist upon greeting me with "Keeping out of trouble?" every time you see me, be warned that this is a question of such banality that I cannot be bothered to muster a civil response.

The same goes for "How's it hanging?"


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
I always just say, un-cleverly, and in a hateful voice, "I have no idea how to answer that question, so I won't" when people ask me stupid questions such as these. Which is not working out well financially, because I have to pay my roommate and extra dollar in rent every time I'm rude.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Today I just mumbled something and looked disgusted. NO ONE CAN MAKE ME PAY FOR NOT RESPONDING WELL TO STUPIDITY.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
I think the only answer to, "Keeping out of trouble?" is, "No."
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've tried that, but after a while it starts to feel like you're playing the game. Like, "Ha ha aren't we the funny vaudeville-type duo."

Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
If you glare at them with sufficient hatred, that might help. Sufficient hatred is often the answer.

But then, I shouldn't really act like I'm good at this. When my godfather said to me, "I'm so glad we got you married early and out of trouble," I just stared at him, speechless.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but then I'll be "The scary temp." As in, "Can we get someone else in here to replace the scary temp?"
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh. People who give you money. Right.

They suck. Except for the giving you money part.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
The money is what makes this minimal human interaction worthwhile.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've tried that, but after a while it starts to feel like you're playing the game. Like, "Ha ha aren't we the funny vaudeville-type duo."

Hahahahahahahahah You slay me. And I feel better now about my constant stream of snarkalicious internal dialogue when faced with live humans.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
This is one reason I almost always have my nose in a book when I'm alone in public. The last thing I want to do is TALK to those people.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
Back in the corporate job, 'Are we having fun yet?' used to send my butt twitching.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Ugh. God, nothing says, "You are a contemptible piece of human garbage not worth my time and interest" like these canned lines.
Jan. 25th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Many years ago (while I was still in college), one time I was in a bad mood, I wore my "friendly button" when I went grocery shopping.

Sure enough, some "Aren't I Being Awesome" jerk started coming onto me and flirtatiously said, "Can I read your button?"

In very small print, the button read: "Oh, shit -- you're going to speak to me, aren't you?"
Jan. 25th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Is it possible that you and I are different species?
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Remember when we were at Nina's and you started talking to that woman at the table next to us about what grade she taught, where, etc.? Definite alien moment, for me :-)
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Here's the part where I confess I was wanting to start a conversation with her the whole time but I held back as long as I could because I thought it would irritate you.
Jan. 26th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
I wasn't irritated! Honest, I wasn't. I was a detached anthropological observer witnessing the strange interactions of extroverts.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
How would you feel about people calling you "bro"?
Jan. 23rd, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Depends on the context. Dawg.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Here in Australia we have a particularly annoying lighthearted greeting: "Whadda ya know?"

Mostly said by middle-aged to old men in an ocker twang.

I'm not sure what the appropriate response is; some equally banal cliche no doubt, but I can never manage a response, my brain temporarily frozen in distaste at the ludicrous shallow vacuousness of workplace conversation.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
There is a show on National Public Radio called "Whad'ya Know." I've never liked it, and I think part of it is that it's such a stupid, stupid name.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Workin' hard or hardly workin'?

Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that one is grounds for a fireslap. You know, when you LIGHT YOUR HAND ON FIRE just so you can slap someone with it.
Jan. 23rd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
My work here is done.
Jan. 24th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
This post reminds me of my family. One of my parents is fine, but the other one and that whole branch of the family are good, wholesome, utterly uncynical people. Unfortunately, conversation with them is frequently vapid and trite. Conversation about entertainment rarely goes further than, "Oh, yeah, that one was good." Political discussion is stultifying. Most questions are perfectly rote and have been asked countless times before. I still haven't figured out how to graciously contribute to such meaningless talk, especially when it continues for hours on end. None of which you probably wanted to hear, but there it is. I'm a chip off the old block. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Families are just rife with awkwardness and empty conversation. If you figure out a way around that, let me know :-)
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
What bugs me is when I answer a vapid question with an equally vapid but atypical response and the questioner takes umbrage.

For example, when someone asks, "How are you today?" and I respond, "Doing okay."

Often I will get, "Just okay?" in response.

What the f!$k am I supposed to say?
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Give the most outlandish response you can come up with.

"I was doing all right until the Percoset wore off."


"Not as good as last night! Hahahahahahahahaha!"
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
How do you react to 'Cold enough for you?'
Jan. 24th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
With a burning rage. Which, in this weather, is rather a nice thing.

When I become a crazy person I shall ask people that in the summertime.
Jan. 24th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
So I have that to look forward at Readercon?
Jan. 24th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I guess that'd be about on schedule, yeah.
Jan. 24th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
What do you feel about "How's tricks?"
Jan. 24th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)
See, I don't get the percentage in a greeting that implies that someone is a sex worker. NOT ANYMORE THANKS.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

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