Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You're Not "Fine"

Think about how many times a day you are asked the question "how are you," or some variant of it. What do you answer? If you're like 99.42% of Americans, your response is always "I'm fine." Wow, that's creative and informative—NOT! Often when you hear people lamenting this societal custom, their solution involves taking time to "be real" or "open up" with other people. That's warm and fuzzy and all, but many times when people ask that question, you don't have time to be "authentic." So what can you do if you don't have time to share your genuine feelings with someone about how your day is going, but you still don't want to be Mr. or Mrs. American Citizen Action Figure with pull-string "I'm fine" action?

As always, Skor has a solution that is elegant, intelligent, and droll all in a convenient post-sized package. For your reading pleasure and personal betterment, Skor has prepared the following list of short responses that you can use in a pinch to stand out and leave an impression when you respond to the dozens of inevitable "how ya doin's" you are sure to encounter every day.

"How are you?"
  • "Boffo!"
  • "Splendid!"
  • "The American says... 'I'm fine.'"
  • "Fantabulous!"
  • "Chocolate."
  • "Bubbling!" (enthusiastically)
  • "BOOYAH!" (shouted abruptly)
  • "Finger-lickin' good."
  • "Ostrich!"
  • "Adequate."
  • "I'm existing."
  • "Sufficient."
  • "Pea soup."
  • "Mediocre."
  • "Decidedly bland."
  • "Bubbling." (deadpan)
  • "Terminal."
  • "My puppy died."
  • "France."
  • "Monkey dung."
You may find that upon hearing one of the responses from the above list, most people are incapable of deviating from their standard pre-programmed response of "that's good." The recommended response to such mindless automation is to politely reply "no, it's [original response]." With any luck this will result in at least a few strange looks as the "greeting handler" subroutine in their brain self-destructs. Here's an example conversation:
Skor's Reader: "Good afternoon, Innocent Bystander."
Innocent Bystander: "Hey, Skor's Reader, how are you?"
Skor's Reader: "Chocolate."
Innocent Bystander: "That's... good."
Skor's Reader: "No, it's 'chocolate.'"
Innocent Bystander: "Okay, um... I, um... have to... go check on my milk. It might be expired."
Skor's Reader: "Okay, have a finger-lickin' day!"
Innocent Bystander: (head implodes)
Wouldn't you rather have a conversation like that one, than the standard boring "How are you? I'm fine." template? Of course you would. So go ahead and print out this post, and get to memorizing the list. At least write it on your hand or something.
image sourceCategories: Personal, Culture


Blogger DaButtminster said...

My favorite neutral response is:

"fairly fair"

8:41 AM, October 12, 2005  
Blogger Erin said...

A friend and I were also recently discussing how to answer the unanswerable "What's up?"

We decided it was easiest to just answer, "fine, thanks."

It has worked delightfully well.

1:57 PM, October 12, 2005  

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