Sunday, December 9, 2007

12-9-07: Afterthought Book

Did you ever walk away from a situation where you needed a clever response, but couldn't think of one? I'm sure you have, as it happens all the time. There's a French saying for it that I don't remember, but it seems to happen a lot to me. So, I thought something up that might be helpful: an afterthought book. You'd keep this book in your pocket and use it as a reference whenever and wherever necessary.

Now, an afterthought can be about almost anything, so the title can be as specific as you want. You could even split it up into sections. One could be about stuff you simply forgot about, or simply don't know, and need to look up ("Were Sodom and Gomorrah people or cities...?"); another could be just reminders to yourself ("Don't forget to bring your A game."); and another could be clever sayings broken down by subject.

Let's take a look at what sort of subjects you could break this down into. You might think it should just be at different types of locations, like at a bar or at a coffee shop. But, wouldn't it make more sense to break them down into simply the type of situation? There are a surprising amount of common elements from different locations. People tend to set other people up no matter what the location. For example, let's say you order something and they're out of that item. This could happen at a bar, coffee shop, or any restaurant. You could theoretically use the same, or similar, line at all locations. Here are a few examples: "Well that settles it, I'm becoming a Vegan," or "This has happened every time I've come here, and the server always looks like you. Is there a conspiracy or something?" or "Who had the last one? Did they have a smile on their face? I hope they did, the bastards." See, you can use those anywhere! It doesn't even have to involve food (and yes, I am including the Vegan line, which would be doubly funny if mentioned in a hardware store).

It all breaks down to KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. If you aren't quick enough to come up with a line, it's usually because of the type of situation, like a fast paced environment of a store or a bar or anywhere. When coming up with a set of clever lines for your afterthought book, remember to keep them simple and universal. It looks really bad if you screw up the general, broad ones. Make them easy to remember.

Here are some that you might want to consider:

Scenario 1: Some one cuts you off in line and takes forever to order what they want.

- "So that's what jerks eat. I never knew." (after they're done ordering food)
- "I sure hope my medication doesn't wear off. The last person looked just like you, and that arrest just never seems to go away."
- "This isn't actually a line, you know. We're all just paid extras in the direct-to-TV movie of your life story. The title is The Asshole Who Cuts In Line and Orders Slowly."
- "This isn't actually a line, you know. We all just meet up here every week to catch a glimpse of our biggest hero. You're a minute late!"

Scenario 2: While you are ordering something, some one in line behind you becomes very impatient and starts to get rude.

- "Oh, it's you! I am so sorry. If only you had said you were in line, I would have dropped to my knees and allowed you to order your food, which I like to refer to as The Meal That Was."
- "I'll tell you what, if you tell me exactly what you want in 5 seconds or less, I'll buy it for you." (then just turn around and keep ordering while they sputter; if they accomplish the feat, say "Well it appears that you're probably not in a hurry to get anywhere important" and ignore them)
- "You look familiar. I can't quite put a name to the face, though, but I recognize you. It was either in Asshole Magazine's December issue, or it was on the hit reality TV show called 'The Impatient Line-waiters.' Are you famous?"

Scenario 3: A salesman is obviously trying to rip you off and sell you something you neither want nor need in any way

- "If you can give me 10 reasons why I have to have this today, in under 1 minute, I'll consider buying it. And each reason has to start with a different letter of the alphabet. No repeats!"
- (If it's an extended warranty) "You know, the last extended warranty I bought was for my pet armadillo. Killer sure was a great pet. He'd always put a smile on my face whenever I'd get home, even if I ran over something. Do you think this could replace Killer?"
- "So let's say I buy this from you. What's in it for me? Because I certainly don't want it, and I sure don't need it, but you obviously have done my thinking for me already. So, I can only assume that since you've done so much thinking for me already, you'd already know what is in it for me."

Look for my book in stores next spring.

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