Have a Nice Day
“You know what bugs me?” says I to Wifey yesterday.
“Almost everything. What now?” says she.
“I just got off the phone with our on-line banker guy, and as we’re winding things up, he says, ‘HAVE A NICE REST OF YOUR DAY.’ This is about the tenth time I’ve heard this this month. Service people, waitresses, company reps, they’re all low-level,
under-paid people who deal with customers, and they’re commanded to be
saccharine-sweet, of course. I don’t blame them, but who came up with ‘HAVE A NICE REST OF YOUR DAY?’ ‘Have a nice day’ is an empty cliche to begin with. Now it’s been inflated by an absurd 3-word inanity. Are they all told at the stroke of noon to switch from ‘Have a nice day’ to ‘Have a nice rest of your day?’ No, this bank guy used it at ten in the morning.
It’s language rot. It’s maddening.”
“I knew it would be something Earth-shattering,” says Wifey. “Well, here’s something that bugs me. You and I were at the drive-thru window at the same bank recently, and the nice teller lady ended by asking, ‘Is there anything else we can do for you today?’ And you chirped merrily, ‘You don’t do marriage counseling do you?’ With me sitting right there.
“That was a joke, Dear. She laughed didn’t she?”
“And the joke’s on me, right?”
“NO! No more than on me. I’m the pathetic soul who needs counseling... if it was taken seriously... which it wasn’t.”
“Do you wish to look pathetic? Do you feel pathetic?”
“IT WAS A JOKE! But since you ask, yes, I do sometimes feel pathetic. PATHOS. It’s what life does to us all eventually, isn’t it? We’re all pathetic in the long run.”
“Well, I’m not.”
“I’m glad to hear it, but you’re seven years younger than me. See, in seven years, if things winding down out of your control doesn’t bring on some PATHOS.”
“You ARE pathetic.”
“Yes, I say I am. And the only way to deal with it is to joke about it. Humor is the only answer to pathos. So I make bad jokes.”
“Well, do us both a favor and drop the marriage counseling joke, will you. I hear you using it on the phone too. Don’t think I don’t.”
“Does it really distress you that much? If so, of course, I’ll drop it.”
“Good. Thank you.”
“We’re OK then?”
“Ok then. And you have a nice rest of your day now.”