How To Say Goodbye. Seriously.

It’s hard to say goodbye.

Sometimes it’s because you don’t want to.

Usually it’s because the other person is a jerk.

Engaging in phone calls in the modern era involves negotiating the end of conversations.  Sometimes with those you know well, you both understand the moment a conversation is done. Or perhaps like an old friend of mine you have an understanding with your parents – ‘we don’t say goodbye, we just hang up’. Lucky bastard. Short of saying ‘shut up‘ or ‘I’m hanging up now‘ we need to learn to live with those who make saying goodbye painful, awkward or simply very very long.

Culprit: The Clueless Big Talker phone0

When you try to end the conversation subtly they simply don’t pick up on your cues. No amount of “ok then” or “It’s been great talking to you” or “Let’s talk soon yeah?” will let them know that this conversation should die. They’ll continue to give it CPR – constant prattering rubbish – until you want to throttle them.

The Solution: Fake bad reception.

You’re going to have to do the fake-bad-reception bit “Hey….sorry I’m getting….bad ….here. I think….reception…pineapple….talk later ok….gruffle….bye!” Then simply hang up.

Culprit: The Last-Worders 

Goodbye means something different to these people. For most of us it means the conversation is done. For them it means it’s time for the final massive Shakespearean third act. This involves throwing together hopes for another conversation, lamenting the end of this conversation, things you must do when you both have another conversation and even well wishes they want you take to other people for future conversations. Never engage these people while standing up because your legs may fall off.

The Solution: Kill the drama.

They fear thoust may never speaketh again. Tell them ‘I have to go, I’ll call you back’ and they’ll back off the speeches. Of course unbeknownst to them you’ll call them back next week, or maybe next year.  

Culprit: The Awkward Guy 

These people will say goodbye, they simply don’t know how to do it cleanly. They’re just so happy to finally have someone talk to they usually fumble the hang up with 4 or 5 different farewells or one “um…bye..ok…see you…yep…bye bye”. Meanwhile you feel so bad ending the conversation, as it’s clearly the highlight of their week, that it takes you 30 seconds to remove the phone from your ear as you strain to keep up with their continuing farewells.

The Solution: Clean and Jerk.

You say “I’d better let you go” to make it look like it’s you that’s taking up their time and you hang up as quick as you can.

I hope that helped.

Goodbye.

Why we should love Prince Phillip’s gaffes

Prince Phillip has once again put his royal foot in it on a visit to a public hospital. He commented to a  Philipino nurse that her country “must be half empty, you’re all here running the NHS”. 

Media outlets continue to focus on the inappropriateness of his comments. How about focusing on his creating witty (and inappropriate) remarks at 91 years of age??? Along with Betty White here are a couple of 91 year olds still working, making off the cuff witticisms at an age when most people have severe dementia, no memory and struggle to find their marbles. Let’s instead think in wonder at these nonagenarian sharp spontaneous humor.

Whatever they’re putting in their blended high fibre breakfasts, I want some.

Prince Phillip 

Age: 91

TV Shows: 0

Charity Balls: 5,613

Conversations with strangers: 14,987,305

Top Remarks:

At a project to protect turtle doves in Anguill:

“Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?’”

In regards to deaf children standing by a steel band:

“Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”

He even asked Cate Blanchett to fix his DVD player because she worked “in the film industry”

“There’s a cord sticking out of the back. Might you tell me where it goes?”

Betty White betty-white-1

Age: 91

Emmys: 7

Conversations with strangers: 39, 370

TV Shows: Countless

Top Remarks:

On exercise

“I have a two-story house and a bad memory, so I’m up and down those stairs all the time. That’s my exercise.”

On love

“I’ve always liked older men. They’re just more attractive to me. Of course, at my age there aren’t that many left!”

On courage

“Why do people say ‘grow some balls’? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. 

Those things can take a pounding.”

Let’s All Say The N-Word

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In the new film Django Unchained, the N-Word is said over 100 times. Alot is being made in the American mainstream media about whether this crosses some imaginary line of good taste or decency.

So the N-word. Look I wish I could simply say the word in full right now, as N-Word makes me feel there are friend’s three-year kids standing around who should be shielded from just about everything I’ll ever say. But there’s no three year olds reading this, only you, an adult.

Let’s start by pointing out I am a white male and the greatest oppression I’ve faced in my life is being forced to use right handed scissors. That’s right I’m left-handed, deal with it.

Let’s also say that while I’ve studied American history I’ve never lived it. I can’t appreciate all the tragedies and travesties that have befallen it’s people.

I can say that the use of the N-word in the Django Unchained (once every 2 minutes roughly) seemed right. Pretty much every single time it’s said.

It’s because the N-word is not a bad word.

It’s a terrible, horrible, powerful, inflammatory, useful and painful word. To call it ‘bad’ is to abuse the English language.

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So for a film to use it over and over, should do so  with purpose and razor sharp intent. It should give the word meaning, and the film the same. It should evoke something in you. When you go and see Django Unchained (and you should) revel in hearing it. While the film is not a documentary on history by any stretch, it’s a powerful commentary upon it. One all wrapped up in typical Tarantino B-grade comical gore and wit. It will make you feel the way you should feel about slavery and racism.

Perhaps that’s why one of it’s stars, Samuel L Jackson insisted a reporter use the full word and not the N-word in an interview. Because it is a word that should not be locked away in the depths of a vault deep under the earth. It’s a word that needs to be understood, and uttered only with empathy and understanding. So let’s take off the velvet gloves and just be considerate in what we say to each other, whatever the words might be.

Again I’m white, male and Australian. So what do I know?

I do know this. Perhaps more horrific and offensive in Django Unchained is Tarantino’s cameo as as an ‘ocka’ Australian slavetrader.

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In a film set in Mississippi.

In 1858.

At a time when Australians still sounded most probably like Irishmen.

It seems no consideration was given to our history or basic good taste there.

Truly truly offensive Quentin.