Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Awkward Silence, Who's Bad?

I'm becoming a fan of the Awkward Silence(AS).
You know what I'm talking about, those times where you want to say something, but just aren't sure what or if you should.
I think the AS is an acquired skill. Although they may seem like spontaneous moments, when you have time to reflect you realize that you learned how to do it. The trick is to know when to use it.
"So, when are you expecting?"
That is probably the most famous pre-Awkward Silence phrase and it's also probably the most dangerous. A if looks could kill, you'd be dead sort of thing.
Asking a woman if she is expecting when she's not will bring you nine months of incredibly bad luck.
And an awkward silence.
If you are a professional that is.
You can tell the rookies, they are ones that hem and haw and say with their most embarrassed look, "oh sorry, I just assumed.."
Can you see the error of their ways?
Can you dig yourself a deeper hole?
Have you ever wished you could disappear?
Now experts, will at this moment, introduce the stealth of the Awkward Silence. Although it may seem like it's embarrassment, it's not.
You see, the ball is now in the other court.
For the AS to work, you must wait for a reply.
I know it's difficult, but stand your ground. It helps if you can appear to be desperately sincere or at best, totally clueless.
The AS forces the other person to make a decision: attack or defend.
If they choose to attack, you have already won for now the other party is the bad guy and if they choose to defend, you may not even have to apologize.
Use the AS with caution as we at The Flat Tire are professionals.
Years of research and dumb ass remarks went into the development of the Awkward Silence.
This brings us to what is now officially the Greatest Dumb Ass Phrase(GDAP) ever uttered by a teen: my bad.
The phrase just begs for a question.
At the very least, a question mark followed by an exclamation point.
My bad.

If you are like me, you can even use the handy WTF for emphasis:
My bad.

Now don't misunderstand me, I know what they are trying to say.
I must question though, are they actually saying it?
Excuse me, but you're stepping on my foot.
Oh, my bad.
Yes, I know it's your bad, that's why I brought it to your attention.
My bad.
Well if it's your bad, what exactly are you going to do about it?
Um, my bad?
Look, how'd you like my bad foot rammed up your-

You can see how the situation could get out of control.
Let's try it the old fashioned way:
Excuse me, but you're stepping on my foot.
Oh, pardon me, I'm awfully sorry.
Quite all right, it was of little inconvenience to me.
I'll be sure to be more careful.
Have a nice day!

A very pleasant and cordial exchange of two obviously civilized people.
Now let's insert the Awkward Silence:
Excuse me, but you're stepping on my foot.
My bad.

Awkward Silence.
Um, I mean excuse me, sorry.
You're damn right you're sorry! Now move your friggin foot before I shove-

The Awkward Silence once again elicits the desired response!
From now on, every time someone uses my bad on me, they are getting an Awkward Silence.


John Romeo Alpha said...

The missus is driven to ranting when kids tell her "my bad". I will suggest that she try the Awkward Silence method. When shooting hoops in high school, I remember "my fault" in common use, which also grates on the nerves if you parse it, but at least could be said to be short for "I apologize, that boneheaded move was clearly my fault, not yours." "My bad" reeks.

limom said...

While the intent of the GDAP is good, it fails in execution.
Why this generation cannot grasp that I'm not sure. Though The Kid I work with is starting to come around.

indigo_ink said...
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