Friday, May 08, 2009

That's A Deal Breaker, Ladies.

I love a good catchphrase.  Actually, I love any sort of catchphrase. To be honest, I probably love bad catchphrases more than the really clever, well thought out ones.  

One of the funniest comedians I've ever seen used to do open mic nights to completely silent crowds.  Joke after joke, silence.  I thought she was hilarious, so I was always the only person laughing. She'd push through her set and end by saying, "Bye. I'm Tessy." in a low monotone before dropping the mic Chris Rock style and walking out.  And then three people would look up from their coffees to clap. 

I wish "Bye. I'm Tessy." was the universal way to exit awkward conversations.  Just say it, drop whatever you're holding, and walk away.

The guys I used to work with spoke almost exclusively in their own created catchphrases.  I once went through an entire 8-hour shift hearing only, "That's a good one, dude." 
(To say this correctly, nod your head firmly on "good" and pronounce dude as "do")  

This phrase can mean anything.  It can mean that something really is a good one, like a joke or a suggestion, it can be a statement of acknowledgement, or it can mean that you have have no intention of doing whatever someone has asked you to do.  Which is why hearing it over and over during a busy workday can be so hilarious/incredibly stressful.  
The funny usually comes later.

The best part about a catchphrase is that all it requires is repetition. If you say it often enough, you can use it whenever you want.  It doesn't necessarily have to make sense or apply to every situation, but if it happens to work out that way, that's a double bonus.  This appeals to me on so many levels because I'm usually saying the wrong thing anyway.  It'd be nice to have a tidy little saying to use in the following situations:

1) When I don't know what the people around me are talking about.
2) When I'm asked, "What do you think?" after I've drifted out of the conversation for a minute thinking about how cool it would be if those singing waiters from chain restaurants showed up on public transportation with cake and a fun birthday song.
3) When I have run out of things to say.

I'll have to think about it. 


Katherine said...

i was recently forced to attend a sales training and they recommended the phrase "well, its not for everyone" if customers questioned the prices of the work. i suppose the idea was to put them on the defensive and try to get them that way- nothing like peer pressure and perceived judgement to close a deal. some other favorites include "good times" and "can't win 'em all"- these are both more effective with shoulder shrug, raise of the eyebrow and, depending on the mood, a small astonished chuckle.

Jess said...

Oh wow, the dirty tricks of sales. It's so Glengarry Glen Ross. I could never be in sales. My follow up would probably just be, "No? Are you suuuuure?"

For real intimidation I'd say something about babies. "Oh, that one? The one for babies?"
People HATE being called babies!

Thanks for the suggestions Katherine! They're all actually legitimate phrases that could fit in at any time. I was thinking of going with something like "Chicken Tetrazzini!" but yours make more sense.

Criss said...

I say you start the "Bye. I'm Tessy" movement. The phrase can really work in a myriad of situations, for example:

1) When you don't know what people around you are talking about: "Hey, have you sen Tessy?" or "Have you met Tessy?" (You can grab a random passer-by as "Tessy", or not.)

2) When you're asked, "What do you think?": "Bye. I'm Tessy." Or, "Tessy likes/hates it."

3) When you have run out of things to say: "Bye. I'm Tessy." Or, to shake things up a bit, "Hi, I'm Tessy."

Okay, maybe I just like the name Tessy.

Katherine said...

there is, however, something to be said for the random food phrases- i.e. "ravioli! holy cannoli!"

and its so true about the babies- works especially with le men, esp. around the holidays- 'hey! that little kid just bought a pair of those earrings YOU were looking at! looks like you both have the same taste!' automatically tack on $50.

such a heartless world

Anonymous said...

I heard some woman today use "what in the ham sandwich". I suppose it makes as much sense as any of them.

Jess said...

-It'd be cool if Bye I'm Tessy caught on and eventually got back to Tessy. She'd be like, "Hey, that's my line."

-So many mind games at that place. I'm going to be paranoid when sales people approach me now.
"Can I help you?"
"No. You stay right there. I know what you're up to."

-Ham Sandwich! Now that's just funny.