“Tell them I said Hi”
7 reasons that these might be my 5 least favorite words in the English language
1. Making me the Middleman. You see what you’ve done here? By asking my to say hi to someone for you, you’ve made me the middleman. Like a drug mule traversing the deserts of New Mexico, I’m now responsible for carrying your cargo with me until I reach my destination.
2. The Indifferent Response. Chances are, when I relay your “Hi” to this person, they are not going to know what to say. It will come out something like, “Oh! cool.” Or maybe a half-hearted “Aww. I miss them!”. But probably they won’t really care that “so and so said hi”, and then the conversation will stall like an 84 Datsun on a February morning in Vermont.
3. The Return of Serve. The only thing worse than the Indifferent Response is when the person really cares. Suddenly they’re asking you to carry a “Hi” back to the original greeter. Are you kidding me? What do I look like, a walking Hallmark Card Exchange? As if I don’t have enough going on in my life, now I need to be the taut string between the empty cans you’re talking into? Instead of giving me a return “Hi”, why don’t you just stick a shiv in my pancreas?
4. The Dangers of Dropping the Ball. 9 times out of 10 if you forget to deliver the “Hi”, no one will be the wiser. But there’s always that chance that the 2 people will run into each other at Panera and one will mention, “Yeah I was hanging out with Bryan the other day and I was telling him to say Hi to you for me because it had been too long.” And then the other one is like, “Oh yeah? I saw Bryan last night at the game and he didn’t mention that you said “Hi“. And then the first person is like, “What a self-consumed piece of fecal that guy is.” and the other one is like, “Yeah, let’s go spell ‘Hi’ on his lawn with grass killer.”
5. I Probably Don’t Care. I’ve got a handful of good friends in life, but I’m not walking around like the Verizon guy or anything. So what are the chances that I really care enough about you AND the person I am supposed to deliver the “Hi” to that I am going to go through the trouble of handing off your meaningless greeting? I’ll tell you. They’re slimmer than Usain Bolt after a colonoscopy.
6. How about Meaningful Message? Carrying a “Hi” from one person to another is like driving 6 hours to hand deliver a styrofoam peanut. Really, is a ‘Hi’ all you got? can we maybe make up some news here? Can I tell them that you’re pregnant or that you’re thinking about joining the military? Can I tell them you said “Hi” from your swine flu death bed? Can I at least tell them a secret that I’m not suppsed to know about you. Honestly, anything is better than the “Hi”. I’d rather deliver the word “pickle” than the word “hi”.
7. Why don’t you just tell them “Hi” yourself? You know what, I’ll expound on this point tomorrow in Part II.
Got some thoughts on the “Tell them I said Hi”? Think it’s a necessary part of the way we interact, or does it bother you too? As always, your insights are welcomed in the comments.
(and here’s Part II of The Middleman Hi, where I lay out a plan to rid us of it forever)