He’d been very intrigued and even mildly disturbed, as of late, by the salutatory phrases people chose to throw around, particularly in the workplace.  To some of these greetings, he had absolutely no idea how to respond properly.  A recent example was the question, “What’s the good word?”

As in, “Happy Friday! What’s the good word?”

While he knew this was a strange formality, as useful a greeting as, say, “How’s it hanging?” or “What’s happening?”, both of which were offered with no real expectation of a meaningful answer, he was beginning to wonder if there was, in fact, a “good word.” He wondered if the world was actually such a place that if he KNEW the “good word” and VOCALIZED the “good word” to someone, that he might win something, or better yet be invited into some kind of secret society, whereby HE then would have earned the right to ask people for the “good word.” What a thought!

From now on, he mused, I may just try random “good words.” Maybe something out of the Psalms or a Toni Morrison novel.  Seems a good place to start. 

The idea was fleeting, ebbing almost as soon as it had been identified as an idea.  What remained was just an irrational frustration which threatened to derail his morning even more than it already was, were that possible.

Whatever happened to “Hello”? Or better yet the silent eye-raise/head nod combo? Those served the purpose, confusing no one. Raising no troubling questions. 

Shaking his head, he returned his attention to his computer monitor, to the chat screen which had just popped up.  It was time to have a little harmless fun at the expense of his favorite national grocery chain.

 

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