Communicate only in catchphrases? Word.
Updated: May 23, 2012 3:43PM
Imagine a game show where contestants are only allowed to converse using annoying catchphrases:
“You rock!” Contestant 1 barks out.
“You had me at ‘hello,’ ” Contestant 2 snaps back, determined to win.
Thus starts the fierce competition:
“You’re not the boss of me.”
“That’s what she said.”
“Oh no she didn’t!”
“Don’t go there.”
“Takes one to know one.”
“Let’s touch base.”
Meanwhile, glued to their seats, trembling with adrenaline, the show’s audience is tense, most barely able to suppress horrible dark urges to storm the stage with cream pies and hurl any extra lemon meringues at Jersey Shore-ians.
Gripping his seat, an audience member gnashes his teeth, listening to the cornucopia of clichés. “Please, God. I can handle anything but ‘Have a nice day.’ ”
Sweaty, nerves taut, his wife closes her eyes. “And I thought a rerun of a ‘Match Game’ with Charles Nelson Reilly was bad.”
A woman contends: “For me, the rage trigger is ‘Invalid User Name.’ ”
As the show moves into its
final round, the audience restrains its primitive impulses.
Seated in the last row, my sons remain mum. Their generation has their share of catchphrases such as “epic fail,” or “word,” which in today’s vernacular means “to speak the truth,” usually accompanied by the hand gesture where the forefinger and pinky point downward; it’s what Keith Richards might say to Johnny Depp in a Parisian night club — not by me, waving a two-for-one Burger King coupon.
“My bad,” my son says.
Then, on stage, a contestant utters a fatal catchphrase.
This is the straw that breaks the audience’s backs. They pillage everything with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and garlic bulbs from a Rachael Ray taping. While TMZ records the unfolding horror, contestants dodge a flying vegetable platter from a Jewel deli. Paratroopers are called in. Choppers evacuate cameramen and producers. Later, we find out what the beleaguered contestant said.
“It is what it is.”