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“No Problem” or: Hey Mister – Is That Your House That’s on Fire?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:24
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Whenever I hear the words “no problem” (which I probably hear at least 5 times a day) I instinctively look up as I quickly sidestep, fully expecting to see a safe plummeting straight at my head from thirty stories above me.

Either I quickly look up for the falling safe, or I quickly sprint away from where I’m standing because the ground is going to open up and swallow me whole. I know it. I know it, and there is no doubt in my mind about this. I know that something terrible is about to happen to me upon hearing someone utter these two filthy, miserable, little words.

I do not have enough fingers and toes on my hands that will enable me to tick off the number of times things have gone horribly, horribly wrong…after I have been assured by someone that whatever it was, it would be “no problem”.

And when did the answer to “thank you” become “no problem?” What ever happened to the lovely “you’re welcome?” Or even a “you’re quite welcome?” Either response which assumes nothing but elegantly declares, “I am happy to have done this for you,” and not some robotic prediction that all is well without any knowledge of events that one may, or may not, be dealing with. No problem? My left kidney is killing me, my cat is sick, my wife is mad at me because I insulted her mother, oh – and, our rent is going up. Yeah, “no problem.”

And then there is the infamous; “I’ll have you outta here in twenty minutes – (okay, great, but please, don’t say-) – no problem” OH NOOOoooo…he said it. HE SAID IT! I now immediately know I am there maybe two, three days…maybe a week. “We’ll have it in stock tomorrow – (Please don’t sa -) – no problem”  Merde! Why did he have to say that? WHY?? “Hey, don’t worry, we can straighten this out immediately – (PLEASE, JUST DON’T SAY IT – I AM BEGGING YOU HERE, PLEA- ) – no problem.” Really dude?…REALLY ? For you maybe – for you no problem…for me BIG problem, big, big, B-I-I-I-G problem…and, you don’t really give a shit anyway, do you?

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You don’t even begin to know, you can’t even begin to grasp, the powerful forces you’ve arrayed against anything going smoothly from here on in – Anything! – Just by uttering those two lousy little meaningless words, do you? For me, it’s gonna be one HUGE, giant, colossal fucking problem just because! Just because! Just for once, just once, I would like to hear someone say “Mr. Powers, we may encounter a bit of a problem finding a Johnson rod for the model year that you have”…You know, I believe it would comfort me greatly to hear this. I believe it would have a calming effect on me…a soothing effect. I would greatly appreciate this. As a matter of fact, I think it would likely engender in me a feeling that perhaps, just perhaps mind you, I might be dealing here with a person who’s at least grounded in SOME FORM OF QUASI-REALITY!

When I hear the dreaded utterance “No problem,” it only means to me that whoever is saying these two little, shriveled up, inanely inappropriate words hasn’t a clue as to what has happened, what is happening, and what is probably- no, make that definitely about to happen, just because they said these two lousy, meaningless, rotten, jive-ass words – nor, as I said, do they really give a shit about any of whatever it is that the problem may be in the first place.

When I hear those two wretched words, I know what I’m really hearing is someone saying “hmmm, I think maybe I’ll get the cheddar-burger next time…or maybe even the bacon cheddar burger hmmm…” When I hear those two fucking horrible words I know I am on my own without a chance in hell of a good outcome.

What ever happened to; “I’ll see to it right away” without the “no problem” added? What ever happened to; “Well, it might take a while, but let’s see if we can figure this thing out?” No no problem needed. No additionalno problem!” For that matter what the hell ever happened to “nope, can’t be done, sorry.” See? Now to that  I myself might – just might – even say; “no problem.”

© tony powers and Barking in the Dark, 2011, revised 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tony powers and Barking in the Dark with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Filed under: offbeat, Random Thoughts, writing Tagged: cheddar burger, johnson rod, language, vernacular Barking in the Dark is run by Tony Powers, a writer/actor/musician.


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