My Thoughts

“How are you doing today?”

It’s a greeting Insider gets quite a bit and it’s always baffled him because nobody really cares what the answer is. If you don’t believe the old guy, the next time someone asks you some version of this greeting, say something stupid and see if it’s even noticed. When asked the other day by a telemarketer, “how are you, sir?”, the old guy responded, “I have never been worse, how are you?” The punk on the other end, said with confidence, “just fine thank you for asking, the reason for my call …” He then went on to try and sell me a life insurance policy, which was strange considering Insider smokes two packs of cigarettes a day, has so for 60 years and is 30 pounds overweight. During a recent family gathering, a teen-ager asked how Insider was and he responded, “sick and tired of shaking hands with punks like you.” Not even a flinch, he just pulled out his cell phone and started punching numbers furiously. In the grocery store the other day, Insider ran into a fellow old-timer he had not seen in years. The old guy asked, “How is life treating you?” The old guy instinctively said, “just fine, and you?” The old-timer proceeded to rattle off all the health problems he had, his annoyances with the recent election and the high cost of everything. Insider sat there and listened and thought to himself maybe that telemarketer and punk kid were on to something.

The old guy wonders when along the way it became required to ask people how they are doing. It was sometime over the last 20 years, Insider estimates. Along with this greeting, the old guy wonders when handshakes for the men and hugs and kisses for the men and women became a prerequisite. It’s oddly unsettling to have to make physical contact with someone with each greeting. A good old head nod or ‘hello’ used to suffice, but no longer in this cuddly world of today. That’s why Insider always carries around a lit cigarette. Most people nowadays want nothing to do with anyone smoking and that works for the Insider because he likes it when folks just let him be. So whenever he is walking the street or going to a family gathering he lights up and that’s the best human repellant around. Even if his best friend yells at him for lighting up, he will just carry a cigarette around and that works just fine as well.