Digital Decoy

I just came up with a statement that can save you about six years of your life. Think of it this way: If you put all your phone conversations together, I figure it takes you about six years to get off a call with somebody you like. It’s not a problem with somebody you don’t care about, like a telemarketer, or someone to whom you owe money, or worse yet a politician…you just say goodbye and hang up. But when it’s somebody you like, you find yourself saying things like, “Hey, I better let you go,” or “See ya around,” or “Take care…drive carefully,” or “Take it easy”…you know, words that are just noise. It used to be that you could say, “Hey, I have to go piddle.” But now people know you’re on a wireless phone, and that’s not really an excuse. You could say, “I just noticed the house is on fire.” But that would require quite an explanation the next time your friend came to visit. One lady I know used to say, “Whoops, my husband just pulled into the driveway.” But that only works under special circumstances. One time I tried, “Sadly I must leave you, because my hair just caught fire, and I have to go soak my head.” But I never heard from that guy again.

No. What we have needed for so long is the opposite of the word…”Hello.” A catch all statement that definitively puts an end to a phone conversation without offending anybody, or making you lie…too much. A simple but effective statement to terminate a phone conversation with any one without hurting any feelings. A statement so simple, emphatic and believeable, that even one of the Pimple People would understand. A statement with class, with feeling, with urgency. In short a statement that any Louie-Louie Generation guy or gal can use with confidence, clarity, and even a touch of élan.

It must be a statement that we can make to a friend, a relative, or to the guy asking for contributions to the local Police Benefit fund, without hurting anybody’s feelings. A statement you can make comfortably, even when the only real reason you have to end a conversation is that it has simply gone on too long. And it came to me…just now while I was sitting here in my big, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room, talking with my buddy Al on the phone. Actually I was mostly listening to my buddy Al, who has been known to go on for long enough to need three battery changes for my wireless phone in a single phone conversation. He can talk for about five minutes without taking a breath. But he’s a buddy…and you don’t just say goodbye and hang up on a buddy.

Would you like me to tell you what that one simple statement that can end a conversation politely, firmly and with a pretty good chance that after you use it, when you call your friend back, you won’t always get his answering machine?


Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1-   Why is Zhejiang a good place to go on a heavy date ?

2-   What’s the matter with 25% of Americans ?

3-   Why won’t I let an archeologist near my hamburger ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

It says in the Bible…”Many are called, but few are called back.” Or something like that. Actually, I think you’ll agree with me that there are very few people who don’t become more interesting when they stop talking. So here it is. The one statement that can make your friends more interesting on the telephone. The opposite of the word, “Hello.”

When you want to end a phone conversation with someone you like, you just wait till your friend takes a breath, and you jump in and say…”Whoops…my digital just beeped. I’ve got to go. I’ll call you tomorrow.” And you hang up quickly. Zap. Done. Over. And nobody will be offended, because who wants to argue with your digital ? Nobody. It’s perfect. Copy this down…”Whoops, my digital just beeped. I’ve got to go.” Then hang up quickly.  

It’s the answer to not wanting to hurt your friend’s feelings by letting the answering machine take his call, because you just don’t want to talk right now. “Whoops, my digital just beeped. I’ve got to go.” Then hang up quickly. Sometimes even women don’t want to talk. Sometimes. Women say they like to talk more than we do, because they have more to say than we do, because they are smarter than men. Oh yeah…I always say. Oh yeah ? If she’s smarter than me, how come she married me and I married her. Huh ? Answer me that.

Of course, sometimes guys should be a lot more careful about the way we talk. There’s a story about that in the ( Night Connections) Personal Audio album, and in the current podcast. It’s called, “Mr. Small Talk.”

Some women get stuck being roll around in the mud Tom Boy types. Other women are the frilly, frilly type. The woman in this story wasn’t a type. She was…herself. And he was…amazed. She was a good girl…for a long time…but in that instant…when he looked at her that way…in that instant…the good girl became a hurt, and wanting woman. There are some people who will listen to this story and…understand.

“Mr. Small Talk is from the “Bedtime Stories” personal audio cd. If you like it you can just keep the current podcast, or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections icon on the home page.

Oh my gosh. I’ve really enjoyed our time together, but my digital just beeped. I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you again next time.

One Response to “Digital Decoy”

  1. Dick says:

    Mike L has a wonderful addition. He says, “I just tell them my ears have fallen asleep.