We all have this polite ritual that we go through when greeting others on our day. We ask, “How’s it going?” or maybe, “How are you today?” or perhaps a more formal, “How do you do?”
But it’s all pretty much a dance without substance? Most people recognize the question as a rhetorical one and give you a standard, benign answer. “Doing good, thanks! You?”
Some people have unique answers that they give every time. Take Wolfgang Schmidt up by Canyonveiw Bridge for instance. If you ever ask him how his day is going he will always reply, “Virtually perfect!” The day you ask him and he doesn’t say those exact words is the day you will know he’s not doing well.
But I changed things up a bit last week. For my morning greeting, instead of the usual inquiry I asked people, “What do you know that’s real?” It seemed like a reasonable question.
The results were intriguing. Nearly everyone had a comeback at the tip of his or her tongue.
It was the answer that they gave that deserves some attention. The majority of responses when I asked, “What do you know that’s real?” were simply, “Nothing.”
That is kind of frightening when you consider I hadn’t asked what they knew that was new, I had asked them what they knew that was real.
This has prompted me to reprioritize part of my own life. For one thing I have long had the intention of taking a defensive driving refresher course. The number of people who self-identified as knowing nothing about reality has given me reason to move that course up to the soonest date possible.
I did get some other interesting responses though. One person replied, “Absolutely nothing—I live in Midway, y o u k n o w.”
When I asked someone else they said, “Oh I don’t know anything about that.” Making it sound like they had once considered reality as a lifestyle choice but opted for something else.
Another told me, “Well if I can’t ad lib then I don’t really want to say anything.”
Obviously people are holding their reality cards pretty close to their chests and aren’t too likely to reveal much. Maybe reality is something that isn’t talked about in polite company, like politics or religion?
In my opinion though, the best answer that day was, “I am very much aware of what’s real—but you can’t quote me on that.”
At the end of the whole business I come away feeling better about my own sanity, though. After all, it seems that most folks are just as confused as I am about the whole blasted thing.
We are lucky the time change happens in the middle of the night. Especially the springtime one; you know, the one where we move the clocks forward an hour. Imagine the pandemonium if we switched our clocks at noon?
Lots of people would miss lunch. Others would miss appointments.
Conversations would have to be cut short. “Oh my gosh! Just where has the day gone? I gotta run!”
It’s way less stressful to do it the way we do now, when we’re asleep.