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    • I have random ideas which pop up without apparent reason. One such idea is based on a recollection of a story someone described, as a French retiree's habitual daily greeting in the park being "T'as mal ou?". Which describes the fact we all have pains - and is trying to warm our start of the day with someone's genuine care to ask us how we feel. That's much more of a comprehensive question than just a simple, surface inquiry without true intentions. Or is it? What do you all think about it?

    • Thanks for the post. I very much like the idea of asking, “Where do you hurt?” (Hope I’m translating right.) It’s more caring than ”How are you.”

    • As Descartes never said, j'ai mal donc je suis.

      (If you don't understand that, you will when you get older).

    • Once upon a time, in a different life, I was the Art Director of a Publishing House that put out a raft of glossy magazines and a Business Newspaper.

      Mark was the Deputy Editor of the 'Business Times'. He was a lovely chap: erudite, dry, witty and clever - until his fourth pint of lager at our regular celebration of the week's Edition 'going to bed' on a Thursday night - at the pub across the road.

      By said fourth Pint, Mark would inevitably corner some poor schmo from the Editorial Dept, grab them by the hand and look them straight in the eye and ask, "How are you?" To which any sane person would obviously reply, "Fine thanks Mark." To which Mark would counter, "No, No, No! How *ARE* you???" With undue and unsettling emphasis on the "ARE".

      The first time it happened to me I shuffled around uneasily and reassured him I was fine.

      The second time, with the wisdom of experience behind me I said, "I'm not putting up with your bullshit Mark." And went and had a laugh with my designers.

      Next day Mark would have no recollection of the conversations. Until I needed some ... err ... 'leverage' in an Editorial meeting of course. The Dep Ed has seniority over the AD, but I would ask him how *HE* was. I won a few debates on style points that way.