Okay, this is going to be a short one. You’re not going to have to dedicate a month or two to read this. The fact of the matter is: it’s 8:26pm on the Tuesday for which this “Table-Flip Tuesday” was meant to be posted, and seeing as we’ve only a few hours left of Tuesday and I would like to abide by my commitment to helping our dear, lovely, hilarious, intelligent, [insert three more positive and true adjectives here] Kelley, this is what you’re getting – “Table-Flip Tuesday LITE”.
Truthfully, I wanted to have a semi-decent topic for this week’s flip; I was also a little unsure as to how a table-flip about someone flapping tabbles on your dedicated timeline would play out. (Don’t think I’ve ruled it out, however – it’s still up on the special Google Doc I’ve created for this very series of rants.)
This week’s flip was inspired by a particular pet peeve I’ve had since I started working in the field of customer service, and as I was reaching for a relatively short topic, it was as though a choir of angels appeared and proceeded to blast their air-horns in my direction. Once the ringing in my metaphorical ears (think along the lines of “third eye”, only these are more to be imagined as being located possibly at the back of the neck or directly under the chin; it depends on which trait was more dominant between your parents…)
Sorry, I got a little distracted by my parenthetical talk, there. I did say I was going to keep this one short, didn’t I? Promises, promises…
Anyway, once the ringing in my aforementioned and obnoxiously-described metaphorical ears had stopped altogether, I had the target of this week’s table flip: “Can I ask you a question?”
I apologize if you cringed, just now. Don’t worry: I did, too – as I was typing it out! Not only is that particular phrase grammatically incorrect, it’s also a statement that fulfills itself as soon as it’s done. Even if you switch the “can” to “may”, in true grammar-perfect fashion, you’re still dealing with a self-fulfilling statement.
If you were to ask a person, “Can I ask you a question?”, the answer should be obvious: yes, you moronic simpleton!, you truly do possess the ability to ask a question. Even if you, being the person having been asked the question, were to want to say “no”, you’re now the fool; as they have asked you a question, with you having answered it. The transaction is complete, and a little piece of your soul has been lost to this parasite of a statement.
The same sense works were you to change the “can” to “may”. It’s a little more severe, though, as this time the question is more of a request for permission. Answer “yes” or “no” to this question, and the asker has won control. They may now be able to steer the conversation to their whim, be able to make you look like the fool, and most likely be able to control the innermost thoughts of your cat.
What do I suggest? Well, for starters, if you’re someone who has the gall to ask a variation of this inquiry: fuckin’ knock it off! Either that, or just walk out into oncoming traffic – whichever is easiest for you, really.
As for those who find themselves in the unfortunate position of being obligated to answer such a ridiculous query, I suggest melting into the nearest hedge, a la that classic Homer Simpson GIF. And if there aren’t any convenient hedge into which to melt? Well, then… I suggest shoving the perpetrator into oncoming traffic. Be sure to stretch, first; you have to be flexible, in case they show any sign of resistance. If they do resist, just direct them to this blog, telling them that it’s okay for them to walk out into oncoming traffic – it’s a civic duty. (Note: if they snorted at “duty”, make sure you especially shove them into the path of an oncoming bus.)
Point is: stop asking this stupid question, and just ask the question you wanted to ask. Yes, you are capable of asking questions – so just ask the damned question, already! And let me get back to counting the ceiling tiles at work, guy who asked about asking about some bath towels!