Of Course

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I notice when I say, “thank you” people now reply, “of course” instead of “you’re welcome.”

Well, I noticed this at restaurants, bars and coffee shops back when those were places we could go into, then thought about it when they weren’t places we could go into, and now frequently notice since we can go into these places again.

It’s kind of a high-pitched “of couRSe,” with heavy emphasis on the “r” and “s” sounds which feels like a hollow attempt to add enthusiasm to the whole situation and naturally makes me suspicious.

Do people who work at car dealerships ever say “thank you?” Or maybe now “of course?” I’ve never heard it, likely because they’re too focused on removing me from the big fancy tricked out car on the showroom floor once they realize I don’t have the ability to receive credit based on current wild accusations of past financial misconduct (never convicted) that arrive in the form of Service of Process (being “served” papers) roughly every Tuesday.

Car dealership people are really impatient.

Either way, we need to form a Political Action Committee (PAC) to put a stop to this “of course” nonsense, gain influence, receive bribes and go on junkets. I totally want to go on a junket even though I’m not sure what it is but I saw this Frontline episode or some such investigative news program that (literally) showed some documents former Vice President Dick Cheney obtained from a political opponent and at one point Dick circled a bit about a trip this opponent took to Havana or some such place and next to the circle wrote, “…junket?” complete with question mark. Which makes me want to take one. Or be offered one. Or however that works.

The statement “of course” implies “hey this whole transaction happens as a matter of course so it’s redundant and slightly awkward of you to say, ‘thank you,’ you dufus.” Or maybe it’s simply a way to delineate between the customers a server likes or dislikes. The third possibility is I’m insulting the caregiver by offering thanks because it suggests I’m completely surprised by the fact that they did their job, which in most cases is bringing me another highball.

I’m not trying to insult anybody with manners. I’m just trying to be civil and demonstrate my level of high-brow expectancy is zero, because I despise high-brow expectancy and I mostly wear t-shirts and certainly nowadays quite a few varieties of comfortable sweatpants.

Where did this “of course” business come from anyway?

I think it went like this.

Two guys working behind the bar at a coffee shop are mouth-breathing and not taking out the compost or properly cleaning out the half-and-half carafe when one guy looks at the other with his lips all scrunched up like Marlin Brando and he’s real pretty and those lips are just naturally great, really breathtaking, and he goes:

“Hey Paul, let’s start saying ‘of course’ instead of ‘you’re welcome.’”

And the other guy, I guess his name is Paul, goes:


Then Paul snorts up a green powder. In the movie we’ll have him do that just to get people’s attention. Oh, we’re turning this into a scene from an upcoming movie with Paul Rudd playing the character of Paul, which makes sense. And Paul has dreadlocks or whatever, kind of to transform the expectation of how he looks like they did for Gary Oldman’s antagonist pimp/drug dealer role in True Romance. And Paul wears whatever the trendiest t-shirt is these days. Probably a v-neck I love v-necks.

And then all pursed-lipped the other guy, Bert, proclaims:

“‘You’re welcome’ is over. ‘Of course’ is nice and passive aggressively insulting so it will be the new hot thing. I’ll do it for a week. Just me. You don’t do it at first. Then after a week you start doing it so we both do it. Then in like a month everyone will do it.”

And it’s true because these two are big players in the local coffee service scene.

But we should add some detail to Bert so let’s make him from Missouri and he thinks he’s a real ladies’ man but you know what? He’s totally not. And he’s played by Harry Styles who obviously really is a ladies’ and every else’s man, plus he was great on Saturday Night Live and that episode of The Late Show With James Corden.

Then Paul does a breakdance move right there behind the bar on the coffee ground-covered floor like spinning on his back and he does that move where he pivots on his hands spinning his legs around in a kicking circle real quick and pops back up and kind of breathlessly says:


Like the total pushover doormat he is…and with a huge stoned grin on his face because that green powder was a new kind of drug called “Socialist” and…no wait that’s too political let’s call it “Knee High.” All of which makes sense because the movie is set in the future, but we’re intentionally blurring space-time so the audience won’t be able to tell if it’s the far off future or the not-so-distant future dystopian world we could create if we’re not careful which will creep them out. Audiences love to be creeped out while eating popcorn.

And then our shot fades to black and our first PAC ad disguised as a feature film is a wrap! Lookout Hollywood and Washington, our palms are ready to be greased with your cash.

But the point isn’t all the pageantry behind this dastardly, behavior modification campaign camouflaged as cinema or our future, teeming wealth. The point is to stop saying “of course” and get other people to stop saying “of course” because we’ve haphazardly determined it’s a Very Important Issue. Even if the motives behind its usage are not as sinister as I’ve implied, I mean it could be a well-intended attempt at sounding more sophisticated or refined or perhaps a manager is encouraging it to appease the dooshy bar owner’s desire to have the place come across as “fancy” despite the fact that it’s a dump if you peek into the back room, it’s still worth stopping in its tracks, mostly because we’ve determined it’s a problem. Together. And that’s how most things work.

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