Retail clerks, recovering accountants, and others who hold me in low esteem have begun to wish me "a good one." They say, "Have a good one" instead of "Have a good day."
Perhaps they ceased wishing me a "good day" to avoid my devastating rejoinders:
- Great idea. Why didn't I think of it first?
- I've already had mine this month.
- Not today, but Friday might work.
- Thanks, but I'm married.
- I have other plans.
I am befuddled by "have a good one." Exactly what are they suggesting: A good day? A good quadruple bypass? A good soup and salad lunch? A good religious epiphany? A good tea party? A good bowel movement? A good Zen koan? The possibilities are endless.
I could reply politely with, "Have a good one yourself." But what if the recovering accountant meant, "Have a good attack of shingles?" I would not wish shingles on anyone other than a Yankee fan.
I am currently testing five responses to "have a good one":
- The probing: "One What?"
- The confrontational: "And then what?"
- The non-committal: "I will consider it."
- The avaricious: "What not a good two, or even a good eight?"
- The retributive: "The same to you if you're a Yankee fan."
Thus far, the above rejoinders have elicited remarkably similar responses -- "asshole," "jerk," and "I discern that you are not a native Seattleite."
Results of my research will be published in Tenure: The Journal of Academic Academics.