The art of greeting

It absolutely drives me nuts to see all these television news anchors thanking their guests all the time. You know the drill, where the host says, “Thanks for coming on my show today, Ms. Expert.” And half the time, Ms. Expert, whose brain is absolutely on fire as she sits there in a strange TV studio with a repeating loop in her head screeching “Don’t sound like a moron, don’t sound like a moron, don’t sound like a moron!” has to fumble around and rally hard just to come up with a basic, “Yeah, it’s great to be here.”

The resulting awkward pause between greeting and response makes us viewers squirm. I don’t know about you, but I don’t much care for squirming in awkward discomfort. So I’m sitting there, pulling for Ms. Expert to spit out, “Yes, you bet,” so the host can then ask the first question and mosey on out of the Awkward Space that’s been created by this stilted, jittery greeting.

This Awkwardness usually only lasts for maybe all of one second but man, that is one squirmy ass second of time! In that one second, I can manage to pucker up all kinds of valves, ports and sphincters in my bod.

No wonder we’re a nation of oxycontinentals. We’re driven to painkillers not just by basketball injuries and train wrecks, but by a daily barrage of clumsy salutations between news anchors and their guests.

We could solve this national problem of Twitchy Squirming if news anchors would simply not greet their guests. All they have to do is say, “With me now is Bernard Flapdoodle from the Spaghetti County Water Board, and Mr. Flapdoodle, I’d like to begin by asking.” Bingo. The guest is immediately freed from all stress involving a proper social response after being greeted, and can immediately start jiving about whatever it is that s/he’s there to jive about. And as a bonus, the show moves along nicely, without even one second of awkward speed bump.

At the end of the segment, same thing. For god’s sake, don’t thank the guest for being on the show! Just say ”Bernard Flapdoodle, of the SCWB. In other national news that will likely mess with your mind. …” And there you go. You’re out. You’re moving. And you’ve spared Bernard further flop sweat wondering if he should say “Thank you” or “You’re welcome” as he’s dismissed from the set.

I am so ready to receive thousands a week in mailbox money as a consultant who rarely gets out of his pajamas/sweats!