Picture the scene; you walk into a store to get foreign currency for that long-awaited trip of yours. You approach the counter, go through the formalities, and then the cashier looks up from behind the counter and says it. What does she say?
She says: “so... are you going somewhere nice?"
It’s perhaps the epitemy of awful small talk; a question somehow imprinted on the human brain, and by all means, if you’re a normal person, you probably just answer it and move on with your life. We do not do that.
Think the question through for a second.
Of course you’re going somewhere nice, or else you wouldn’t have booked a holiday there in the first place. Or, if alternatively you’re heading off for work or even for a family funeral, do you really want to be talking about that? And do they really want you to tell them that? What are they going to do with that information?
At best, you say yes, name your destination and both of you nod in acknowledgement, bringing you back to small talk square one. At worst, you end up waiting out the rest of your transaction in the excruciating horror of unspoken awkwardness.
We thought it was about time we exposed this question as the social plague it is – and provided you with a few alternative responses to use next time you hear it, just to make the person behind the counter think that little bit harder about asking it again.
1) “No, My Drug Dealer Only Takes Euros."
2) “F*ck Off, You’re Not Invited."
3) “I’m Going to Scatter My Dead Dog’s Ashes in Istanbul. He Loved Turkey"
4) “No, I’ve Booked A Holiday Somewhere Shite. What The F*ck Do You Think?"
5) “Actually, I’m Not Going Anywhere, But I Need $5000 To Send To A Nigerian Prince Or He Won't Be Able To Get Over Here And Give Me 35% Of His Recently Rediscovered Family Treasure."
6) “Has Anyone Ever Actually Just Said ‘No’ To That Question? I Want To Just Say ‘No’ And See What You Do." *Stares Intensely Through Glass*
7) “That Depends On Whether You Think Canals, Drugs And Prostitution Are Nice. I Guess Canals Are."
Photographer: Sebastien Cote
8) “How Did You Know I’m Going Somewhere? Have You Been Stalking Me?"
9) “See That Couple Behind Me?"
*Point to endearing elderly couple nearby*
“They’ve Kidnapped Me And Are Taking Me To El Salvador Against My Will. I Told Them I Was Coming Over Here To Get Some Dollars But This Is My Last Chance To Escape. They’re Monsters. Please. Help Me. HELP ME."
*Bangs excessively on glass window as single tear streams down face*
10) *Shouts*: “My Sexuality Is My Own Business!"
11) “I’m Actually Off To Czech Republic. Czech Me Out!! Get It? Get It? DO YOU F*CKING GET MY JOKE?"
12) “Not Really, But There’s A New Iceland Down The Road. I Typed It Into Google And It Says The Only Currency They Use There Is Icelandic Krona."
13) “Abandon The Plan Dmitri! THEY’RE ON TO US!!!"
14) “Actually Off To Syria To Try Sort This Whole Crisis Situation Out. What Currency Are They Using Out There? Do You Think I’ll Be Alright With Factor 30 Sun Cream?"
15) "I Stalk Jeff Goldblum. Where Jeff Goes, I Go."
16) “I’m Actually Off To Madagascar. Pretty MAD Right?! Get It? GET IT? WHY ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY FROM ME?"
Portrait of a normal boy over grey background.
17) “Just Off To Finland, But How About We Finnish This Conversation Later Over Drinks?"
18) "No. I'm Being Deported."
19) “Just Off To Sweden, But How About We Swedish This Conversation Later Over Drinks?... F*CK! That’s Finland. It Only Works With Finland."
20) “I’m going to Casablanca. Maybe Not Today. Maybe Not Tomorrow. But Soon, And For The Rest Of My Life."
21) “I’m Sure The Place Is Very Nice, But Considering My Ex Dumped Me When I Got My Fourth Armed Robbery Charge A Week After Booking Us The Holiday, It’s Going To Be Pretty Lonely. Unless You Come With Me. WILL YOU COME WITH ME?."
*Presses face against glass window*.
Middle Aged Woman Looking and Pointing at You
22) "Not As Nice As Those Beautiful Eyes Of Yours."
*Goes in for kiss, smacks face against glass screen*
23) That Is A Really Stupid Question. Next?
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