Whenever I am asked the question “What’s up”, I never know how to respond. The old, sarcastic response of “the sky”? That’s been used too often. Should I answer with the real answer to the question, a summary of what is happening in my life? Since the phrase has come into common use, it’s no longer thought of as a question of what someone is doing, but just as a generic greeting. Nevertheless, some answer is required, and an awkward silence should be avoided at all costs. In order to utterly destroy awkward silences in this end of conversation, I give you a list of 5 ways to answer the question “What’s up?”
- “My eyebrows.” This is true no matter what, unless you have had your eyebrows surgically removed, you are a creature that doesn’t naturally possess eyebrows, or you are the Dark Lord Sauron. But if none of those is the case, and since the perspective of any human is through its eyes, we can always truthfully say that our eyebrows are up.
- “Not really.” This isn’t true considering the question asked, but it doesn’t make any sense either– so it’s a good choice. If you say it cheerfully, it will be especially confusing. And don’t explain yourself.
- “Up is a noun meaning that direction.” Point up as you say this, and launch a monologue based off the definitions, etymology and common idioms containing “up”. I suggest you write this monologue beforehand, using information from any dictionary you choose. If you’re forced to make something up on the spot, or if your audience seems genuinely interested, tell them that it’s ultimately derived from the Latin word for duck. Then say you have to rush off somewhere else. It is important that you follow up this statement with the action, in order to leave your audience utterly befuddled.
- “Ooh, bad luck, [whatever their name is]! The correct question was, ‘What color is the island of Samoa?’ This has been Jeopardy! Thank you, and good night!” No explanation necessary.
- “…And then I told Phil, the only way to properly play a violin is with steaks, you see? And he smiled and nodded, but I don’t think he knew what I was talking about, do you?” Basically, come into their hearing carrying on a conversation you’ve already begun in your head. It’s quite a fun activity.
I hope these examples will spark new ideas for your own conversations. If you can find someone who will play along readily, good for you– prepare for a great, but meaningless, conversation.