Go jump in a well. Get lost. These two statements would form the vast majority of the comments that I (and in all probability you) have been at the receiving end of when the other person has been in an irritable mood. After wondering why most Indians stick to either of these 2 lines and refuse to adopt anything else I realised its probably because noone else has come up with something as simple, effective, inoffensive and yet quirky enough to be useful on a day to day basis. Which got me thinking and at the end of much pondering (a grand total of 2 minutes), I think I have struck gold with my phrase “Go catch a cold” (the rhyming bit was unintentional).
It does sound harmless at first. It might even draw a smile. But if you do pause and reflect, you will notice that behind the seemingly innocuous line lies a wish of misfortune that is far more sinister that the regulars. For one, a cold does ensure that you have to stay away from people lest you pass it on to them (if that was your intention in the 1st place then ….). Two it leaves you feeling miserable to the core. What’s worse than having a head that feels like it weighs a ton and a voice that sounds like youre trying to do your best Deep Throat impersonation and a running nose that never seems to stop (inadvertently funny there) ? Plus you get no sympathy from anyone. In sharp contrast to someone who might be the biggest jerk around but who slips on a banana peel and ends up with a broken arm and complete doting from everyone else. And if you jump in a well there’s always a possibility that someone’s going to rescue you. And if you get lost, someone’s always going to guide you back to the right way. But if you catch a cold, neither prayers nor meds can save you. Think you’ve just wasted 4 minutes of your life reading utter crap ? Go catch a cold …..