Humorous Responses to a Mundane Question
July 30, 2013 6:52 AM   Subscribe

I work in a large health-care facility and thus see many people that I know in passing as I travel to and from various places. I have been shamelessly ripping off "Diamond" Dallas Page (who probably ripped it off from someone else) for his response to "How are you doing?" If I was doing any better, I'd have to be twins to enjoy it. This usually gets at least a chuckle, and I'm looking for responses in a similar vein. Generally light and humorous (I'd prefer not to say something darkly humorous) and DEFINITELY short, as this is usually said in passing. So, Metafilter, HOW YOU DOIN'?
posted by kuanes to Human Relations (49 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Better than I deserve." (I ripped this off from Dave Ramsey)
posted by jquinby at 6:57 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


From my dad: "If I was any better I'd have to turn a flip"
posted by josher71 at 7:05 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walking and talking
posted by Jacen at 7:08 AM on July 30, 2013


I'm busier than a puppy in a room full of rubber balls

I'm more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs
posted by janey47 at 7:08 AM on July 30, 2013


Finer than frog's hair!

(Saying courtesy of my ol' farmer grandfather, who never had a bad day in his life.)
posted by ninjakins at 7:09 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


My usual thanks to Bud Fox - "Doing Any Better It'd Be a Sin".
posted by playertobenamedlater at 7:14 AM on July 30, 2013


If I was doing any better, I'd be you.


posted by Ms Vegetable at 7:17 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Living the dream!
Another day, another dollar or Another day, another fifty cents
Could be better
Could be worse
Better than a minute ago
Better than most, worse than some!
Can't complain, and nobody listens anyway!
posted by Snazzy67 at 7:19 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Aiming High, missing low."

"Stumblin' along!"

"Ayup!"

"One foot in the grave, the other slipping of the brake pedal."

"Feels like a Friday."

"Happy to be!"

"First things first. 'How are YOU doin?'"
posted by notyou at 7:23 AM on July 30, 2013


"Tip top!
posted by jessamyn at 7:29 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Just peachy, thanks, you?"
posted by Cocodrillo at 7:31 AM on July 30, 2013


Hunky damn dory
posted by ambient2 at 7:49 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


An old guy I knew used to say "fair to middling" which I think is a southern/regional thing, I had never heard it before. And he said it with an accent that made it sound like "fairdamidlan" so it was doubly unclear what exactly he was saying & so it often led to a pleasant/humorous Q&A/exchange.
posted by headnsouth at 7:56 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Reasonable!"
posted by misspat at 8:00 AM on July 30, 2013


So far, so good!

Much better, thanks!
posted by Floydd at 8:12 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Chillin', chillin'."
posted by box at 8:12 AM on July 30, 2013


I've said this elsewhere, but I think it fits here too. When asked how I am, I say: "vertical, functioning and caffeinated."

Sometimes, if it's early in the morning, I'll say, "vertical, functioning but not yet caffeinated".
posted by LN at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


A neighbor of mine says: "Mean, ornery, and hard to get along with. Just like usual."
posted by China Grover at 8:14 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reasonably Neato!.
From an old George Carlin skit.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:15 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have some rather bawdy ones that wouldn't work unless you really knew your audience (e.g. "Happier than a puppy with two peckers"), but I usually go for "As good as I can for what I'm dealt"
posted by deezil at 8:33 AM on July 30, 2013


I sometimes say "Adequate, thanks". It usually gets a chuckle.
posted by yawper at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2013


"I wouldn't give my troubles to a monkey on a rock!" (David Letterman, who I think attributes it to comedian George Miller)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:39 AM on July 30, 2013


I usually say "Pretty good for being at work!"
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:41 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Radiant!" said like the characters in the menswear store on The Fast Show; here's Johnny Depp guest-starring in a version of that sketch.
posted by vickyverky at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had a teacher that would answer "don't tell me what to do" when someone would say "have a nice day"
posted by LaunchBox at 8:49 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


My neighbor says "upright and vertical."
posted by megancita at 8:49 AM on July 30, 2013


I almost always return said greeting with "I'm looking forward to the weekend."
When done on Saturday or Sunday this is followed by "I can't wait for one to start."
posted by Blue_Villain at 8:53 AM on July 30, 2013


Splendid, thanks!
Fabulous, thanks!

And if I want to start an earworm:
Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool.
posted by kimberussell at 8:58 AM on July 30, 2013


"I'm super, thanks for asking!" (Vary emphasis as needed.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:13 AM on July 30, 2013


My husband likes to say "Sitting up and taking nourishment".
posted by epj at 9:22 AM on July 30, 2013


My mum always says "Fair to Middlin'" shes a Yorkshire lass from way back.

Some very Aussie ones I've heard when working with a lovely old maintenance man that was quite possibly the most inventive swearer I have ever met.

"Flat out like a lizard drinking" - Busy
"Lower than a snakes belly."
"Happier than a dog in a butchers shop."
"As cold as a polar bears behind."
"Happier than a bastard on Fathers Day"


And as I swear most Australian slang is NSFW, heres 2 you most likely can't use
"A root and a fart would kill me" (a root is slang for sex)
"Busier than a one armed man with crabs"

Also today I realized it's really hard to find polite Aussie slang.
posted by wwax at 9:28 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I can't complain. Well, I can, but nobody listens."
posted by Etrigan at 9:36 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Been better, been worse."
"Busier than a one-armed paperhanger."
posted by Dolley at 10:12 AM on July 30, 2013


Nicely, nicely.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:31 AM on July 30, 2013


"Oh, I'm getting there - one of these days I'll work out where 'there' is..."

"All the better for seeing you!" (Best reserved for those you're genuinely fond of, of course.)

"Definitely not dead yet!" might fall into the dark category for you (especially working in healthcare!), but said brightly and cheerfully it never fails to get people's attention. If they're not grinning already, I can follow up with "...which is vastly better than the alternative!"
posted by Someone Else's Story at 10:35 AM on July 30, 2013


In the past when I worked in a big hospital, I said "fair to middlin, partly cloudy." I am from North Carolina, and I no longer recall when or where I first heard this expression.

But I am tickled beyond belief that this is a thing said by me in the southern US AND by someone's Yorkshire lass of a mom. I love idiomatic speech, and I love to think that somehow "fair to middlin" made it over here when my British ancestors emigrated.
posted by little mouth at 10:40 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Better
posted by hortense at 11:10 AM on July 30, 2013


i'm living the dream
(said with dripping sarcasm)
posted by angrycat at 11:21 AM on July 30, 2013


For a health care facility:
Oriented x3!
posted by BlueHorse at 11:57 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can't complain, boss won't let me.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:54 PM on July 30, 2013


From one of my best bosses ever - I'm just tickety-boo!
posted by Hash at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2013


Peachy keen, jellybean
posted by lyssabee at 1:42 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to point out that Norm on the tv show Cheers had a lot of these. Wouldn't be surprised if someone's curated a list somewhere.

Some of my favorites:

"How're you doing, Norm?" -- "Better than I deserve!"

"How's life treating you, Norm?" -- "Like it caught me with its wife."
posted by Precision at 1:58 PM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like to use variations of this:

Them: "How are you doing?"

Me: "Good. I'm alive. Either that, or I've died and [Taco Bell, the library, the supermarket checkout] is heaven."

They usually respond with a smirk and "Yeah. Taco Bell is heaven." They know that I've acknowledged the drudgery of their daily work, and they usually treat me really well.
posted by tacodave at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2013


my personal retort: "way, WAY above average"
posted by ergomatic at 7:43 PM on July 30, 2013


"I'm sparkling!" (Best if you're a heavy-set guy wearing suspenders at the office, as was the case for the guy I have in mind. I never had a conversation with him, but I heard him say this every morning to someone in passing and it made me laugh every time.)
posted by Terriniski at 8:41 PM on July 30, 2013


I like answering "How are you" with "Imperfect". This doesn't work quite as well with "How ya doin'" but is still often well received. (You can also adverb it into "Impefectly").

I also like "Pretty Good with a capital Pretty", which not everyone always gets. Including me.
posted by gubenuj at 10:18 PM on July 30, 2013


"Happy as a puppy-dog with two tails."
posted by blueberry at 11:42 PM on July 30, 2013


I'd like to point out that Norm on the tv show Cheers had a lot of these. Wouldn't be surprised if someone's curated a list somewhere.

As Precision mentioned, Norm from Cheers is the go-to source for this. I remember the list being longer (there's was a famous .txt file traded around in the darker, earlier days of the Internet), but this is at least a decent (and hilarious) approximation:
Have you ever wished you could remember Norm's greetings on Cheers?

So many good ones on the list.

16. "How's it going Mr. Peterson?"
"It's a dog eat dog world, Woody & I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear."

52. "Hey, Mr. Peterson, how's life?"
"Well, the plot's okay, Woody, but it kind of falls apart at the end."

And even a hospital-related one:
29. [Norm returns from the hospital]
"What's up, Norm?"
"Everything that's supposed to be."

If you memorize these and make use of them, let me know and you will officially become my hero.
posted by Hadroed at 7:56 PM on July 31, 2013


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