The “Good” Bit

This is also a short piece for a small just-for-fun competition I entered recently on the theme of “goodbyes”. (300 word limit)

I hate goodbyes.

Whoever put the word “good” in goodbye? Why can’t they just be called ‘Olleh’s. That’s all a “goodbye” is really- the opposite of “hello”.

You say “hello” when you meet someone, as a greeting of sorts. And you say “goodbye” when you leave someone…or they leave you.

You use these two words several times every day, but in my experience there is only one time you should use each one. You see, words like “hello” and “goodbye” are repeated so many times they lose their meaning. Like that point in your life when you suddenly realise “pencil” is such a strange word and keep saying it over and over again. Or when someone tells you that “race car” backwards spells “race car”. Formula 1 is suddenly made more exciting, yes?

In fact, “hello” and “goodbye” are so common, I’ve already used them ten times so far. Plus you probably didn’t notice. They’re just words on a page to you. Sure, you notice the words. One’s got five letters, one’s got three (if you take away the ‘good’ bit).

Because that’s the same with most people in life. They’re just vowels and consonants to you. Another word spoken in a jungle of voices. Another thing to alleviate the awkwardness when you meet someone new (although don’t try the two back-to-back, that doesn’t tend to work).

You can always spot the people who know what the words really mean. They’re people who’ve experienced this thing called death. It’s an odd thing really. It only happens once in your whole life (a bit like deciding to try an olive in a Greek restaurant) and it’s usually you that gets the easy end of the deal.

The people left behind… now they get the short straw.

They know what “goodbye” really means.

And that’s why they don’t like the “good” bit.



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