I went out for a walk without my dog the other day…
(You’ll see why I added the ”without my dog“ bit in a moment)
… when I got chatting to an elderly couple.
Here’s how the convo went:
(You’ll be pleased to know I’ve cut the meaningless preamble from this – largely verbatim – transcript.
It seems the one common trait dog owners have, aside from the ability to not retch when bending over to pick up poop, is that we only have three ways to open a conversation:
1) “I thought I’d get out before the rain…”
2) “It’s like Grand Central Station here today” (to be used only when you’ve seen two people in 40 minutes)
3) “Does this taste funny to you?”)
“Where’s your doggie?”, the lady asked.
When I told her, they both put on their sad faces….
“Oh well, they don’t tend to live as long nowadays do they?”, she said.
“Cross breeds always have shorter life spans…” piped the man, as if this was some sort of debate.
I didn’t know what to say, so I just nodded, said I wanted to make it back before it rained, and went on my way.
Looking at their reactions, you might think my dog has died.
He hasn’t. He’s fine.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still annoying AF… but he’s still living and breathing.
(Though I haven’t checked on him in the five minutes I’ve been writing this, so touch wood!)
The reason I was out for a walk sans* the dog – as I told Mr and Mrs Doomengloom – was simple…
I wanted to go out for a walk on my own.
* Latin for “without”. Used by imbeciles to make themselves sound clever.
Sometimes a man wants to enjoy a nice stroll without a hernia-sized lump of poo bags in his pocket.
Clearly, the elderly couple heard this and thought it would make for an opportune time to slip on their black tinted glasses and remind me dogs aren’t immortal.
Other filters they could’ve used:
“It’s great when you get chance to have some time for yourself, isn’t it?”
“Much better to be outside in the open air than to be trapped indoors.”
“With everything going on in the world, it’s nice to appreciate the little things, like going for a walk and listening to some music.”
But no. They were quite happy with their “you do realise your dog’s gonna die, right?” perspective.
You, me, old people, customers, subscribers…
We all come to every interaction wearing a filter… a way of looking at things.
You need to remember that. Because not only do your filters affect how you talk in your marketing….
… your customer’s filter affects what goes through their mind when they’re reading your stuff.
So before you sit down to write that post or email later, ask yourself…
What would be a good filter to slip on before I write this?
P.S. I’ve just checked on the dog…
He’s still fine. And annoying.