Expressions are meant to sound catchy and easy to remember, and as a means for uncreative people to fill up their Instagram feeds. A long time ago, I thought quotes were motivational. This was back when I was a single celled organism, and I had no idea how to be creative. But as soon as I mustered up the strength to split in two and I realized that I could create. It was at that point that I understood how motivational quotes, expressions and idioms were not creative at all and dumb.
One of my least favorite expressions, besides “It is what it is”, is “No pain, No Gain”. Seriously? “It is what it is” is the dumbest thing a person can say, but someone drilled that one into our collective heads so deeply that NPC’s* can’t help but say it whenever it seems like a situation can’t change. I can’t even with that stuff.
*(NPC’s stands for Non-Playable Character’s and is derived from video game characters. It refers to background characters that only spew out one or two sayings and have no meaning in your life. Just think of the people who are just window dressing, or background characters in your life as NPC’s. For a much better description, see the movie Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds.)
As far as the “No Pain, no Gain” expression, the only reason anyone besides an NPC would use it, is because it rhymes. You know what else rhymes? Fun and run. Can I tell you how little fun and run have in common with each other? Yes, I know there is such a thing as “Fun Runs”. And yes, I know masochists actually run for the fun of it. Do know what the rest of us run for? Either to escape danger, or to get rid of the super unfun pounds hanging around our stomachs.
Most sane people don’t enjoy running. Just like most people don’t enjoy gaining things, only to be told that the gain comes with unnecessary pain. When we go through unnecessary pain, and we complain about it, the last thing in the world we want to hear from a background character is, “No pain, no gain!”
Do me a favor. If you ever see me in pain, just pass right by and let me endure it. I don’t even mind if you laugh at me. Just let me bleed in peace. I’d rather be in pain and have no one help than to hear someone offer really helpful advice like, “No pain, no gain!”
What do all the stupid painer-gainer people have to say when there is pain but no gain? They will try to gymsplain to me about when you work out, and you’re exercising your muscles, they gain in size, but there is pain associated with the gain. I will then get my regularly scheduled tension headache from the obviousness hammer the NPC uses to whack me over the head with. Another side effect of gymsplaining is the glossing over of my eye rolls.
What happened to me this weekend would’ve triggered any NPC’s “No pain, no gain” autoresponse.
My wife told me that someone new moved in and needed help unloading their truck. She said that I should take the boy and help out. I knew the boy wouldn’t want to, and I certainly didn’t, but we both went grudgingly.
In order to pass the time more quickly, I asked the new neighbor where they were from. He said, “Iowa.” I grew up in South Dakota, so I said, “Oh, I used to live near there. Where in Iowa?” He said some podunk town in Iowa I had never heard of.
I said, “We used to live near Sioux City” and asked if it were anywhere near there. He said, “No but we used to live in Marshall, Minnesota.” and I said, “My dad used to be Stake President over that area.” and he said, “What his name?” and I said, “Bitter David,” to which he said, “Bitter Ben?” and I said, yep. And he said, “It’s Shane!” and I was staring at this best friend I had 35 years ago that looked nothing like what I remember.
So now this old friend of mine is my new neighbor. Just as I discover I might actually have a friend, I got back to helping him move stuff. As you know, I’m old and I still haven’t learned how to lift things properly. I immediately pulled a muscle in my back, as soon as I found out one of my best friends is going to be my neighbor.
There aren’t many 100% certainties in life, but there is the Bitter Law of Simultaneousness. The BLoS law states: Whenever something mildly good happens to me, something simultaneously and much more painful happens to me.
The NPC’s would call this a “No Pain, No Gain” scenario, and go on with their lives being happy as a lark.
Happy as a lark is an expression that NPC’s use. Larks are birds that typically chirp happy songs, but there’s a sub-culture of emo-larks that prefer the emo-chirp genre. They are mostly underground and start their emo-chirp bands in their parent’s basenests (nest basements). They don’t get as much sun as happy larks, so they are typically paler than happy chirpers.
There is another law in the Bitterverse. That is: If there is an expression or an idiom that NPC’s use, I destroy it as thoroughly as a really heavy box destroys my back.
Expressions, motivational quotes, and idioms suck and I need your help destroying the massive lack of creativity. We need to stop society from leaning on these crutches and come up with some new, exciting and fresh quotes that aren’t from Shakespearian times. Instagram needs an injection of better content. If there is a legacy we can leave to our kids, it is better Instagram quotes.
Let’s do stuff! (I’m still workshopping that one.)
Bitter Don’t be an Idiom Ben