Before I tread further into these dark woods, I would like us all to be on the same page. To that end, I would define the word “Perfect” so that you may appreciate why I am torn between using a claw hammer or an axe.
The word “perfect” can be used as a verb or an adjective. But its meaning is the same, ie. Without flaw or blemish, and complete and right in every way.
So that is all utterly unambiguous. And, if truth be told, pretty well unachievable.
And yet somehow, perfection has crept into my life.
It happens to me on a daily basis. And it is always the same kind of person who is responsible for this judgement call. That person is invariably a young female – the chirpy, fully empowered kind with hoop earrings, a face full of botulism toxin, and quite possibly a degree from an on-line university. Which is why she’s doubtlessly taking coffee orders.
Almost without fail, my most mundane action or request elicits a gleeful yelp of “Perfect!” from the girl I am interacting with.
I order a flat black coffee, the response is “Perfect!”
I order a hamburger, the response is “Perfect!”
I’m asked if want to pay by cash or card, and whichever I choose, the response is “Perfect!”
It’s bizarre. And it happens with such banal frequency, it’s like some disease all of these vacuous bitches have caught off their Tik Tok accounts. And it’s always females who say this. Never males. Maybe we know something they don’t, but it’s impossible to say.
I understand that various expressions creep into our verbal exchanges. All languages evolve over time, and new words are always appearing in our lexicon. But “Perfect” is not a new word. It’s old. Its origin is Latin – “per” (through or completely), and “facere” (completed), thus, “perficere”, which then became “perfet” in Old French, and here we are today.
So it’s not a new word. And yet it has become the always-response to anything a customer does, says, or orders.
How the fuck is my order of a medium rare steak with mash and veggies a perfect thing? How the fuck do you think you know what’s going on in my life that makes this fucking food order a thing without blemish and right in every way? What’s wrong with you? Is part of your brain damaged?
How is my completing a motel check-in form a thing that requires you to state “Perfect” and grin at me like you might one day find the chromosome you’re missing, but that day is certainly not today?
And how is it even possible that perfection has been achieved by two people simultaneously, who are ordering two different things? Surely perfection is not attainable in those circumstances, as I have explained to my wife. Who’s then told me to shut-up and be nice.
I’m also convinced it’s not attainable when one is presented with the choice of paying for something with either cash or a card. But either choice, according to the hoop-earringed, eye-brow-plaited uni-grad, is unalloyed faultlessness in her considered opinion.
Bitch, please. You’ve already insulted me by screeching “Next waiting!” which has somehow replaced the altogether more pleasant “Next, please”, or even the long-gone “May I help you, sir/madam?” and now you’re gonna tell me my decision to pay you in cash is an utterly flawless act of sublime perfection?
Once I tried to combat this.
I ordered fish and chips. I was told “Perfect”, and asked if I wanted chicken salt or plain salt. I decided on plain, and that too, was deemed “Perfect”. So two “Perfects” on one food order and a salt decision.
“I beg your pardon,” she said, eyes wide in confusion, ear-hoops swaying in consternation.
“What’s perfect?” I repeated. “You keep saying that word. You said it to the people before me, and now you’re saying it to me. It’s like each decision I make has been judged by you, and happily, deemed to be without fault.”
“I don’t understand…” she said.
“I don’t understand either,” I said, and resolved never to raise this issue with anyone ever again.
And yet it persists. Day in, day out. I bite my tongue and move past it, but it really is quite…well, inane, I guess. I don’t have another word for it. It’s replaced “Thank you” – which is what a properly trained waiter states after taking your order – and has become the one-word response for any and all choices or actions one makes as one goes about one’s business.
Why? I genuinely want to know. Is it some long-buried desire in the soul of a young woman to see or experience perfection, and since that’s just not possible, attributing that perfection to the most mundane aspects of life – like a food order?
Is it perhaps the desire of the young woman to appear to be all-knowing, and thus always in favourable judgement of the people she interacts with?
Or has she maybe heard that word being used, liked it, felt it was cute, and positive, and joyous, and encouraging, and everything else she wants to be, and is now using it as a response to everything in her vacuous life?
I do not know. But I wish I did.
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Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.