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“No Problem” or: Hey Mister – Is That Your House That’s on Fire?

Whenever I hear the words “no problem” I instinctively look up as I quickly sidestep,

Safe door

Safe door (Photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz)

fully expecting to see a safe plummeting straight at my head from thirty stories above me. Either I quickly look up, or I quickly sprint away from where I’m standing because the ground is going to open up and swallow me whole. I know it. I know it, and there is no doubt in my mind about this. I know that something terrible is about to happen to me upon hearing someone utter these two filthy, miserable, little words.


I do not have enough fingers and toes on my hands that will enable me to tick off  the number of times things have gone horribly, horribly wrong…after I have been assured by someone that whatever it was, it  would be “no problem”. “I’ll have you outta here in twenty minutes – (okay, but please, don’t say-) – no problem” OH NOOOoooo…he said it. HE SAID IT! I now immediately know I am there maybe two, three days…maybe a week. “We’ll have it in stock tomorrow – (Please don’t sa -) – no problem”  Merde! Why did he have to say that? WHY?? “Hey, don’t worry, we can straighten this out immediately – (PLEASE, JUST DON’T SAY IT – I AM BEGGING YOU HERE, PLEA- ) – no problem.” Really dude?…REALLY ? For you maybe – for you no problem….For me BIG problem, big, big, B-I-I-I-G problem…and you don’t really give a shit anyway, do you?


You don’t even begin to know, you can’t even begin to grasp, the powerful forces you’ve arrayed against anything going smoothly from here on in – Anything! – Just by uttering those two lousy, rancid, fetid, little words, do you? For me, it’s gonna be one HUGE, giant, colossal, freakin’ problem just because! Just because! Just for once, just once, I would like to hear someone say “Mr. Powers, we may encounter a small problem finding a Johnson rod for the model year that you have”…You know, I believe it would comfort me greatly to hear this. I believe it would have a calming effect on me…a soothing effect. I would greatly appreciate this. As a matter of fact, I think it would likely engender in me a feeling that perhaps, just perhaps mind you, I might be dealing here with a person who’s at least grounded in SOME FORM OF QUASI-REALITY!


When I hear the dreaded utterance “No problem,” it only means to me that whoever is saying these two little, shriveled up, meaningless, inanely inappropriate, words hasn’t a clue as to what has happened, what is happening, and what is probably- no, make that definitely about to happen, just because they said these two lousy, meaningless, rotten, jive-ass words – nor, as I said, do they really give a shit about any of whatever it is that the problem may be in the first place. When I hear those two wretched words, I know what I’m really hearing is someone saying “hmmm, I think maybe I’ll get the cheddar-burger next time…or maybe even the bacon cheddar burger hmmm…” When I hear those two fucking horrible words I know I am on my own without a chance in hell of a good outcome.


What ever happened to; “I’ll see to it right away” without the “no problem” added? What ever happened to; “Well, it might take a while, but let’s see if we can figure this thing out?” No no problem needed. No no problem! For that matter what the hell ever happened to “nope, can’t be done, sorry.” See? Now to that  I myself might – just might – even say; “no problem.”






© tony powers and Barking in the Dark, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tony powers and Barking in the Dark with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About barkinginthedark

Tony Powers is a writer/actor/musician. His full bio may be seen by clicking on the picture, and then clicking on either of the 2 boxes below it.


29 thoughts on ““No Problem” or: Hey Mister – Is That Your House That’s on Fire?

  1. (You have been missed)…
    Yes sir when people say “No Problem” I already am ticking off the list of things that will be a problem..


    Posted by free penny press | May 14, 2012, 12:08 pm
  2. I agree….and whilst we’re on linguistic sores, damn I just want to smack someone who ends their sentences with an “or” ! WTF ? Whoever ends their sentences with “or” ? I was once in a conversation with a young woman who ended almost every statement/question with an “or”. By the time she’d finished (shut up !) I was a fetal wreck on the carpet slubbering like an idiot. (Well, you get the picture, or….)


    Posted by Single Malt Monkey | May 12, 2012, 5:07 am
  3. Hey, Tony! Glad to see you back to writing. Quit a bit different from your norm, but still love what you have to say, no matter what the topic. Honestly, I saw “no problem” all the time – particularly at work… when it truly is no problem. If I have a doubt, it is “let me see what I can do” or something along those lines. I hate empty promises when I receive them, so why the hell would I do the same to others….

    Hope you’re well, and it really is good to see you back – if even for a brief moment. Take care, luv!


    Posted by Michelle at Motley News | May 11, 2012, 7:08 pm
  4. 🙂 We say ‘no worries, mate’ a lot in Australia. It rolls off the tongue every day, and so easily. It just keeps life cool. I don’t mind it but, yes, when people say “no problem”, my instant inner reaction is “well I sure as hell hope it’s not a problem because, after all, I’m paying you”… Great topic again Tony 🙂


    Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes | May 11, 2012, 11:58 am
  5. I’ve always liked “No promises, but I’ll do the best I can”. Honest, and allows for speed bumps and potholes that ineveitably occur…
    Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, Tony.


    Posted by El Guapo | May 11, 2012, 4:51 am
  6. Oh My heart goes out to you…Seriously whats with all the comforting..why o why…why does one have to finish a sentence and who sas no problem is the way to finish it 😯
    I say hey thanks and the other person says no problem….and one fairy dies..they do every time someone says no problem a fairy dies..and now there are none..so this world is gonna end..not global warming or any other rumour but because we killed all the fairies with no problems….
    Tony you should open a cult or something there are so many things only you know
    This world needs a new leader and that should be YOU 🙂


    Posted by Soma Mukherjee | May 11, 2012, 3:58 am
    • thank you Soma, i am indeed in great pain over EVERYTHING! i thought that was what killed all the fairies, and now i seei was right. i’m now going to think up a good name for my cult. i always enjoy our little tete-a-tetes. continue…


      Posted by barkinginthedark | May 11, 2012, 5:34 am
  7. Other words that have been abused so badly they have gone ’round the corner to the other side: “Amazing” = cliche. “Interesting” = boring. “Awesome” = yawn. “Love” = feel a pang of something for until I’m done typing and forget entirely. The artificial social lubricants we use to grease every interaction.


    Posted by girl in the hat | May 11, 2012, 3:31 am
  8. Around here it’s, “You’re fine.” My teens and their friends say this all the time, usually following my, “Thank you.”

    “Thank you, I appreciate that.”

    “You’re fine.”

    I have no idea what they mean, but it seems fairly harmless so I let it go. But still, very puzzling.


    Posted by Averil Dean | May 11, 2012, 1:47 am
  9. Right up there with I’ll do the potatoes Tony. Also hate that particular misuse of verbiage. I envision a grand piano falling from 20 stories above as opposed to the safe. Guess it depends on the Laurel and Hardy (handshake) or Bugs Bunny films you’ve seen.
    Yep, people who use the phrase ‘no problem’ along with your title, bring to mind this riddle…
    ‘You wake up in the morning. Your paint is peeling, your curtains are gone and your water’s boiling. Which problem do you deal with first?’
    NONE of them asshole. the building’s on fire.

    Good to see you back, and fervently hope this post wasn’t initiated by a problem in LaLa Land.
    You rawk the blogoshere.


    Posted by Rachael Black | May 11, 2012, 1:34 am

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