I spent Sunday trolling the web, checking out vintage newsreels and public service announcements on YouTube and Waybackmachine for another project, and two near-obsolete expressions fed me a Pow! Right Between The Eyes moment…and perhaps fed the Surprise movement two immutable battle cries.
“What WILL They Think of Next?"
“Well, I Never!”
For the benefit of my readers of the Bubble Generation (a term coined by Tom Hayes at his sparkling TomBom blog), "What Will" was usually uttered by those up-tempo, silky-voiced narrators showing off wacky technology like flying car prototypes in 1940s news shows; "Well I" was standard statement of older women with grey hair pulled tightly into a bun (think of the painting American Gothic), usually delivered with popped eyes and O-shaped mouth in black-and-white movies.
The more I heard them, the more I repeated them over and over, the more I realized that these expressions are WAY too relevant to remain buried in nostalgia.
“What WILL They Think of Next?” epitomizes the wonder and innocence of discovering something new, and glows with optimism for the future. And rid of its prudish roots, “Well, I Never!” is the culmination of great Surprise; an explosive reaction to a new idea, a new experience, a new product.
One day (when my speech is ready to roll and the book is at the printer’s), I’m gonna start merchandising this blog, and you can bet that these slogans will emblazon my first two t-shirts. CafePress, here I come.
Until then, I wish you the opportunity to shout ‘em out. Often. And loud!