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"No problem!" Says who?
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In the South, we take pride in our manners. My kids have been saying "Yes, Ma'am," "No, Ma'am," "Yes, Sir," and "No, Sir" since they could speak. They often shock other teens and a few adults who wonder which planet they're from. Well, I'm afraid manners and civility are both going down the toilet, to put it bluntly. Take this common retort, "No problem." Says who? The way I see it, there is indeed a problem.

Folks like to use "No problem" as a response to "Thank you!" Now, what in the world is wrong with the answer that's been around since 1066 AD? Once, we simply replied, "You're welcome." The fine people at Chick-fil-A and Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q say "My pleasure." That's so much better than "No problem, dude."
OK. I know the generations before us had their own cute responses such as "It's nothing" or "Don't mention it" or "No skin off my nose, Bud," but this "No problem" thing is just so widespread, like a nasty weed. I guess we need to go ahead and expect the "No problem" response in most of our conversations. Here's what I see coming down the pike:

Speaker 1: "You just won on Wheel of Fortune!"
Speaker 2: "No problem!"

Speaker 1: "Doctor! You just saved my life!
Speaker 2: "No problem!"

Speaker 1: "Would you photograph the swimsuit event for us?"
Speaker 2: "No problem!"

Speaker 1: "My, isn't this a lovely day?"
Speaker 2: "Stop looking at the clouds, you moron! Wheel me into labor and delivery right now, before I have this baby in the parking lot!"

OK, that last one will need some explanation. If you ever hear "before I have this baby..." and "moron" or any of its juicier alternatives in the same breath, your best course of action is to smile just as prettily as you can, start moving everyone towards the nearest hospital entrance, and then coo "Yes Ma'am" just as softly as possible through your clenched teeth. Trust me. This is one time when there's only one correct answer, and you and I both know that giving a stupid response like "No problem" would just be begging for an early, painful and immediate death. Remember your manners. It might just save your life one day.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at