The GETAWAY Method & Pursed Lips

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , ,

Remember that time you passed by that person in the hallway? They were probably a familiar person, but you really didn’t know them well enough to know their name. Yet you go by them every single day of your life, probably at your office, maybe at the market, or possibly at the local soccer game. You can’t say “Hey Bob” or “Howdy Jane” because you only have about a one in a zillion chance of that actually being their name. On the other hand, I guess you could call everyone “Bob” and that one time it was correct they’ll look at you as their hero. It just may be worth it.

We’ll call this fella for the sake of this argument “Elmer”. So you pass Elmer on almost a daily basis but don’t know meetngreethis name and don’t really have any interest in talking to him. Sure, there are some of you out there that think, “Hey, I don’t know this person – what a wonderful world that we live in that maybe I could get to know him and see life through HIS eyes for just one small second.” This may come as a complete surprise to you, but I’m not one of those people. I figure if I don’t know already know this unnamed familiar stranger, then I probably don’t have any need to in the future. Scoff at that if you will, but it gives me a LOT more time in my life to lie on the couch and do absolutely nothing – which is my true skill and passion in life.

So how do you greet Elmer? Despite me having no interest in actually discussing matters of the world with Elmer, I still feel a need to greet him with a friendly gesture. I’m not an animal, for heaven’s sake. I present to you the official “Greet Everyone ThAt Walks Around You” Method. This is commonly referred to in the various scientific journals that I’ve penned as my “GETAWAY” method of greeting. It’s very simple – but it has taken me years to perfect simply because of one small slip of a dentist drill.getaway

A little background would be helpful. Many years ago I was having my bottom wisdom teeth removed. The operation was successful, but there was one little nagging side effect of the dentist having a little too much tequila the night before. I assume this to be the case because he apparently had a bad case of the ‘shaky hand syndrome’ that next morning. That shaky group of digits apparently hit a nerve in my lower chin thing (whatever that’s called) and proceeded to permanently numb the entire space from my bottom lip down to my chin-point-thing – resulting in that area turning into a frozen tundra the likes of which a native Alaskan would be proud.

My point in telling you that dainty dental detail was that my “GETAWAY” greeting utilizes these muscles quite liberally. I’ve had to perfect the technique again after years of rehab. I’ve suffered through countless sessions with my physical therapist so that I could get this technique back. I mean, you could write a book about my recovery. It’s that inspiring.

So here is the “GETAWAY” method in easy numbered steps.pursed

  1. Approach Elmer with no intent of saying anything.
  2. As you near him and he’s looking at you, purse your lips by sucking in your bottom lip, forming a oral suction which will slowly drag the top lip in with the bottom lip.
  3. Tuck your chin slightly to enhance the effect.
  4. If you have achieved the above steps correctly, you can then add in a quick upward nod of the head while the lips remain pursed. This portrays the casual salutation of ‘Sup?’ to the other party.

That’s it. You now have the ability to greet anyone in a respectful, even semi-friendly manner, without ever having to say a word to them. Use the “GETAWAY” method as you turn a corner in the office and meet someone unexpectedly or when you’re in an awkward situation such as passing the same person in the same hallway for the fourth time in a single day. It’s simple. It’s acceptable as a greeting to all, and as long as you don’t have to go through the same intense training that I did to be able to accomplish it, it should be easy-peasy-cheezy-squeezy. Let me know if this works for you as well, or if there is another technique that I can incorporate into this routine so that on the FIFTH time I pass this person in the hallway I don’t have to leap into the nearest stairwell, elevator or empty cubicle to avoid having to greet them yet again.


  1. oh I love this. I can definitely employ this at the market, when it seems as if I enter the same “store orbit” as someone else. We start in produce together and our carts manage to circumnavigate each other the entire store. Now I have quick and less effort way of handing this. I had been stuck with ‘Hi” and “Hi, again” and “Funny how we are now in checkout line, isn’t it?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Valuable info for sure. I will put it to good use since I can never seem to remember people’s names. I’ll start stretching out my chin and lower lip now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmm … ja, my face doesn’t like having to make sudden moves. We rely on The Finger, which works as follows:
    1. Make eye contact
    2. Half-raise hand to somewhere between boob and chin level (only HALF raise, mind! Too high and it’s a salute!)
    3. Flip pointer finger
    You can toss in a smile if you think of it and your face is in smiling mode. And if the person is cute, or someone you know but don’t actually want to speak to just then, you can go up to two fingers and maybe wiggle them a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. writerinsoul says:

    I’m practicing but it’s not really coming together. Perhaps this is more of a man’s expression? I rely on friendly-raising-of-eyebrows combined with slight head nod. Any smiling is a closed-lip affair. I also offer small waves like Belladonna mentioned. Another thought-provoking, public-service post!

    Liked by 1 person

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