My old favorite catchphrase is from this “deep thought” by Jack Handy:
Sometimes, I think I should always carry around two bags. That way, if anyone ever asks me for help, I can say, “Sorry, got these bags.”
I think the usefulness of this one is obvious. If you educate your family by using the quote often enough, you can get to where all you have to say is “Sorry, got these bags.”
My new favorite catchphrase is from a story told by Mike Birbiglia, which I heard on a podcast from “The Moth,” and which is apparently also featured on an episode of “This American Life” and in Mike Birbiglia’s one-man-show called “Sleepwalk With Me.” I played this story for Dean with our kids in the car and the kids laughed until they nearly wept. Even Henry got into the spirit of things and was roaring with laughter, and now it’s become one of my kids’ most common requests. Early in the story, Birbiglia talks about thinking that maybe he should get his sleepwalking tendency checked out by a doctor, and says, “But then I thought, maybe I’ll eat dinner.” This turns out to be a very useful expression. Here are some examples of how it can be used:
“I should call somebody about the puddle in the bottom of the washing machine. Or maybe I’ll eat dinner.”
“I’ve had this persistent pain in my toe. I should get my foot looked at. Or maybe I’ll eat dinner.”
Etc. (You get the idea.)
P.S. I heard that there’s going to be a new one-hour show of “The Moth” as a regular feature on NPR (I think starting this fall.) I’ll bet it will be good.