H. Hairballs. Have nothing.
Heck with it. Here is what little I came up with...
"Hello, How are you today?"
Innocuous words, right? Checkers say it every day when you go to a store. Most reply with the rote, "Fine, thanks," or variations thereof. But do you know how confusing or actually awestruck some people are, when you DON'T say "fine"?
I normally, just to be obnoxious, I suppose, say "Still doing." It's neutral, like fine, but it's not that phrase. I have had some clerks stop dead, and laugh, one or two ask if I am all right, (I reply, yes, because I am still doing, with a big grin...)
I even had one just stare, until I finally said, YES, fine, thanks. Then she could start again.
(DOES. NOT. COMPUTE...)
I have followed people that have come up with non-standard replies. Sometimes, it's just answering honestly. I followed this one older man, and the clerk said the usual "Hi, how are you?"
Whereupon, he glared at her, replying that he had a headache, he had a doctor's appointment for a cancer screening, his dog had been hit by a car last week, and his feet hurt.
She looked like she'd been slapped. She murmured niceties, and bagged him out quickly. She looked almost panic stricken when I came up. I decided to help out. "Hi, I am fine, and I hope you are doing the same, after that..." She looked confused for a second, registered what I had said, then laughed so hard she started to tear.
But I think a great response that I just heard, was about 2-3 days ago. I was behind another bent, elderly man, who looked like a strong breeze would blow him away to dust. The clerk's standard, "Hi, how are you?"
He grinned at the clerk, and straightening as much as he could, he piped up, "You know, I am above ground today, the rest is gravy!"
She looked non-plussed, but she also looked to be quite young... I laughed, he laughed with me, and the clerk rolled her eyes. I think I said something like "Well, I guess you had to be there..."
Sadly, she missed the zinger completely. Eh.
So, How are YOU today?
I saw geese flying back north, it didn't rain, I don't hurt, and my composter works. Life, she is good.
(Wouldn't that strip a clerk's mental gears? You just know I am gonna have to try it next shopping trip.)