More isn’t always better.
Take for instance, “Long story short . . . ”
There’s no such thing as “Long story short,”. Just as there is no such thing as bread in Chinese restaurants or professional football in Miami. It’s a boldface lie in long britches. It’s like Three Easy Steps! or the starting time for a big sporting event or a ‘vote of confidence’. It’s a funny line from Jim Belushi, an honest line from Hilary Clinton, the bottom line at Bank of America.
It’s human nature to expand rather than contract and in so doing, to waste someone else’s time. It’s easier to shake and rattle, rather than to simply roll. That’s why we have malls and stretch limos and Don McLean.
People who have a story to tell always want to tell you the whole thing.
The last recorded incident of a long story actually being short? Try The Gettysburg Address in November, 1863. Which clocked in at two minutes despite its dubious “Four Score and Seven Years Ago,” beginning. Somehow, Lincoln was able to enumerate on such lofty ideals as honor, sacrifice and the underpinnings of the Declaration while framing the bloodshed at Gettysburg as a symbolic call to union by God and country . . in two minutes time! For the sake of comparison, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine’s average pre-game speech last season clocked in at a robust four minutes and twenty eight seconds. The Browns went 3-13.
Think about that one tomorrow morning when the other end of your line recites a thesis on why they can never date anyone with kids ever again. And best of luck trying to cut that conversation short.