Do you know what ‘toodle pip’ means, or can you hazard a guess?
If you are a certain age (old) you probably do. But in your twenties? I’m not so sure. My daughter knew, but she’s well-read. I’ve just asked my son, who is in his thirties. “I’ve heard it. Is it to do with telling someone to hurry up?” Wrong firstborn.
Anyway, I had dinner at a London restaurant opposite Green Park tube station and this message was on the doormat as we left. I’ve been here a few times before but had not noticed. But this time, I left on my own and had to press a button to exit. In doing so, I read it.
“Toodle Pip”. It made me smile. I’m a bit of a cynic, so that’s an achievement in itself. Get me: I’m even writing a blog post about it.
How did the words make me feel? Warm and fuzzy. We’d had a lovely meal with great service, so this was the icing on the cake – it served to reaffirm a good evening. Not the hackneyed “See you again soon” etc. but something original and clever. It was understated and a bit of fun.
I suppose very few overseas visitors would ‘get it’ either. Is it worth writing something if only a few people understand? Aren’t you at risk of alienating people?
What my point?
It’s drilled into writers to speak to your audience with your words. But sometimes, it’s more effective if you just speak to some of them. People remember you if you grab them by the throat, rather than just brushing their sleeve.