Issue 1 - The Wednesday Waffle

I hope this finds you... well, do I really?

In this week’s newsletter:

🧇 A Wednesday Waffle Video 🧇
An update on what’s been happening from me to you

👨‍⚕️ I hope this finds you… well, do I really? 👨‍⚕️
Exploring the modern obsession with this introduction, and why it’s time to change it up.

👯 A friendly challenge 👯
Connect with friends and family you haven’t chatted to in a while via these new “expert” level openers.

🎞️ A friend’s dangerously close call 🎞️
It was a warm summer’s night in 1998 when my mate innocently rolled a billiard ball down a hill. What ever could have gone wrong?

A Special Wednesday Waffle Video

To celebrate the first ever issue of this newsletter, I’ve recorded a short Wednesday Waffle video for you, as an early adopter. You’re officially an OG of the WW and ILYSFM.

congratulations - you’re on the left side of “The Chasm”

Let this be your reminder to send your friends a short video to fill them in on what’s been happening, or not happening, in your life. It has a 100% money back guarantee of brightening their day.

“I hope this finds you well”
- person about to annoy you, 2010 - present day.

I’ve used that line way too often, and almost exclusively when veering outside my lane and hitting up someone I hardly know / haven’t spoken to in forever. It’s been as if those six words had magical powers whereby sprinkling them in off the top absolved me of whatever was about to follow.

file under “email nudge 101”

SIDE NOTE: a quick email search shows my most recent, and last ever, “I hope this finds you well” was in an email to a movie producer that has one of my scripts.

Whether it was personally, professionally, or prospectively, this fairly disingenuous anticipation of said person’s health has been my go-to ice-breaker for over a decade. But not anymore. Here’s why:

It’s low effort - The people I care about deserve more than this liberally doled out line. Similarly, colleagues don’t need my phoney inquiries either.

It’s not how I talk - Being born in rural Victoria, Australia, and possessing a country drawl, I feel the need to put on a posh English accent to even say the words aloud.

It’s unoriginal - Google’s “smart compose” knows where I’m going after just six letters (see image) and I hate being that predictable.

Googles “how to be less predictable”

I can do better. You can do better. Let’s do better together.

So, what to say instead?

I declare, from this day forward, I have retired “I hope this finds you well”, and all variations of it, from future correspondence. Consider it hanging from the rafters like Michael Jordan’s #23 in Chicago.

I declare, from this day forward, I have retired “I hope this finds you well”, and all variations of it, from future correspondence

Me - in the previous paragraph

If you want to join me, and I urge you to, Grammarly have done a good job of providing alternatives for future professional correspondence - you can check them out here.

As far as what to say in personal communications, I’m still working on it. If you have suggestions hit me up. But I’m going to trial:

Hi {FirstName}

~ Select one of ~

  • What’s the word on the street? (beginner)

  • Are you still a legend? (intermediate)

  • Damn I miss you! What’s news? (expert)

Continue with rest of the message.

thanks for your service to the email game

A Friendly Challenge

Being that this newsletter is about making, reinvigorating and maintaining friendships, I want to set you a challenge to reach out to 1 - 3 people you’ve not spoken to, emailed, text messaged, or DM’d in at least one month and use one of the above lines to open up communication. (the beginner, intermediate and expert ones).

If you’re feeling anxious about it, take comfort in knowing you can always throw me under the bus and explain it was “this healthy connections challenge some weirdo (see: me) told you to try”.

Let me know how it goes at [email protected]

next week I will try “expert” level

A Friend’s Dangerously Close Call

We’re all friends here, so each week I’m going to share an iconic story about a friend. The purpose of this is to remind us all of the weird, wacky and wicked things our friends and family have done, and serve as a prompt to connect with these people again.

This week, I’ve decided to share the tale of the night my mate nearly became a felon.

TL;DR - my friend did something innocent, that turned out to be ridiculous, and incredibly dangerous. It was so seminal that I used the story as dialogue in a film I wrote. If you’re time poor, here’s a short clip from the movie that explains what happened - but it’s nowhere near as fun and detailed

For the full story, here it is! (3 minute read)

It was 1998, and a warm summer’s night in country Victoria, Australia. The sun had all but disappeared from view and visibility was fading, when some mates and I, who had been roaming the local streets, jumped a fence and took our exploration into a neighbouring high school’s grounds.

What awaited us was largely underwhelming - ovals, bitumen, portable classrooms, bag hooks, a wall (for down ball) - the usual stuff. This didn’t matter though, because our primary objective was not to trespass, but instead save time on our pilgrimage to McDonald’s.

Yet, as we neared the top end of the school grounds, one of my friends happened across an office door and, for whatever reason, checked the handle. It was open, so he beckoned us over. By the time we arrived, he was already foraging around in a box titled “lost property”.

It contained random pieces of school uniform and sporting equipment, as well as, long before the Marvel cinematic universe was a thing, a superhero cape. Well, not really, but a towel that one friend as if possessed, ripped a hole in and decided to don instead, sans shirt. Being a wiry, skeletal teen, one can only imagine what this comic book character might’ve been called. It was extremely funny though and oh how we laughed.

While this went on, another friend happened across a box of pool balls (the kind you use on a pool table) and quickly claimed the black / number eight. Unfortunately it wasn’t a magic eight ball, as we’d have surely asked, “is this night going to turn out well?”. The rest of us followed his lead, and I snaffled the yellow / one ball.

decision making was easy with one of these

Having seen all there was, and starting to feel like actual trespassers, we decided to continue on our way, up and over another fence and back into the suburban streets.

We soon walked up on a roundabout that looked down a steep hill to our final destination - a busy intersection home to both Ronald’s Restaurant, and Colonel Sanders’ Cafeteria.

But before we could begin our descent, the Towelled Tosser Caped Crusader of our crew decided to continue his crowd pleasing run and, without warning, wound up a big underarm roll sending his red / number three pool ball down the road towards traffic.

Initially, this was seen as more comedic gold, as we watched the sphere skim across the asphalt, gathering speed with every bump. But then, as the ball got a third of the way down we realised his actions were unravelling.

The uneven surface had caused the ball to kick up and bounce a foot into the air. Then, the next time it struck land it ricocheted two foot off the ground and it was now clear this trend was set to continue. The downward momentum causing the projectile to gain more pace each time, too.

It had to be doing 100kmph when it got two thirds of the way down the hill, and as the chances of imminent danger grew, we shrunk a little further into our shoulders.

the hill - steeper than it may appear

By the time the cannonball pool ball entered the busy intersection, it must’ve been doing 150 clicks and was shooting through head high - the perfect height to smash through a car windscreen and crush a human skull.

We peeped through our fingers as the ball whistled across the busy intersection, between passing cars. Thankfully, luck was on his side and the ball was last seen hurtling up the other side of the road. Come to think of it, it might still be in motion, such was its momentum.

This story was so iconic that I used it in a movie I wrote. You can watch the scene here.

If you have an epic story involving you and your friends, I’d love to hear it. Write in or send a video to [email protected]

Mates don’t let their mates miss out!

If you enjoyed The Wednesday Waffle, please tell your friends, or even better - sign them up here. This is only possible thanks to you guys, and the more “friends” of ours that receive this each week, the more friendship we put out into the world and the less I feel like I’m wasting my time.

To give feedback, or to let me know how The Wednesday Waffle has helped you connect / reconnect with friends and family, send us an email to [email protected] - I’d love to hear from you.

Until next Wednesday, keep waffling!