I Don’t Do That

Bless Paul Newman. Cool Hand Luke. Sometime rear gunner on a US Navy TBD and latterly famous movie actor. He has given me one of the best social tools there is; the ability to refuse.

Tale has it he was constantly pestered by people who wanted his autograph. A standard Hollywood thing and probably harmless in itself – but Paul got sick of signing early on so he adopted the practice of saying ” I don’t do that. ” when importuned.

No excuses, no argument, no rancour. Just no. Perfectly charming and obliging in other ways, but ready with a gentle refusal when it suited him.

I can do no better than to adopt this when I encounter requests or situations that I want no part of. I can think of several occasions in the past few years when it would have been a comfort, had I been alert enough to remember it in time.

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