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Feel Free To Approach

By February 1, 2014 June 8th, 2014 Dragon*Con, Humor, Personal Stories

A photo of a tasty-looking sausage, mushroom, onion, and jalapeno pizza

Photo by MMChicago

It’s no mystery to the people that know me, but I sometimes speak in a manner that isn’t necessarily common. In essence, I have a tendency to switch up my vocabulary so I use uncommon words, all in the name of keeping myself entertained. So, for example, I’m the type that would say “I’m gonna go consume some pizza, I’ll talk to you later.” Naturally, the word “consume” is rarely used in these types of phrases, but I enjoy going there. “Eat” is far more boring in my mind, as it’s been said a billion times before in such a context. Now, normally, this is all fine and good – people understand my phrases anyway, and sometimes, they get a kick out of it too. But not always, it seems.

While working towards the full completion of my Dragon Con 2013 video editing, I found myself watching one particular interview that featured a GameBoy-type character, a game console known as BMO (from the Adventure Time TV show). See, while doing this interview, a little girl of about 5 or 6 entered the frame with her mother in tow, randomly, and wanted to take a photo of my guest, the colorful BMO. Now, from experience, me and my friend knew to keep the camera rolling to see how it played out. Being a genuinely friendly creature, when this little girl started walking up to my guest, I encouraged her by saying “feel free to approach.” In the moment, it was a 100% Matt Refghi utterance with the utmost respect and friendliness applied. However, when re-watching it during the editing phase, I realized that no child of her age would ever understand that phrase.

In effect, I had recorded irrefutable evidence of my cluelessness when it came to communicating with children – and I found that immensely amusing.

Of course, communication isn’t all about the words, so I understood fully that my tone and general body language were very supportive of the little girl, and she probably understood the overall sentiment. But I really enjoyed the unintentional humor of my wording, and decided that I was destined to make fun of myself for it – because yeah, I really did word that in an awkward way. So, all that said, I am pleased to announce my upcoming book:

Feel Free to Approach and 1000 Other Phrases Kids Will Never Understand

Feel Free to Approach and 1000 Other Phrases Kids Will Never Understand

Many thanks to my friend Daniel for whipping together a quick book cover example in Photoshop, and sending it over. I took that, messed around for an hour or so, and got the above result. Will I actually create a book, or is this just a joke? That remains to be seen, people of the Internet, but either way, I have the credentials to back it up. No one can question my skill at using Wikipedia.

If you’re interested in seeing the interview that started it all, see the following video:


And, of course, #FeelFreeToApproach.