Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The No.1 Honest Friend Agency

Sometimes things have to be said. Only, not by me.
  (+19, -2)(+19, -2)
(+19, -2)
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Thag was in good humour. It was a good party - the booze at Zog's was always excellent, the music was low key, the company was intelligent and interesting, and Thag was having fun. Still, now and then he kept glancing at his watch. He couldn't shake the feeling that he'd set a timebomb going, and was just waiting for it to go off. He also couldn't shake a little anticipatory thrill...

And there it was now: a steadily widening circle of silence in the conversation. Thag peaked over a couple of heads; sure enough, there was Urma, outrage and shock making her look even more comical than usual. She was a good friend, and under normal circumstances Thag would be barging over there to see what was the matter - but right now he knew exactly what the problem was. He knew because he'd caused it.

And just at the edge of his hearing he could hear the other half of the conversation, saying "Sorry, but I couldn't help noticing it. Is it something medical? Do you brush your teeth regularly?" Thag buried his snigger in his wine. Urma was lovely, but her breath could stun a mammoth at sixty paces. You can't simply go up to someone you've been friends with for years and tell them something like that.

At that moment, the doorbell rang. It was a harmless-looking guy in a rather bulky jacket. "Hi", he said, stepping aside to allow Urma's insulter to slip past him. "Just thought I'd let you know, someone's left their headlights on."
Thag recognized his cue. "Oh, I bet that was me."

Once outside, Thag paid off his 'guest', who introduced him to the extraction team. He was called Fred. He was the guy in the bulky jacket, which turned out to contain some considerable hardware. "It's not normally necessary," he explained, "All of our operatives are highly trained martial arts enthusiasts, with black belts in origami and yogic flying, so they can normally handle themselves if the script doesn't go down well. Always wise to have a backup, though."
Thag agreed, and paid their hefty fee gladly. It was worth it to know that Something Had Been Said About the Breath.

The no.1 Honest Friend Agency also specialize in the Honest Shopper, who will tell you exactly what you look like in those lime-green paisley jodhpurs.

Edit: the No.1 Honest Friend Agency can also recommend their very own Tactful Mafia, who carry out the Gentle Hit - a highly trained ninja team follows the target, talking loudly in the background about the benefits of mouthwash and leaving copies of 'Dental Hygienist Weekly' in places where the target will stumble across them.

P.P.S A further service offered: the Name Hit. Have you forgotten the name of someone you've known for ages? Perhaps a work colleague, or a nodding acquaintance? We have operatives trained in Appearing Slightly Deaf, who will ask them their name several times and then repeat it loudly until you covertly signal to them that you've got it now, thanks.

moomintroll, Jan 23 2006

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       I bun this one due to the fact that I have seen 200 pound women in bikinis and I always say "someone needs to tell her that she is frightening children". This would solve the problem beautifully.
DVineMissEva, Jan 23 2006
  

       Definitely a + , although I would hate to be the recipient.
PollyNo9, Jan 24 2006
  

       //who will tell you exactly what you look like in those lime-green paisley jodhpurs.//   

       So, you think I should return them, then?   

       +
Machiavelli, Jan 24 2006
  

       [UB]I could pretend I'm making some philosophical point about how, when you get right down to it, we're not that different from cavemen, but the truth is I'm too lazy to think up more names.   

       Note to self: need to think up a better caveman name than 'Fred'.   

       [Druze], but Thag *does* care. He cares enough to pay someone else to take on the uncomfortable duty of Saying Something About the Breath. Isn't that what the service economy is all about? Do it yourself, and there's always the risk that you'll botch it and lose a dear friend. Leave it to the professionals, trained in the ways of tact and diplomacy.   

       [Machiavelli] Since I no longer work for the Agency (a nasty mixup involving a fat man who sweated a lot, had bad teeth and owned a wagon wheel coffee table - I kind of lost track), I am still able to plead the Fifth Amendment.
moomintroll, Jan 24 2006
  

       Druze, I think the point is not that good friends can't be devestatingly honest, it's that after a given time it raises the question 'why didn't you tell me earlier?'
yamahito, Jan 24 2006
  

       THAT'S what I meant to say. That's the absolutely crucial point. Thanks, [yamahito]! Will have to edit that in.
moomintroll, Jan 24 2006
  

       I love the P.P.S service [moomin], that one I would bun. As to the main idea, there are two choices in this type of situation:
1)Pluck up courage and say something.
2)Come to terms with your own cowardice and never breathe a word.

If you attempt to compromise with a scheme like this (and if this type of service were to become commercially available then I agree with [Druze], your friend would realise what had happened) the first question you or your circle will be asked is "Why didn't someone tell me earlier?" and the second question will be "Why did you have to hire a bloody stranger to humiliate me like that? Could none of you tell me to my face?" etc etc. The issue here is not the friend's problem it's your own lack of cojones.
DocBrown, Jan 24 2006
  

       I would repeatedly order the Name Hit service. For the same target. Several times a day.
wagster, Jan 24 2006
  

       \\it's your own lack of cojones\\ <bitterly> you could have at least hired someone to say that. </b>
moomintroll, Jan 24 2006
  

       Yes, I'd be a big spender on the Name Hit service too
hippo, Jan 24 2006
  

       //you could have at least hired someone//
Nice [moomin], nice.
DocBrown, Jan 24 2006
  

       Your kids will do everything but clean up the mess for beer money.
reensure, Jan 24 2006
  

       I'm terrible with names, but it's startlingly easy to talk to people whose names you don't know. I've also informed all my friends to introduce themselves when I bring them places, so I don't have to say, "Oh, allow me to introduce [incoherent mumble]. Pat Mills, [incoherent mumble]. [incoherent mumble], Pat Mills."
notmarkflynn, Jan 25 2006
  

       Why on earth would you not take that person aside and hand them a mint?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2006
  

       //P.P.S A further service offered: the Name Hit.//   

       I am so horrible with names, I have people that I've known for years, and have never even known their names at all.   

       My hypothesis is that friends get to know each other so well that they dont even need to say names. then when someone new comes in, they never hear the people's names, and are left out in the cold as to what to call them. So simply they just act like everyone else and never say names, pretending that they dont need to say them, because everyone will know who you are talking to.   

       This will result in huge hordes of people who think they are friends, yet each and every one of them will not even know one of the other person's names.   

       In other words, bun.
DesertFox, Jan 25 2006
  

       [Galbinus] Oh I see - "Tell me your name, and I will give you this fine mint."
moomintroll, Jan 25 2006
  

       Oh, the name thing is entirely different! <wink>   

       I would have had use for that last night. A friend who I have known for years came up to me to chat, and I called her by the wrong name.   

       I also had two coworkers who started on the same day, whose names I NEVER could get straight until one of them left the company. Then I knew the other was "Jeff"
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2006
  

       I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. -Pietro Aretino, satirist and dramatist (1492-1556)
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 26 2006
  

       Well, have the mint anyway.
moomintroll, Jan 26 2006
  

       I am the bitch that usually tells my friends my opinion of this and that, including how something looks on them, and that they could use a breath mint. I don't have a lot of friends.   

       and Moomin, If you want to plead the 5th, you're going to have to go out and buy one.
dentworth, Sep 28 2006
  

       Small children will perform this service, sometimes spontaneously and on a pro bono basis.
pertinax, Sep 29 2006
  

       Here. I have tip for all the name forgetters. I too am dreadful with names. Easily solved though. All you have to do is ask, “ Sorry, what was you name again?”. They look surprised and hurt and say “Whut? John, of course”. You say, “Dur, I knoooow. I meant your SURname……what was it again” and look all innocent. Works every time.
squeak, Sep 29 2006
  
      
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