CHEERS – WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS TO SIGN THEIR NAME EXCEPT ME

Why do I sign my e-mail with ?cheers?? Am I British? No, I am not. I am Canadian. It would make far more sense to sign them ?eh? or ?bye? or ?talk to you later.? Although, strictly speaking, we were never actually talking. It?s e-mail. The proper sign off should be ?type to you later.? If it?s attitude we?re looking for, how about ending with ?@#$% snail mail?? Or even ?back to you? because, really, that?s what e-mail is all about. The quick exchange.

But no. I use none of these. Instead, I sign my e-mail with ?cheers? because I think that?s what you do when you go Internet. Suddenly you?re supposed to be all lower case, trendy and global. A lot of people can pull it off, but alas, I am not one of them. Hence my usage of the word ?alas.? And ?hence.? And ?usage.? Every time I end an e-mail with the word ?cheers,? I feel like a poser. A sheep. Just following the crowd. Maybe I should end my e-mail with ?baa baa, shannon.? Or ?sheepishly yours.? At least that would be more authentic.

But cheers? Hello, Ted Danson. BTW (Internet speak for ?by the way?) I loved that show. Better yet, I loved its theme song. There aren?t a lot of theme songs I want to listen to while driving, but Cheers is one of them. The full length version is great. In fact, the only theme song I have got as enamored of since, is the one to Corner Gas. I love the lines, ?You can tell me that your dog ran away/then tell me that it took three days/I?ve heard every joke/I?ve heard every word you say.? Craig Northey and Jesse Valenzuela. Great composers and singers.

But I digress. I was talking about ending an e-mail. Truth is, I don?t know what to sign my e-mail with. In fact, I spend more time sweating over the endings then I do writing the body of the thing. If I followed my instincts, I would end them with, ?sincerely yours.? No, I wouldn?t. I would really end them, ?Sincerely yours,? with a capital ?S? but I?m afraid of the consequences. Awaking to find my in-box empty after scaring away fellow e-mailer?s with my nerdiness.

Frankly, ?cheers? is pretty lukewarm as far as cool goes. I receive e-mail that ends with ?stay true? or ?Keepin? it real? and even ?Peace, out? which is sort of like hippy-crashes-into-Ryan-Seacrest or something. Don?t get me wrong, I?m all for peace. Just not so much for Seacrest. I?m more just a ?peace? kind of person, but I can?t even pull that off without feeling stupid. I?ve tried ?bye? (lowercase) but it seems too obvious, not to mention lame. Sometimes I get so rattled, I just end up putting my name there all by itself, which, in my opinion, looks incredibly rude. Not friendly at all. And although I may never be the last word in cool, I am friendly. You have to give ?cheers? that much; it?s friendly.

Recently, I hit rock bottom. In a panic, I accidentally signed my e-mail with the name of the person who sent it to me. Instead of saying, ?cheers, shannon? (lowercase), I actually wrote ?cheers, stacy? (lowercase).

Now what am I supposed to do? If I write Stacy back to clarify the situation, I?m only going to call attention to my blunder. The best I can hope for is that she thinks I was saying, ?Cheers Stacy!? Sort of like a greeting, only I put it in the ending, because I am on the leading lip of trendlines. Of course, now I have to end all my e-mail the same way, using the sender?s name in place of mine, in the hopes that it will catch on. Now I?m patiently waiting for the replies to roll in, praying someone out there has enough sheep genes in them to sign their e-mail to me with, ?cheers, shannon.?

Maybe I should just start using the phone. Until next week, cheers, readers. Shannon McKinnon is a syndicated humour columnist from the Peace River country. You can visit her online at www.shannonmckinnon.com