This is Not Good (again)

Pixabay: OpenClipart-Vectors. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

My dad, as a teen, hit a skunk at night while driving his father’s car past curfew. When he got home and climbed out of the Pontiac, the skunk smell was strong. He smelled of skunk. There was no chance of slipping unnoticed into the house. His father would ask questions.

This is not good, he thought. This is not good.

I’ve had that same thought, said the same thing when something went wrong.

This is not good.

We don’t say, this is bad, which is odd.

This is bad is shorter. Precise and to the point.

The opposite of not good is bad.

But this is bad somehow sounds worse than this is not good

This is bad is clearly bad.

This is not good subtly leaves open possibilities other than bad.

This is not good is maybe…OK? Permissible? Forgivable?

Not good interrupts a definitive and final conclusion of bad.

It gives wiggle room; buys time; offers hope.

Fuzzy logic? Probably. But it works for rice cookers and my dad, so it’s good enough for me.

How’d my dad’s story with his father end? I’ve no idea.

I just know he survived.

Photo source: OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

I wrote a version of this in July 2019. This is similar, but I’m exploring style, voice and layout, so this reflects changes. If you read both and like one better than another, I’d love to know which one you like better and why. Me? I’m of two minds about it. Thanks :-).



13 thoughts on “This is Not Good (again)

    1. I am definitely impressed that you were notified about this and commented as quickly as you did. I so appreciate your enthusiastic presence and support. Thank you.

      BTW, the photos of your spread from your Christmas card are beautiful. Lovely place. Lovely people.


      1. Bobbi Taylor

        Love your writing! Keep ’em coming! Could I interest you in writing a Looking Back column for a spring issue of The Hague Chronicle?

        Glad you liked the new year’s card. We are truly blessed by our family!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One of these days I’ll say yes to writing something for the Chronicle. For now I just want to write without any external deadlines. I have enough of those with this being tax season, lol. And thanks for liking my stuff enough to ask.


  1. Words are powerful things. I’ve said both phrases, “This is bad,” and “This is not good.” The latter doesn’t have the foreboding charge that the first one does. It’s lighter, gentler and leaves room for laughter. I picture a parent with a two-year-old child who has colored on the walls with permanent markers. Telling the child, “This is bad,” would have a whole different feeling from “This is not good.” Go with “not good.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your example with the child, as well as your pointing out the emotional differences between the two phrases. Thanks for sharing that. And welcome home.


    1. Hey Goldie! You’re still here! Many of the folks I interacted with when I first started my blog seem to have faded away, like I did. Looks like you’ve kept at it. Kudos!

      Thanks for reading both of them and offering your comment. I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. antoinette and frenchy

    Great story about Daddyoo!!!

    Another positive comment of a misfortune is stating “it could be worse.” It is looking at the brighter side of something happening that is “not good.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Howdy howdy!

      A range of response options:
      This is not good.
      It could be worse.
      It’s not too bad.

      I love how they all approach the misfortune (love that choice of words) from slightly different perspectives, each with their own emotional feeling. Thanks for that!


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