Welcome to our Fringe Debuts series, where comedians taking their first show to Edinburgh Fringe will give you a little taster of what to expect, an insight into their world, or really super weird musings on something equally bizarre — to be honest, we just let them run with it. If you’re readying yourself for a giant lol injection in August, now’s your chance to find something NEW to add to your list.
Ania Magliano is performing Absolutely No Worries If Not, a show in which she questions whether she’ll ever be able to confront her hairdresser about a bad haircut. Can she get through her early 20s without ending every sentence with ‘absolutely no worries if not’? Here she suggests some alternatives to the ubiquitous phrase.
If I search the phrase ‘absolutely no worries if not’ in my phone, the results are overwhelming. No matter who I’m talking to — friends, colleagues, automated text services — it’s guaranteed to pop up.
Why do I say it? A multitude of reasons. To make things as easy as possible for other people. To avoid the possibility of imposing. To subtly promote my debut Edinburgh show of the same name.
It’s a habit I got into, I guess, and perhaps it was magnified by certain aspects of my identity — I’m a young, female, queer Aquarius. Now that’s a heady mix.
But I think it’s time for us to move forward. We’re ready for our Post-NWIN Era. It’s good to be honest about your needs, be clear about your wants and generally keep emails as short as possible because they’re dull enough already.
However, I understand that habits are hard to break. One of the easiest ways to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. So I’ve come up with some empowering alternatives to reach for next time you feel yourself craving a ‘no worries if not’.
The yin to No Worries if Not’s yang. Feel free to substitute the word ‘plenty’ for the exact number of worries (eg. 14 worries if not), and do not be afraid to add a hyperlink to a short but impactful powerpoint elaborating on the details of each worry (eg. Number 8 — The stress of dealing with you is giving me an IBS flare up, Number 9 — I’m now worried I overshared about the IBS flare up, Number 10 — Picture of the bloat).
How to use it in a sentence: ‘Just chasing that invoice, which was due yesterday. If you could get it over to me today that would be great — plenty of worries if not’
Why not say how you actually feel? What could really go wrong, at the end of the day? Sure you could ruin professional relationships, alienate close friends and burn through almost all of your interpersonal support network, but at least you’re speaking your truth.
How to use it in a sentence: ‘Hey. Are you free for a drink tonight? If so it would be nice to see you, but if not I’ll be forced to spend another night alone scrolling through a series of social media posts that make me want to gauge my eyes out and eating my tepid dinner directly over the kitchen bin. X’
Stop wasting your precious words on them. Instead leave a decapitated horse's head somewhere around their desk, or ideally their home. I would say aim for the home, because leaving a horse's head in the workplace could so easily go wrong: it might get lost under some papers or someone might put it in the communal fridge assuming it’s a quirky lunch from Spitalfields.
How to use it in a sentence: ‘I got the idea for this threatening gesture from a Fringe promotional article, your honour.’
This is only a starting point to get the ball rolling. But I hope you find them inspiring and empowering, and I implore you to use them in your everyday life starting today. Unless you don’t want to, in which case no worries if not.
Ania Magliano: Absolutely No Worries If Not runs 3rd-28th Aug, 4:35pm, at the Pleasance Theatre. Tickets here
Ania is on Twitter at @aniamags and Instagram at @aniamagliano
Subscribe below for your regular comedy recommendations
(Make sure to check your spam folder)