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Wu Ting
How would you interpret this sentence? How would you interpret the seventh sentence ‘“I mean if you’re gonna do it, do it right”’? I would think the speaker meant if anyone wanted to kill himself, he should do it neatly. What do you think? Thank you. PS: the excerpt is taken from “Kneller’s Happy Campers” written by an Israeli author, Etgar Keret. And I’m reading an English translation. the context: I met Uzi Gelfand at Stiff Drinks, almost by accident. He acted real friendly. Bought me a beer and everything, which weirded me out cause I figured he must be trying to stick it to me or something. But pretty soon I saw he wasn’t onto me at all, just bored. He was a few years older than me, and going bald, so the little scar—the one on his right temple where the bullet went in—stuck out even more, and so did the other one, which was much bigger, on the left side, where it went out. “Used a dumdum,” Gelfand goes, and winks at two girls standing at the bar right next to us drinking Diet Coke. “I mean if you’re gonna do it, do it right.” It wasn’t until after those two ditched us for some blond guy with a ponytail that he admitted he’d only chatted me up cause he thought we were together. “Not that it makes any difference,” he says, and head-butts the bar—but not very hard, just trying to chill. “Even if you’d introduced me they’da gone off with some blond guy in the end. That’s just how it is. Every girl I meet—they always have a blond guy waiting for them somewhere. But I’m not bitter. No way. A little desperate maybe, but not bitter.”
Sep 19, 2019 9:25 AM
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Answers · 3
It means that if you are going to try to kill yourself, that you make sure you do it in a way that is guaranteed to kill you. It's usually said as "gallows humor" by police or emergency department personnel, and usually when someone makes a suicide gesture or attempt that is unlikely to kill. (Whispering between ER doctor & nurse: "If you're going to try to kill yourself, at least do it right." Then they giggle for a second, then get back to work.) The irony of the passage above, is that shooting a bullet from that goes from temple-to-temple is very likely to kill you. This is especially true if the person is using a 'dum-dum' bullet.
September 19, 2019
Yes, I think you're right.
September 19, 2019
I put my answer in the wrong place!
September 19, 2019
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English