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  • Writer's pictureJoel Rauch

“Say Goodnight, Gracie, Say Goodnight George”

Say goodnight Gracie, say goodnight George” is an iconic line used in the 1950-1958 to end the night from the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.

That line still rings in my head when we have company that overstays their welcome. The night is getting longer and they still show no signs of leaving. Silence starts to permeate the room. I start to yawn and start cleaning up but still no signs of anyone moving towards the door.

How do you say “Goodnight Gracie, Goodnight George” in an inoffensive way? Haven’t we all been there?

Why can’t company think about Groucho Marx’s famous line…”Hello, I must be going I cannot stay, I came to say must be going. I’m glad I came, but just the same, I must be going." (Feel free to quickly refresh your memory below... it's only the first 20 seconds).

How do you actually handle a situation where you just want to pack it in and get into bed? I guess it depends on how long you’ve known your company. If they are people who’ve you’ve just met it can get a bit dicey. You don’t want to offend and be labeled the pariah of rude hosts.

However, if they are long time friends or friends that know you very well…I have come up with my own solution. I use a bell! I have a variety of bells… desk bells and one big cowbell. They know that they’ve been ‘belled’ and it’s time to hit the road. I do not have to sing Hit the Road, Jack. The bell says it all.

Let me clarify by saying that I love my friends. But as we approach those ‘Medicare Years’ there is a definite time period that beckons us to our bedrooms.

How to deal with those newer people that you’ve just met is still a conundrum wrapped in a puzzle for me. If it’s not at your house you can use that Groucho Marx expression. However, if it’s at your house with newer people, I have yet to come up with a solution without sounding rude and labeled a poor and offensive host.

(Apparently these "PLEASE LEAVE BY 9" party banners are quite popular and can even be bought at Party City... not sure how I feel about it but at least I know I'm not alone!)

If anyone has the answer to this I’d love to hear what you would do!

In the meantime…”Goodnight, Gracie, Goodnight George”

Joel Rauch


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