When you are with people you know and you want to get them firing on all cylinders then throwing caution to the wind is a colourful icebreaker that gets people smiling and laughing. Make sure to have your "CAUTION" strips of paper ready and when you walk up to someone you know, like a friend or a colleague in the office, then throw the paper strips at them and just wait a few seconds. They will of course look at you and think you are a bit batty and most probably say "What are you doing?" You could go on to tell them a story of how you always like to be prepared and that you thought they just cut one, and so you were being careful and throwing caution to the wind. Of course, if they really did let one rip, then, well, what could be more classic than that.
The hot air, er, um, well, is a common, natural thing, but yes, it is not something people discuss openly. And we all have our own personal stories of how this bodily function has put us in awkward situation. Now we have a chance to poke fun at the hot air, and get people smiling. If you want to break some solid ice with someone then this one works wonders. Here is a way to kick off. For example:
You look like you are going to explode I am lucky though – I have some precautions with me at all times. All is going to be fine.
You can keep the little strips of paper with the word "CAUTION" on them, neatly in your jacket pocket or your wallet. When approaching someone or if someone comes to talk to you, you can gently throw the strips of paper at them. This will get them very curious and this is a good time to break the ice … For example:
I am not sure what you had for breakfast, but it looks like you were about to let one rip, so I was just throwing some caution to the wind.
Some extra lines you can try (to build the intrigue even more)
- They say hot air rises. Let see if these paper strips manage to catch an updraft.
- Now that was a cautionary tale if ever there was one.
- Have you ever seen Gone with the wind?
Once the paper strips have all scattered on the ground you gather them all up and show them openly. The word “CAUTION” would now be clearly visible. Whoever you do this too may take a few moments for this to settle in, but when the penny drops they are going to smile.
If you want you can keep these. One can never be too careful.
You may have to make a fanning gesture as you clear the air. This is all about the wind. So take your time and have fun with this.
The old canary in a cage move is so old fashioned. This is a new pre-emptive approach to dealing with dirty bombs.
Some extra lines to possibly use
- You are the wind beneath my cautionary wings.
- Throwing caution to the wind helps everyone in close proximity. We never know which way the wind may be blowing.
- I didn't know Gone with the Wind was about a hot air problem.
- Throwing caution to the wind is a real gas.
If there are a group of people around and you know them all then this is sure to get everyone loosened up.
I often perform this public service. Consider yourself all lucky for the precautionary measures taken. We all could do with less hot air being spoken and more caution thrown to the wind.
At a team building event you may give a group of people each a "CAUTION" paper strip and they could all demonstration caution for a new project by throwing caution to the wind all at one. Before a new project kicks off, everyone can throw caution to the wind together, and get some team spirit brewing.