According to the Free Dictionary, the idiomatic phrase “long story short,” which is shortened from “to make a long story short,” is
“something that you say when you are about to stop telling someone all the details of something that happened and tell them only the main facts.”
If wishing made it so! Here’s what it really means:
By the time someone says, “long story short,” it’s usually too late for that to happen.
By the time someone says, “long story short” it usually means they themselves realize that the story has gone on too long.
Saying “long story short” is like asking for permission to keep talking, only it is more like a commandeering of permission!
Just saying “long story short” seems to restore the resolve of grandiloquence that was beginning to collapse beneath the weight of too many uses of the word “like” as an interjection.
Saying the phrase “long story short” seems to serve as a reset button bringing fresh inspiration and renewed vigor to articulate every single detail of what has now become an address.
Saying “long story short” sends the message “I care about your pain but not enough to stop speaking.”
If, per chance, someone has reached the third utterance of “long story short,” forget about it! You might as well settle in. You’re going to be listening for a while.