Situation #28 – Hey…buddy?

31 07 2008

The situation: First, name forgetting is not in itself awkward. This is an inability that is treasured amongst social creatures. Name forgetting, however, can become awkward when you have been introduced to a person several times and still can’t remember their name, especially in presence of said person. Whenever you are in their presence, their flowing locks, scruffy beard and Birkenstock sandals can only bring to mind one name: Jesus. Or say when you met this person he/she was wearing a stripped t-shirt and a toque and was very good at blending into the background. From then on the only name that popped up when this person was seen or spoken of was Waldo. The awkwardness of not remembering this person’s name can be exacerbated if the person had a tendency to end every sentence with your name. Isn’t that awkward, reader?

The solution: An obvious solution is to have a sackful of generic names : buddy (best if pronounced bahhhhh-dee), pal, duder, man, home slice, road dawg, etc. This can be extremely helpful in dire situations; however, someone with Jesus-like intelligence or Waldo-like mystery may be able to see through it. So, here are some additional pointers:

1.) you cannot tell them they look like Jesus. As much as you think your insight is so original, they have heard it before and likely do not want to hear it again.

2.) if you see the person infrequently, then you can give a personalized nickname to them based on something in that moment. For instance, if they are drinking a slurpee, give them a “how’s it going, slurpee-man?” This may appear annoying, but not awkward and less transparent than simply “man”

3.) If you see them slightly more frequently and can remember some fact about them, say that Jesus is an avid cyclist, call him Wheel-y . This works best if you also get many other people in on this nickname. Awkwardness gone and you are the awesome friend who nicknamed someone!


Situation #27 – The ‘surprise’ costume party

30 07 2008

The situation: It’s Saturday night and being the popular beast that you are, you are headed to a party. Before leaving your house, you go over your typical mental checklist : shirt is pitter-proof, no accidental hole in the crotch of your pants, and you have some hilarious facts about David Hasselhoff on the ol’ mental shelf, should that come up. You also make sure that you arrive a stylish 30 minutes late. Seems like you are set to avoid anything awkward, right? riiight?

You enter the house and take a look around. Something seems strange. Everyone is dressed up in Shakespearean era costumes. How doth you forget…the party was a costume party.

The solution: There is one solution that will save your un-costumed arse without having to pull out the lame “the dog ate my invitation” excuse. For a costume party that is set in a specific time period, be it a Shakespearean era party or a star trek era party (although, who would ever forget the chance to dress up as Jean-Luc Picard and sip on some Romulan ale?), you have to confidently walk around the party, perhaps humming some Huey Lewis and the News, asking people if they have seen some crazy looking scientist who often exclaims “Great Scott!”. People at the party will initially be confused, but keep going. Perhaps throw in some Delorian references and talk about a certain clock tower. That’s rights, you came to the party as Marty Mcfly, time travellin’ from 2008, which explains your modern day attire.

Note: if you are a hipster, this excuse works even better because you are more than likely to be dressed in an outfit similar to that worn by Marty McFly circa 1985 (the oj time travel year) or, if female, that hot little legging-ed number worn by his main squeeze, Jennifer.

Situation #26 – The name game

28 07 2008

The situation: You and your boyfriend/girlfriend are dancing the horizontal mambo, if you know what we mean. Of course you know what we mean, you sly fox! We won’t go into further detail – this isn’t that kind of site. We’ll just say that things are going well and let your imagination take it from there. There’s some “oohing” and some “ahhing” and just as you’re heading into the final sequence of your carnal gymnastics routine, you cry out “Oooh Steeeeeve!” This would be fine, if only your boyfriend was actually named Steve. Your boyfriend, however, is named Karl, a name that bears neither phonetic nor graphic similarity to the name Steve.

The solution: What follow are not so much solutions, as much as tips that will buy you enough time to pack your bags on the way out.

1. Explain that you practice a rare religion where Steve is actually the name of your god. You come from a long line of Spanish stevedores and worship at the altar of your ancestral longshoreman Steven Consuelos The Third.

2. Claim a fetish for an older and unattractive actor. It is very important that you do not pick anyone even remotely attractive, because on the off chance that your boyfriend is convinced, you will then have his newfound insecurities to deal with. Therefore, Steve Carrell and Steve Martin are both bad choices. Steve Buscemi – now we’re talking!

J.S.A. approved link

28 07 2008

What do you do if you awkwardly wake up with a box on your head? Gadzooks!

Click on the pic!



Situation #25 – The repeated story

23 07 2008

The situation: Your friend is launching into a lengthy dissertation on the woeful state of Canadian eyewear manufacture, which promises to include several stories from his travels abroad.

“Did you know that Canada is a third world country when it comes to eyeglass manufacture?” Actually, you do know this. In fact, you’re somewhat of an expert on the topic, having heard this story at least three times before. How do you spare yourself from a fourth rendition of Swedish Spectacles of Grandeur without insulting your friend?

The solution: When faced with a repeated story, the first step is to assess your company. Ask yourself the following questions: Am I on a date? Am I talking with my boss, mother- or father-in-law, or other person of authority? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the risk of insult is too high – you’ll have to suck it up and sit through another telling of The Unbelievable Mischief I Got Into As a Young Boy. However, since you already know the appropriate places to laugh or express shock, you can free your mind for other tasks. Now is an ideal time to compose a mental grocery list or contemplate the intricacies of String Theory.

If you’re on a date, you’ll have to ask yourself an additional question: How attractive is this person? This is important because the number of times one can tolerate a repeated story is directly proportional to the attractiveness of the storyteller. Superficial? Probably, but that’s how it is. So, if your date is aesthetically gifted, we advise you not to interrupt, but to take this opportunity to gaze into his or her dreamy eyes, while flipping your hair flirtatiously. Of course if you’re male, you can ignore the hair flipping part. If you find that this still applies to you, we gently advise you to get a haircut, you Dirty Hippie!

If you’re with a friend, then you can use the repeated story to great advantage by jumping in with witty comments that your friend has used in the past. She’ll feel a new and undeniable connection with your brilliant humour. If you really can’t stand to hear the story again, stop your friend early on by saying “Oh, is this the one where you stumbled across the flagship Hakim Optical in the middle of Turkey just as one of your lenses fell out? That’s such a great story!” This way your friend will be aware that he’s already told you the story, but won’t feel bad, because he knows that you share a mutual understanding of the shameful state of Canadian eyeglass manufacture.

Situation #24 – What’d you say?

22 07 2008

The situation: picture yourself with a few friends in a bar. Not any bar, but a loud bar. To the left of you, a crowd is having an unruly discussion about the state of modern pop music. To the right, a group is debating the pros and cons of bar soap versus liquid body wash. There is a band playing some tragic indie rock. The result of all this is you can’t hear a damn thing. Your friend, farthest away from you, is telling you what seems to be a very entertaining story. His arms are flailing in enthusiasm, your other friends are engrossed in this story. He finishes his rant/story/spiel and looks at you, waiting for a response. Was your friend talking about his trek through Nepal, admitting his ongoing crush on Bea Arthur, or was he sadly recounting the details of his dogs death? You don’t know, but you do know you need to respond.

The solution: there are a few important tidbits that you should be aware of:

First, you can only ask someone to repeat something twice. After this, you look like a fool. When someone is telling a detailed story, asking someone to repeat a line of the story, twice, every thirty seconds can proove to be as annoying as PeeWee Herman’s laugh. Its best  to just admit to yourself you won’t catch the story and use this as an opportunity to work on your soothing sounds of understanding.

Second, be wary of responding with the standard “yeah, great” or “oh.” If someone just told you about loosing all their money in a pyramid scheme and you respond “great” or “oh”, you may be confused with a grade A douche. Perhaps even an A+ douche.

We see only one possible solution to this situation. After your friend looks at you for a response, nod with an inquisitive and thoughtful look on your face and then say “You know, this story really reminds me of my friend Paul. I think he would really appreciate what you just said, you would really like him.”

Potential future awkward, you friend asks you to meet this Paul character. Say he is working overseas with an NGO and won’t be back for years. Bonus points here because you have compared your friend to Paul, the generous creature who devotes his life to those less fortunate.

Situation #23 – The last slice of pizza.

16 07 2008

The situation: When it comes to dinnertime dilemmas The Last Slice of Pizza is in a class of its own. The Multiple Fork Issue is a but a distant second, long since settled by the movie Pretty Woman. Outside in, folks. Outside in. So, what to do when you find yourself engaged in a staring contest with a slice of pepperoni pizza?

The solution: First, a couple of important don’ts:

  1. Don’t ask if anyone wants the last slice of pizza. Someone probably does want it and you don’t really care to know; you just want to find a way of eating the last slice without looking like the cad who ate the last slice without at least asking first. It’s a pretty transparent question that can easily backfire.
  2. A slightly more sincere option is to ask whether anyone minds if you eat the last slice. Someone probably will mind though, and will likely resent you for making them say it. Then what?
  3. Resist the urge to go around the table and count the number of slices each person has eaten. This makes you look like the kind of person who keeps a running spreadsheet of every nickel he lends to his friends. You may be that kind of person, but still, it’s better not to advertise it.

The only fair and satisfying way to determine who gets the last slice of pizza is to engage in the time-honoured Hunger Off. It works as follows:

One person starts the game with a statement like “I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s.” Then you go around the table in a clockwise direction and each person either says “agree” or “pass.” If you choose to pass, you are no longer eligible for the slice in question. Once everyone has had a chance to play on that statement, the next player has to come up with a statement of greater hunger for the next round. For example, “I’m so hungry I would steal food from a homeless person.” The game continues until only one person remains, who is then declared The Official Hungriest Person at the Table, and is gifted with the last slice of pizza. You won’t find solutions like that from Julia Roberts!