Situation # 32 – The slow walker

29 08 2008

The situation: Walking may seem like just an archaic form of transportation to some, but we here at the JSA know that walking is also a way to strut one’s style. What we mean is that the way one walks is an indication of their true self, the beast within (eat that, Freud). For example, men who walk with an exaggerated arm swing and an overly large step are likely those with issues concerning their southern regions. Think of the walking equivalent of a dude with a hummer…with spinning rims …pumping out some C+C music factory. Or, take those people who don’t walk, rather they glide. Each step seems to be as if they stepped on a bed of marshmallows with a level of grace only equaled by the fancy footwork of Tom Jones. This walk indicates that this person must be involved in the black arts because it is unusual to be as graceful as Tom Jones. Perhaps the most devious and awkward of all walking types is the slow walker. These people, demonstrating their callous character, walk at their own pace with no respect for the appropriately speeded walker behind them. They are likely the same kind of people who eat someone’s jellybeans and leaves only the black ones. One of the most awkward and irritating situations that can occur on a street is getting stuck behind a slow walker. There is evidence that such a situation can actually release anger steam from one’s ears (you know what we are talking about).

So, what do you do when you are stuck behind a slow walker?

The solution:
First, you may say “Oh JSA, are you a bunch of senile old hags? You wrote about this in situation #20, the sidewalk shuffle” To you, we respond, Nay. Slow walkers cannot be handled as street dancers/shufflers. Street dancers are just confused souls. These two are different breeds and must be treated accordingly.

Now, to get around those heartless slow walkers, there are both general and specific solutions. The following solutions may seem cruel hearted, but we are dealing with a malicious population here. The punishment must fit the crime.

For a specific solution, suss out the slower walker. Let’s say the slow walker is a club-goin’, Jay-Z listenin’ dude wearing those weird Kanye West Venetian blind glasses. From behind, pretend to talk on your phone (the ever-awkward-saving tool) and loudly exclaim “Serious! There is a sale on gold necklaces with really big dollar sign emblems? Man, I just past that store a block back!” This will result in your slow walker doing the turnaround and booking it to the location of your mentioned “sale” and, thus, getting out of your way. Tailor this approach for specific slow walkers by deleting ‘gold necklaces with really big dollar sign emblems’ and insert whatever hot commodity fits said slow walker.

A more general approach would be to just yell fire. That’ll get ‘em moving.

JSA-Approved Link: Awkward Rap

13 08 2008

Or try

Situation #30 – clothing combo catastrophe

12 08 2008

The situation : It is a well-known fact among the awkward that clothing is responsible for many social mishaps (see several of the below posts). A special sub-category of clothing conundrums is the awkward clothing combination. Take the awkward sweater-short combination, for instance. Are you too hot or too cold? This may result in you sweating profusely on one level and shivering on the other..awkward! However, the most awkward combo of them all is the button down shirt-tie-jeans combination. This combination may not be so socially awkward for the outfit wearer, but can baffle many an outfit viewer. Why? The jean bottom and button up top is the wardrobe equivalent of the mullet: business up top and a party down below. Here is the awkward part: How do you react to this person? The legs are telling you to greet them with a chest bump and a “holla-at-ya” and the torso is telling you to quickly calculate the square root of 212*.

The solution : First, there is a high probability the wearer may be Joey Lawrence as he did sport this look many times during his Blossom years, so check that out first. If this is the case, the best way to greet him is with a “Whoa”.

If not, then we must turn to the eternal advice of woman’s magazine cover lines: “find out everything you need to know from a mans shoes” (This is most likely under “10 ways to pleasure your lover… with household appliances”). This means, if this business top-party bottom wearer is sporting some sneakers, chest bump away! See some business shoes? Shake the hand and comment on the stock market.

*we know some of our readers need their informational thirst quenched, so sqrt(212)=14.56. This beverage is on the house.

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!

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 #20 – The sidewalk shuffle

4 07 2008

The situation: On some sidewalk somewhere right now, there are two people experiencing the awkwardness of the sidewalk shuffle. The sidewalk shuffle you say? Well, picture yourself humbly sauntering down a sidewalk. Then there appears another humble saunterer, coming in the opposite direction. You both walk in your chosen direction, but end up on the same sidewalk spot, needing to get around each other to continue with your walking. You attempt to do the side-walk (on the sidewalk, get it?) and shift over to the left to move past this person, but, oh no, this devious creature has done the same! No problem, just move to the right side to get around the walker. This person must be related to Miss Cleo, they also just moved to the right side ,as if they could read your mind . This goes on until it is like you are doing some sort of perverse mirror dance from the 80s with your fellow walker. So, how do you get out of this unplanned disco move?

The solution: There is only one way to get out of this awkward situation, and that is to call a spade a spade. Assume a middle sidewalk position, and with some enthusiastic jazz hands say to the person :  “Thanks for the dance!” and then blast past them. For added effect, chasse your way away.

Situation # 14 – The street corner showdown

19 06 2008

The situation: You are walking (perhaps even strolling) to meet a pal. You are almost at your meeting spot. There it is, just across the street! Ah, the light is red, so you have to wait on the street corner. We know, this in itself is not very awkward (but, please see situation # 4 for how waiting can become awkward). However, say your friend is on the other side of the street and spots you with a wave (the good ol’ gesture equivalent of hello). You are too far away to talk, but not too far away to stare. Yikes, street corner showdown! This situation is likely to trigger an automatic tightening response in the facial muscles, resulting in an open mouth grimace: the tell-tale sign of awkwardness. You will also become far too aware of your standing position as it is being stared at. If you stand there with your legs straight and arms to the side, you will end up looking like a gingerbread cookie (although tasty, not an ideal cookie shape to mimic). We all know that standing with your arms crossed, slightly aloof, means you are closed off and too cool (although this stance will be ideal if you are the owner of an ironic mustache because, my friend, then you are too cool). So what do you?


1. If you are lucky enough to be stopped near a convenience store, then signal to your friend that you’re gonna conveniently visit it, escaping the stare and stand. This will also avoid the awkward situation of both you and your friend attempting to cross the street to meet. We also advise that you buy something with good conversational quality while in the store. For example, root beer. This can start conversations about age-appropriate beverages and, hey, why don’t they serve root beer + vodka drinks?

2. Don’t just stand there, adjust. Oh no, your shoelace is untied and handily the time it takes to tie a shoe is equal to that of a red light stop. Don’t have shoelaces? Well, you do have a rock in your shoe…shake that shoe out! Other adjusting: rolling up sleeves (does not work for short sleeved shirts), or buttoning and re-buttoning your jacket with concentration (from across the street, this will look as if you are actually doing something).

3. Wear sunglasses with mirrored lenses to avoid the stare-down.