Situation # 33 – The joke gone wrong

16 12 2008

The situation: You’re at a work party, laughing, socializing…having a good time. And, man, are you charming! People are in stitches, you’re telling tall tales of climbing Mount Everst with no shoes and personally choosing the font for the Constitution (Silly Trudeau wanted Ariel). One witty comment after another. While in conversation with a group talking about the differences in male and female public bathrooms, you pipe in with “But what do you do if you’re a hermaphrodite? Some of us have it so hard” The group looks at you, seeming slightly confused. However, sensing an audience, you continue. You tell stories of how difficult it can be know what clothing department to shop in, you know, being a hermaphrodite. You laugh about how life is hard when you are from Mars AND Venus. You leave the party content. You are hilarious! The next day, a co-worker calls you into his office and with a concerned look, awkwardly brings up the fact that you are a hermaphrodite. You are flabbergasted: how could people not realize you were joking?

So what do you do when a joke goes horribly horribly wrong?

The solution: The first option you have is to straight out deny, however, this often comes across as if you got something to hide. Or in this case, two sets of things to hide.

A second option is to roll with it. Benefit from this mishap by taking this opportunity to get your own washroom a la Costanza! Start an advocacy group for Hermaphrodite. Speak out! Perhaps you could get a little slice of the charity pie from that Jolie fool. Now that’s pretty tasty!


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.

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 #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.