August 02, 2013
Last night, I dreamed I had been kidnapped by Chechen terrorists, whom I shot in the cock before jumping off a bridge. My wife doesn”t want to be bored with the details of that dream. I don”t even remember it very well. Your dreams are something only you find interesting, and even then you”re usually over it by 11 AM.
Same goes with your pets and your kids and your job. I don”t know how many times I”ve seen a dad leaning over the bar to show the female bartender a picture of his “little guy.” Female bartenders are the spinster capital of the world. They either don”t want kids or they slept through their ovary alarm. The last thing they want to see is someone’s wonderful family stuffed in their face with illuminated pixels.
This is even truer for pets. I don”t care if your animal lives or dies. When you tell me that your dog’s expression is saying, “What are you doing sitting in my chair?” I want you to know he’s really saying, “Food, territory, food, food, sex, territory,” but I can”t be bothered saying as much because I want this part of the night to end.
Here are ten other basic rules you should keep in mind when vibrating your vocal folds into someone’s ear holes.
1. YOUR CLUELESS PARENTS ARE NOT EXCITING
Oh my Lord, Mick Jagger walked into your dad’s furniture store and your parents had no idea who he was? I don”t care. All that means is your boring immigrant parents are not well-informed when it comes to certain musicians in a very popular musical genre. Asian women love to tell you how uncool their dads are, as if I even considered another possibility in the first place.
On the other hand, my parents are about the most interesting parents in the world. My dad just head-butted a local newscaster for making a sexual joke about my mom, and my mom bought my kid a junked bicycle from a charity shop for Christmas. If I get asked to tell stories about them, I”ll volunteer, but what is quirky and endearing to you is usually Chinese water torture to the rest of us.
2. YOUR DAD IS EVEN LESS EXCITING THAN YOUR MOM
Hey, fathers of the world: The European city you”re trying to think of is Sarajevo and the actor you”re trying to remember is Wilford Brimley, but can we not turn this conversation into a game of Charades? If you can”t remember the date or some other irrelevant detail, don”t sit there giving us clues like, “What was it again… goddamnit, that THING?” Just skip the commercial and get back to the story. Say “some city in Bosnia” and be happy we”re letting you tell us a story we”ve already heard twenty times.
3. DON”T ASK, “WHAT DO YOU DO?”
When Martin Puris (the man on whom they based Don Draper is asked what he does, he replies, “Whatever needs to be done.” I don”t even know what I do. The only thing I know for sure is none of the seven or so jobs I have defines me. Asking what people do is for old people sitting next to you on the airplanes and losers in LA looking to “network.” Civilized people realize that conversation is what you do after all your work is done.
4. ASTROLOGY IS THE “N” WORD
Don”t ever mention astrology in a conversation. Men are rarely culpable here, but if someone brings up the subject in any way, treat them as if they just said “nigger.” Tell them they have the wrong guy and politely start talking to another person. If they persist, tell them they just said “nigger.”
5. BEER AND POLITICS DON”T MIX
My local pub here in New York has a sign that says “no politics.” This isn”t some eccentric bar owner’s whim. This is a solution to a recurring problem they”ve had with how bar fights start. Discussing politics takes incredible patience. Women are shrill drunks and they tend to be less informed about world issues than men, so when you combine the two, you basically have to be Yoda not to pick them up and throw them out the window. It’s hard enough to change people’s opinions on anything, especially when they”re in a state where their hard drive is wiped clean every five minutes.