Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Carpe Diem, for the Self-Centered

Craig’s Guide To Making Things Entertaining. For yourself.

There’s nothing more irritating than finding yourself in a situation which is beyond your control, and you are conscripted to remain there. You may have volunteered for it, or it was thrust upon you. Regardless of how the situation started, it spiraled into the oblivion of boredom, and you have become a potentially hopeless captive. I say “potentially hopeless” because you have options. And I am going to help you explore them by way of this guide. My examples will be discreet, but the principles applied can be used wherever and whenever you find yourself muttering “man, if this doesn’t pick up quick, I might have to stab someone in the neck.”

Situation one: The Strategic Planning Meeting.

This is a situation you’re in because you have risen to a position of authority wherever you ply your trade. You’re so high up, they want everyone at your level to stop actually doing work, and get together to ‘strategize’ some shit. We all know that these meetings are based on the best of intentions, but really, they’re just a venue for that douche balloon in Finance to ramble on-and-on about some new bullshit ‘initiative’ which will invariably involve either a) buying some of his cousin’s crash-happy software to ‘optimize’ something or other, b) ‘implementing’ a new ‘business process’ which will more than likely lead to nothing more than a bloated discretionary account for executive lunches, or c) the hiring of some ‘new talent’ to bring ‘fresh perspective’ to ‘current corporate practices’, which probably involves hiring the waitress from the titty-bar he was at the night before.

So you need not listen, unless you’re the one proposing such beneficial ‘initiatives’ in the name of strategization. Bring a notepad, black pen and a nice #2 pencil (WITH eraser, seeing as how you are not Picasso). First, while the Douche - we’ll call him Mr. Balloon (out of respect of course) - is rambling on about expenditure this, and streamlining that, you draw a detailed picture of your own genitals. Feel free to look down there every now and again, to make sure that you are sketching a reasonable representation. Honestly, it should be enough that you are appearing to be taking notes whilst adding cool shade to your baby maker, but not everyone is entertained so easy. If this fails to entertain you, then you may choose to take it up a level and write “smells like” just above your art, with an arrow pointing to your sketched naughty machine. Hold it up to the speaker, somewhat discreetly, and as soon as he sees it: pinch your nose, squint and start pointing at whoever is sitting next to you. If this fails to entertain, then you are an insensitive communist robot, and you’d probably enjoy his shpeel on ‘departmental best practices’ anyway, so don’t bother.

Situation two: The Baby Shower.

This is for everyone who is not directly involved with said shower. All the best friends and the mother should be all over this party like it was a… baby shower. I have no idea what would be more entertaining to them than that. Seriously. Ever been to one? It’s like an explosion of love and support that would make the Care Bears jealous. But if you’re one of the boyfriends, or a second-hand friend who was invited solely because you always buy people the coolest shit for birthdays (and it was assumed that your giving nature would transfer to a pre-person), then you may need to do some self-entertaining to get through.

Now for the record, I have never been to a baby shower that I was not honored to attend. All my friends' babies are amazing. Seriously. I don't mess around when it comes to my friends' babies. They really are special. That withstanding, I can still proceed because my imagination kicks much ass and I can totally see how these events would suck to an outsider. To my friends, I love all your babies, and I appreciate the invites (I like to buy the little tikes a SWING! Because swings are by far the coolest baby-thing on the market today. Or ever).

So you’re at the "Hooray Baby!" function, and you’re praying that the games would just speed up a bit. Or that you had a fifth of bourbon in your pocket. Or a stunt double. Whatever. You aren’t going anywhere for a LONG time, trust me, so you need to get comfortable with what you’ve got. And what you have is your sharp wit, some deep-seated animosity for mankind, and an impressive ability to accost random strangers. The assumption being: you don’t know very many people at this event. And even if you do, it won’t really matter.

Start talking like a baby. Just do it. Bah-bah-kee-kee-DO! You know the jibberish I’m talking about. That “hey-look-baby’s-learning-to-use-words!” shit. If anyone gets cranky about it, just tell them it’s what you always do at these things. Something of “a testament to the baby’s development” or some shit. Wander around, eat some cake, address some strangers, all the while talking like your head is still soft. But what you’re really going to do is pull what I like to call a “Kinney”. You see, there’s a shitty little cartoon floating around out there, way past its prime, where this one kid always gets killed. Well, he mumbles everything he says due to a hooded-coat which covers his mouth. Like a crappy caucasian version of Mush Mouth. And in the opening song for this cartoon, and pretty much whenever he ‘speaks’, the writers are actually muffling an unintelligible string of perverse obsenities, which is quite possibly the only redeeming quality of this steaming bowl-o-dick cartoon.

And you’re going to pull a “Kinney” by way of baby-talk. Your sounds will be a disjointed mix of blah-blah, but you’ll be telling strangers that you’d put money on their bondage habits. Tell the father that the baby is yours (even if you’re female, because how often do you get THAT kind of opportunity?). Tell someone that you will be the first one to get that baby high. Or that you plan to use the Michael Jackson Babysitting Techniques manual. Hell, tell them whatever you want. You have carte blanche goddamnit! Tell deep dark secrets about your sordid trips to Africa to star in Congolese Porn (one of the most popular searches to bring people to this site, I guarantee you). Tell them what you did to your little cousin at the pool that one time (you sicko). Discuss how you voted for Bush because you knew he would win anyway, but you always lie about it and claim you voted Green. Go for it! It’s all you! Whaa-whaa-bah-bah bitches! Sweeeeet!

Situation 3: Night in the Drunk Tank.

Now I’ve never been in there, and if I had, I would probably lie [brag] about it, so there’s no reason to front. But I’m pretty sure I would know all the people I could run into while there, and it is pretty easy to imagine that I would be hung-over (hello, I’m in a drunk tank) or blacked out, both of which I am familiar. So I feel qualified to speculate.

Blacked out is easy. It's self entertaining. Your body’s struggle to keep your liver from saying “man, fuck this shit” and calling it quits is more than enough drama to keep your comatose ass entertained. If your bid ends in sync with your ‘awakening’, then the stories people will tell you later about the peeing of the pants and the setting of the fires will entertain you for hours on end. Until you get the bills.

But if you’re still in there when you come to, and you’re without your standard forms of hung-over entertainment (greasy foods, cable television, sex-Jenga) then you’ll need this brief guide.

All the others in there with you are in similar situations, with a similar handicap. Some of them are potentially more seasoned than you at handling the one-two punch of jail time + hang-over. But you know what? They aren’t hardened criminals, they’re just drunken idiots. Like you! So get over your fears of incarceration and start a sing-a-long. The ones who are still drunk will sing with you, because (surprise) they’re still drunk! The ones who do not move are still blacked out, and they’ll be of no use to you. You must weed out the ones who are not singing and look pissed about how the rest of you are making a racket with your shitty rendition of The Flintstones Theme Song. Him. That’s the dude. He’s the guy you need to go make friends with. Because you’re going to entertain yourself by recommending that you both beat up that asshole in the corner who won’t stop singing that stupid-ass Flintstones song. Remember, this is about entertainment, not ethics or morality. Besides, you're in jail for breaking the law, it may be best that you leave your morals and ethics tucked away for the duration.

After you’re done with the hung-over beat-down, I suggest you take a nap. You'll probably need it after that workout. You’ll be fresh and ready to go when your sentence ends. Just make sure not to sing in your sleep, you hopeless drunk.



Anonymous said...

baby's are cool. I like them the most. ill even put up with the lack of sleep and dirty nappy's. id love to have a multitude of children, if only they didn't come in a package deal with wives. Some times you gotta cut the fat from the meat...sorry ladies.

Truecraig said...

You don't have to apologize anon. You stated your position, as many other women have stated that the only barrier they see to successful child-rearing is having to deal with a man. It appears to be a common complaint between the sexes.

Kids are really loud, just so you know. Especiall OTHER people's kids.

Sara said...

Yes, other people's kids do seem to be louder, why is that? I almost didn't procreate for that very reason. My best friend's collicky baby was enough to make my ovaries shrivel for a few years.

And 'sex-Jenga'? Have I missed something? Where do I get such a hang-over remedy?

Truecraig said...

Okay. When I went with "sex-jenga" I was actually imagining the use of naked bodies instead of little wood planks. But after some deep Google searching, it appears that there is an actual version of Jenga which involves the use of "suggestive phrases" on the tiles, which are essentially truth-or-dare questions of a sexual nature.


But seriously, I was imagining a pile of naked bodies, jenga-ing or whatever. Like homeopathy for a hang-over, but better.

Truecraig said...

Damn blogger, cutting off my link. Click here to see the sex-jenga thing.

Anonymous said...

i had two collicky babies ten months apart from the hours of 4am to 9am for 1year. They weren't my own children. They were loud and i think i handled them ok(they're still alive). And yes, C, I whole-heartedly agree with your statement. Whenever it takes two people to accomplish one task it gets hairy. my wish is that adoption agencies will one day not look to my single-dom as being a negative...

Sean said...

Here's a game you can try at your next baby shower:

Shit your pants and see which parent-to-be is actually ready to wipe another person's ass.

Truecraig said...

Anon: loud "other people's" babies at 4 in the a.m.? Oh hell no. You have MUCH more patience than I. I imagine that yes, one day, adoption agencies won't care about single parent adoptions. It will require a movment in sociological thought first. But I can see it happening.

Sha-nah-nah: That's brilliant, and much more entertaining than my idea! But I would be afraid of who might dig that kind of thing. That's just me though.

Avatar said...

You are an evil genius.

Texas Biscuit said...

Love it. Especially the part about the meeting as I sat in on such a meeting today. If only I'd had a pencil on me!

Please! You must continue your guide-tos!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, been to the drunk tank, no urge to mingle in there. Your ideas about the baby shower is classic! Sex-jenga? How about nekked Twister? ohhh fun! Let a brother know.
brother nick

Truecraig said...

Avatar: you are either too kind, or brilliantly sarcastic. I respect both.

TxBx: More guides? Seriously? Let me know when you get sick of this crap and I'll stop. Maybe.

Brother Nick: Nekkid Twister sounds hot, it really does. But when it's recommended to me by a dude... even a friend I've known as long as you... well, let's just say the groundhog saw his shadow and leave it at that, shall we? Word.

Avatar said...

No, I meant it. I find your slightly offkilter humor absolutely hilarious. Nothing's sexier than a man with a quick-wit. Especially if he wears boxer-briefs.

Girl With An Alibi said...

I've been involved in planning some babyshowers recently. While I'll probably be fully engaged myself I'll print out your guide for some of the more disinterested guests.

Your meeting suggestion reminded me of a bad habit that I picked up a few years ago that I'm still trying to break. Sometimes during really boring meetings when my mind wanders, I will actually reach inside my blouse and start fondling my boobs. I don't know why I do it, it's not on purpose. I don't even notice it at first. It just happens! I just suddenly realize that I've got a palm full of breast and then I'm like "oh shit!" So far nobody's called me on it.

Truecraig said...

Avatar: well, I am flattered. Muchos gracios (that's really shitty spanish!). Does anyone say "onkilter", ever?

GWAA: That has to be funniest (and most fucked up) things I've heard in a while! I actually spit out some water after I read that! It's like those dreams I have where I'm caught masturbating at a bus stop! Or when that actually happens to me and I cry in public! Memories... like the corners of my... oh. Sorry.

I think I've been too honest here. And that's okay.

Sean said...

I'm green with envy that you can post stuff like this and women (albeit "internet" women ; ) respond not with disgust but with encouragment.

Anonymous said...

just to clarify, im not an internet woman...im a real woman, of ill mannered intentions.

Truecraig said...

Sean: I like to believe that certain things, like my ridiculous words, are magical enough to transcend gender. Even internet gender.

I have no idea what I'm talking about.