I’m regularly accused of being dark, and for a long time I fought that characterization despite some damning evidence.
Is there a self-help book out there for people who take self-help books too seriously? Self-Help Books for Dummies? Is that thing? Because I need that.
I don’t even like self-help books. I’m skeptical of anything that promises to fix all my issues (and they are legion) in 300 pages or less, but the main problem is that I often take the experiments I conduct on my life way too far. Sure, my initial self-help book approach could best be described as “unhealthily cynical”, but if I feel any part of it has some value, I’ll take the whole thing too seriously for my own good. It never ends well.
What I Thought: What’s this? A book about how not to suck in your twenties? I’m in my early twenties! I can nip this one in the bud!
What I Learned: Most people in their twenties are underemployed or unemployed. Their parents have all divorced so they don’t know how relationships work. They have no longterm goals because they’re putting life on hold, and nothing good will ever happen to them unless they change right away (but even that may be too late). Oh, also my ovaries are going to dry up any day now. Seriously. ANY DAY NOW.
When I was a kid, we had a set of 1962 World Book encyclopedias that I used for every school project. Unfortunately, this meant some of the information I included in papers and presentations was a little bit dated (and tragically optimistic about the bright future of the Kennedy administration, now that I think about it). Often, it didn’t matter very much– the Great Wall of China, for instance, has been doing pretty much the same thing since the Ming dynasty patched it up in the 1460s. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about the Chinese government. You can only tell your classmates about the “recent” communist threat so many times before your teacher starts questioning your research methods.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night smiling because I’ve just had a beautiful dream about puppies and bubbles. These are wonderful moments, and if I could record the expression of joy on my face without some kind of creepy, Paranormal Activities camera set-up, I would. Then I would send it to each of you when you’re feeling down, partially to cheer you up and partially to satisfy an overpowering sense of schadenfreude.
Unfortunately, there are times when I wake up in the middle of the night thoroughly convinced that I’m actually a cancerous mass which will destroy everything it touches and die completely and rightfully alone. Someone is going to find my preserved body six years after my death, sitting in front of a computer, surrounded by Snickers wrappers and stuffed cats, empty eye-sockets pointed towards a Google search explaining how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself.
For the sake of practicality and my future neighbors’ noses, I think I should find someone who will at least notice that I’ve choked on a candy bar and expired. I’ve been working on a strategy, and I think it’s finally ready to share with the world.
A Guide to Picking Attractive Strangers Up
1) Establish a firm grip.
2) Lift using your legs, not your back.
3) Ignore their protests and squirms.
Ok, seriously this time.
So You Wanna Pick Up An Attractive Stranger
- Charm them with your rapier wit. Say something cool and casual.
A personal favorite of mine is, “I…of your…do you… I love pens. I mostly use them to write but also sometimes I stab things with them. Not people! I don’t stab people! Except once I hit my brother with a shovel! But I meant, like… packages and stuff. To open them? Ha?”
- Joke with them! Did you know ugly cavemen used a sense of humor to attract cavewomen? My favorite joke demonstrates both my ability to read and memorize Laffy Taffy wrappers, and my inhuman Laffy Taffy-consumption. Yes, I really am a wonder.