7 Social Disasters That Can Strike Out of Nowhere

#3. The Paralyzer

This is when you enter a social situation and what happens is so contrary to your expectations that your brain just BSODs, leaving you standing there not able to move or think (and probably mockingly youtubed just for good measure). This includes planning to say something and then failing, or saying what you'd planned but getting an unplanned reaction, or both, or saying something you hadn't planned on and then just leaving it out there even though you in no way meant it because 0x0000011D EVENT_TRACING_FATAL_ERROR.

How to Avoid:

Don't plan too far ahead, and ensure that you maintain a realistic self-image of how suave you are or aren't. And I would also suggest that as a society we adopt a 10-second grace period after something crazy is said wherein it is determined if the person actually intended it, or if they are so aghast by what they've accidentally come out with that they're unable to repeal it independently. "Did you mean to say that?" "Yes, Deborah, it was in fact my intention to hatefully suggest a range of farm equipment that you might insert into your anus because I impugn your right to exist." "OK, thank you very much for the clarification," etc.

Did I mean to say that arm remark, Harold? NO I FUCKING DID NOT, HAROLD!

#2. The Pitchfork in the Road

I think there's an existing term for this but I can't remember so I thought of my own. (Bonus Entry #8: Publicly acting like you're the first person to think of something completely obvious.) Anyway, this is the horror of somehow managing to bungle yourself into a situation where there's no way to proceed that won't make the situation ten thousand times worse -- social disaster is the only direction forward. Say nothing and it's bad, say anything and it's bad, run screaming into the woods and it's still bad but at least you can't bother anyone else.

How to Avoid:

You can't, so just move into the woods preemptively. I'll see you there! (Don't talk to me though.)

#1. The Unintentional Asshole

This is when new information horribly colors what you've just said. You're happily badmouthing someone when it's revealed that the person you're talking to is their beloved relative/friend/ninja bodyguard. Or, more commonly, you find out that who you're badmouthing simply doesn't deserve it ...

You're ranting about how some celebrity is an unbearable scourge when you're told about the horiffic problems that they've somehow surmounted to become a celebrity. That Hey, Ash webseries sure is an unfunny piece of shit, I hope she gets eaten alive by- oh, wait. Man, Pamela Anderson sure is a vapid land monster, I hope she dies in a- oh, wait. Oh, wait. Oh, wait. OH, WAIT. Everyone I make fun of ends up having a backstory that makes me look like a complete asshole. I guess I'll just try and only make fun of people who have absolutely no problems whatsoever. Oh, wait ...

How to Avoid:

Just to be safe, don't badmouth anyone. Seriously, there's nothing to be lost here. There's no such thing as an unintentional asshole -- there are just assholes. Let's make fun of them. Oh, wait ...


You'll never go your entire life without experiencing at least one social situation where you end up frantically begging for death, so all you can do is be vigilant. And for fuck's sake try to be understanding when another awkward soul unintentionally enters a conversation like a train going over a log. Inside you can of course swell with self-satisfaction that it's not you for once. Just don't say it out loud. That would be socially disastrous ...

Winston Rowntree is also available in webcomic form. Like me on facebook too or i'll get you...

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