Hey, are you Straight Edge? If so, please leave. This isn't for you. For the rest of us, say, do you like to party? And by party, I mean drink as opposed to the other accepted definitions of party which involve drugs, sex with prostitutes, raising the dead, or setting doughnut shops on fire. If you do, you may have noticed over the years that some people require booze in order to be tolerable. When they're sober, they may as well be the bastard children of Gwyneth Paltrow and the emergency test signal sound. Now whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that you can only handle these people when your brain is stewing in the tepid juices of fermented sugar cane and Sunny Delight is a matter for philosophers to debate; I'm just here to run down the list.
The title of this entry no doubt takes you aback. Perhaps you're feeling the onset of the vapors. What could he mean, deriding the beloved joke teller? Why, surely he's a joke teller too! Tut-tut, gentle reader. Unbunch those panties for me. Nice and slow ... yeah. Anyway, everyone likes a good joke, except for Mitch McConnell who only likes mud and leaves of iceberg lettuce once a day. But there is a limit to when, where, and how one tells jokes. And the drunk guy who can't stop telling jokes is the worst kind of person to find yourself adjacent to. Or to whom you don't want to find yourself adjacent? Fuckin' grammar.
The habitual jokester is a guy who read some jokes on a Reddit subforum and somehow developed a didactic memory for just the worst ones. He'll rattle them off one after another, and you can actually graph the decay of polite laughter into dread guffaws and finally hate chuckles as he goes. And just to be clear, this guy isn't necessarily telling knock-knock jokes, he may also dig deep in his soiled trick bag to pull out things like Borat impressions or oral re-tellings of memes.
Your only true defense against this terrible person is a Dirty Girl Scout. That's one shot creme de menthe and one shot Irish cream. Mixed together, it tastes like Bacchus himself threw up in your face after eating some Thin Mints and if you have about eight of them, this guy could tell you jokes about Trump's cabinet running a train on your mom and you'd still laugh.
What do you do for a living? Is it as exciting as my job, where I jetset around my room, sometimes in pants but most times not, cracking wise, talking to John Cheese WHENEVER I WANT, and tweeting at all hours of the day as though I were A PRESIDENT? I bet not. I bet you go outside to work. Bet you make all kinds of money and have all kinds of friends and do all kinds of things that don't make your legs atrophy. Sucker. But at least you don't tell me about it.
Studies show that 106 percent of people hate their jobs. Now imagine what everyone else thinks of your job. At least you get paid to do your job, the rest of us get nothing, so when you meet up with someone at a party and your conversation turns to work, you better limit yourself to "I collect roadkill for Arby's" with no further exposition because that's all anyone needs to know. Sadly, that's not all everyone shares.
Every gathering has at least one guy who's so fascinated by the fact he sells molded carbon toilet seats that he needs to tell you the entire production process, from ass-measuring all the way through turd capacity and urine splash physics. This guy never realizes that each word causes your brain to start desperately trying to master pyrokinesis in an effort to either set him or, as a last ditch effort, yourself on fire as a means of escape.
Aside from psychic fire, the only thing that ameliorates a terrible work anecdote is ample amounts of Tom Collins. Once your third sheet is to the wind, you could tolerate even the life story of someone who works in middle management at the DMV. This is proved admirably by the number of drunks you've seen talking only to themselves. Any conversation is fascinating when you're wasted enough.
As a man, I have no idea how to handle emotions. Ha-ha, ain't that the truth? Wait here while I kill and cook something on a barbecue and then drive a truck off-road while watching Commando.
Mmm, that was refreshing. Anyway, ever had a friend, or more likely an acquaintance, who couldn't handle reality sometimes? So they would show up for a party or a night out and everything would go great until they hit that point where they'd filled themselves with booze up to their tear ducts. Then the shit hits the emotional fan.
Fact is, not everyone is emotionally stable. Maybe you had a bad breakup, maybe you're on weird meds that mess up your hormones, maybe you saw an episode of that new MacGyver show and your soul went cold and distant. Shit happens. But also, when you're out and about and a few sips of Grandma's cough syrup starts making you weepy, you have to know that probably everyone in the room feels their blood run cold at even the prospect of having to talk to you in that condition. That is, unless they too are so drunk that the little man in the empathy boat that lives inside all of us is floating high on the rough seas of drunkenness and is ready to take on the White Whale that is your personal issue.
The prospect of talking someone who you don't really care that much about through their emotional turmoil is as appealing as tongue-fucking dog clippers. But the drunker you are, the closer you get to a Bob Marley-esque "One Love" where, what the hell, why not nod a lot and try to give sage, slurred advice? Some of us can do this au natural, but the rest of us require liquid courage, which is to say liquid obliviousness, allowing us to enter a realm where everything seems reasonable and nothing is annoying.
Genius is a huge problem in my family. Not that we are geniuses or anything. I've written more than once about vulgar and/or terrifying butt plugs; I'm not exactly Neil deGrasse Tyson up in here. But neither is anyone else in my family and that's the problem -- none of them got the memo. There's a gene in my family that clicks on around puberty it seems, and it convinces that person that not only are they a genius, but their genius likely came at the cost of your idiocy. In fact, the smarter they know they are, the dumber they're sure you are -- to the point that, on occasion, it's entirely possible several of my family members have deduced that they are divine entities, and the rest of us may be semi-sentient duffel bags loaded with cream cheese and dull expressions.
The word "insufferable" likely exists thanks to people who take it upon themselves to assure the rest of us that they know everything, despite actually knowing a handful of jack with a dash of shit on the side. Sure, maybe they know how to tie over a dozen knots, or how to repair a small engine, or even pi to more than 10 digits, but it's never enough to know what they know -- they need to know it better, faster, sooner, and more than you. Everything they know is superior to what you know, which is probably nothing, so why don't you sit down and they will explain it in the most patronizing way possible, despite the fact that you probably never asked. I spent my entire life on the receiving end of this. I was in high school before I realized you could talk to someone without sounding condescending.
Lucky for me, when I turned the age that is legal to drink in my jurisdiction and not several years sooner, I found sweet, nourishing booze. Suddenly the idea of being told that I had no idea how to think/act/exist was infinitely more tolerable. Of course, a healthy sense of sarcasm at this point helped, as did the ability to drift off while still looking engaged and occasionally muttering a non-committal response.
The good thing about a genius when you're drunk is that they actually sound smart and/or hilarious, which is the only way you can tolerate their rampant assholery. Bonus points if they're drunk as well, because then you get to hear things like why flush toilets are a government conspiracy to steal our waste or what really happened to George Michael that "they" don't want you to know about. At some point, this can actually become entertaining.
The Geneva Conventions outline what rules of war are to be followed as it relates to soldiers, the sick, the injured, civilians, and POWs. The fifth Geneva Convention that most people overlook is the one regarding people who intentionally bring guitars to parties and it states, in part, that you need to cut that shit out. One in a thousand of those people are welcome additions to the night, for their skill and artistry is such that it makes a good evening great and stirs the souls of all around with the power of music. The other 999 know the chords to "Brown Eyed Girl" and they just learned some Third Eye Blind, so get ready to experience what diarrhea would be like if it was an auditory phenomenon.
Generally speaking, you want to see someone play live music when you go see live music. On purpose. Impromptu live music is a real touch-and-go situation. On the subway? Probably fine, you're just sitting there. During labor? Maybe put that ukulele away for a minute until they wipe the schmutz off the baby. At a party? You're basically a white noise machine ensuring any social interaction is reduced to yelling, or forcing it into another room because you and your tambourine have to take center stage over everyone else. That's what you do when you decide people need to hear Smash Mouth while they eat corn on the cob at a potluck. Even Smash Mouth wouldn't want that. And they still exist, by the way. Smash Mouth, I mean. Go look it up. "Walkin' On The Sun" and everything. Totally still a thing.
Either the musician is convinced that their caterwauling really enhances the evening or they just want to be the center of attention, and either one of these realities is a terrible burden for the rest of us. Imagine if you were at a party and some dude told you all to shut up while he set up an easel and started painting cats playing with yarn. And he maybe did ten of them, and you couldn't talk to anyone else while he was doing it or he'd give you that look, and so would the two people who were enjoying his dumb shit. And each piece ended up looking like a rat trying to hang itself because he's not even good at what he does and why the fuck did anyone let him in the door with his goddamn art supplies? That's a guy with a guitar at a party.
Your only defense against this sort of bullshit is pure inebriation. Because when you're drunk, any live music becomes good music. I hasten to bring up Smash Mouth again. I bet if you saw them live after expending a case of Miller High Life, it would be the most life-affirming thing you ever did. You'd know in your soul that you were, in fact, an All Star. You'd want to have Guy Fieri's haircut and you'd probably pick up Shrek on Blu-ray. Music is that powerful when you're wasted. So even if the guy at the party is thoroughly butt fucking "Nights In White Satin," you're just stoked at the idea of the white satin sheets that you're totally going to buy on Amazon later in the night, because this song is so awesome. Then later you can figure out what country the knights who wore white satin came from.
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