5 Things That Look Exponentially Creepier When Done Alone
Do you have a lot of friends? Well, good for you! Not everyone can be so lucky. Even if you are, sometimes when you want to do shit, there's no one around to do it with. That leaves you with an important decision: Do that thing you wanted to do, or sit it out because going it alone would be far too shameful? We talk about a few things that you should never do by yourself on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by comic Jeff May and Cracked editor Josh Sargent. It's also what I'm talking about here today. All by myself.
Go To An Animated Movie (As An Adult)
Personally, because I am an adult at least in the legal sense, I already don't care enough about most animated movies to want to spend AMC money on seeing one. I understand that I'm in the minority in that regard, and that's fine; I'm not here to argue that point. To each their own, you immature sons of bitches.
However, if you are invested in the Pixar universe so much that you can't wait to watch their latest movie until you're home for Christmas and your 7-year-old niece gets it on Blu-ray as a gift, then at least have the decency to not go see it alone.
Don't get me wrong -- going to the movies alone is great! Way less judgment over the pint of vodka you smuggled in to mix with your $8 soda when you go alone. It's fantastic. But none of that, especially the part about smuggling in alcohol, applies to seeing a movie with a room full of kids.
For one thing, when's the last time you went to an adult movie and weren't completely annoyed when someone brought a kid? When you walk in that theater as an adult, you become that annoyance to untold numbers of moms who can't help but wonder just what the fuck you're doing there by yourself. That's true if you're a male, at least. I know we're supposed to be equals and all, but sorry, I feel like dudes are just inherently better at being creepy pedophiles than women are, and everyone goddamn knows it.
On the bright side, we also start all the wars.
Going to an animated movie for kids by yourself as an adult male is one step away from going to Chuck E. Cheese's alone. Sure, the pizza is great and games never stop being fun, but no matter what, if you're there alone, you look like you're there to pick out a kid to take. A movie is creepier, actually. At least your average strip-mall party-pizza establishment has plenty of windows and lighting. Movies are the windowless van of entertainment options. People have sex in movie theaters. People masturbate in movie theaters. They are dens of iniquity that, in my opinion, should have entirely separate sections of the building that are clearly intended to be used by children. That's precisely how you keep drifters and miscreants away from kids at the library, you know? No one trusts the homeless dude posted up on a beanbag chair in the kids' section of the library. You call security on that person. No question.
I'm not saying going to a kids' movie by yourself as an adult male necessarily means you're a pedophile. I'm just saying everyone else who's there will assume you are.
Settle down! I'm not saying you should never drink, and I'm definitely not saying there's a problem with having a drink or two after a long day all by your lonesome. I would never take that from you. Please stop shaking.
No, what I'm talking about is getting full-on, borderline-if-not-all-the-way, blackout drunk, all by yourself. You should already know that. You must know that, especially if you've ever done it. Still, it's worth mentioning here today. The problem is that, no matter who you're with or what the occasion, if you're getting blackout drunk at all ever, there's probably some underlying reason.
Yeah, like fun!
Maybe to the casual onlooker you're just celebrating the success of your clothing line, but you know what you're really doing is killing the agony in your soul over all the kids forced to toil away in sweatshops overseas so your business venture can actually turn a profit. I understand that's a ridiculously specific example, but you get what I mean. No one gets throw-up drunk because they're happy.
That's infinitely more true if you're home alone. The last thing you want to be when you're truly hammered is alone with your own thoughts. Think about anytime you've ever been out drinking with friends. Has it ever been a good sign when someone just gets quiet all of the sudden? That inevitably means that person is going to do one or any combination of the following three things: cry, vomit, or start a fight.
This might as well be a Jagermeister ad.
Or if you're "lucky" they'll just pass out, but all that means is you have to watch them all night to make sure they don't roll into Hendrix position while they sleep.
None of that changes when you're alone, but it's so much worse because there's no one on hand to stop you from doing stupid things. That's precisely why alcohol and suicide are two great tastes that taste great together (so to speak). People do stupid things when they get too drunk. Don't be stupid. Make your friends deal with your drunken antics instead.
Even when you're in a huge group, karaoke is the kind of thing you regret agreeing to do almost immediately as soon as you agree to do it. A lot of that has to do with the fact that public speaking is a debilitating fear for most people that can be overcome only with a deluge of liquor and the promise that everyone around them will look just as stupid as they do.
However, not everyone feels that way. Go to any karaoke night in any bar and, among the groups of drunken bridesmaids and sales professionals, you'll inevitably encounter a few "regulars." People who show up every week, without fail, to practice their craft.
If you sing a Garth Brooks song, we're fighting.
These people are the fucking worst. Always. They are not there as patrons looking to have a good time; they are there because they think what they do offers legitimate entertainment value to the world, all the while completely oblivious to the fact that no one, under any circumstances, wants to hear a Celine Dion ballad in a bar.
I was at a karaoke bar once where a guy who was there all by his lonesome sang six goddamn Pink Floyd songs. I mean, Floyd is a find band, I guess, but there's a reason people who listen to them also smoke a ton of weed, and it's not because throwing on "Comfortably Numb" livens up a party.
Karaoke is not going to be your path to stardom. I'm sorry, it's just fucking not. I mean, sure, if you're an especially great singer and the right person walks in, maybe, but you could also maybe win the lottery or someday have to fight a shark in a completely landlocked situation. Almost anything is possible, I suppose.
Look, even if you're good at it, nobody likes a show off. If you want to entertain people with your talent, go do it on a stage or a subway platform like a regular person. Karaoke night is no place for talent.
Go To A Casino
I may not be able to live by my own advice when it comes to not eating restaurant food alone, but I can promise you'll never catch me at a casino alone. You probably won't see me at one at all unless I'm there for a Blue Oyster Cult concert or something. Fortunately, gambling has never made an appearance among the litany of vices I've adhered to religiously in my life.
I've never had an experience at a casino that I'd classify as "good." Just walking in one makes me feel kind of gross and sad. They're like public swimming pools filled with broken dreams and bad decisions instead of chlorine and piss-water. You can feel the desperation in the air. You can taste it in the $3.99 buffet that's inexplicably open 24 hours a day.
Solid value, though!
The last time I went to a casino specifically for gambling reasons, I asked a friend who, complete sidebar here -- thought he had psychic powers -- if he'd hold some of the cash I'd brought so I didn't gamble it away. He agreed he would, and then proceeded to gamble that money away for me. It was a betrayal made all the worse by the fact that he must have known it was going to happen well before we even left, what with being psychic and all.
Whatever, you probably don't care to hear more about my psychic ex-friend, Leroy.
As seen here, in a stock photo of a person who's not him.
Lectures about the dangers of gambling are what you came to read. Far be it from me to not deliver.
The reasons why a person should avoid casinos are as diverse and numerous as all the reasons a person should avoid smoking or heroin. It's fun in small doses but can be incredibly addicting, which is precisely why you shouldn't be at a casino alone. If you are, it's a pretty good sign it's becoming something more than a fun thing you do when you're bored. Unless you're Floyd Mayweather or some shit, that's a dangerous road to be on.
Eat Takeout Food
I accept right up front that not only is this advice that almost everyone will ignore, but that I'm the last person who should be giving it. I'm certainly not going to claim that I adhere to a strict policy of cooking all my meals unless I'm in the company of friends. I'm as prone to giving in to temptation as the next person. I mean, I live mere steps away from an El Pollo Loco, for fuck's sake. I'd never eat there, but having it nearby does sometimes make me yearn for food cooked for me at a less disgusting place.
Who eats here?
Still, if you're looking to save a few dollars and maybe be a little bit healthier, just preparing your meals at home is as good a way as any to help make that happen.
Sure, if "cooking at home" for you means a wide variety of frozen burritos and not much else, the health benefits fly right the fuck out the window, but financially it should be a windfall, provided you weren't surviving solely on dollar-menu items from Jack In The Box. Use the extra money to buy health insurance if you don't have it already. I got an email from my aunt last week that says Obama will send you to a FEMA camp if you don't.
Who are you going to trust, Snopes or your own family?
Also, the most common reason people cite for not cooking regularly is that it's something they just aren't that good at. Well, shit, get better at it. Take a class or something. That's an important life skill to have, right up there with knowing how to change a tire or smuggle weed through airport security. You never know when it's going to come in handy.
Again, though, I'm not saying you absolutely must do any of this or that you're any less of a person because you don't. Except the part where you don't cook, you shiftless bastard. It's just a suggestion that I absolutely won't follow any more vehemently than any of you will, a truth made all the more apparent by the fact that I wrote most of this entry while eating breakfast at a Denny's. Still, goals are nice.
Adam is on Twitter, go be his friend there @adamtodbrown.
It's always fun to see an animated movie with friends, but it's even more fun to laugh at a crazy animated ripoff. Check out Brazil's horribly rendered version of Cars in The 6 Most Psychotic Ripoffs Of Famous Animated Films, and if you're going to take drugs with friends, maybe read a primer first with 5 Things No One Thinks About When Buying Illegal Drugs. If only there were Yelp for drug dealers.
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