Throughout our lives, we often have to interact with idiots who’d be better off building a bonfire on an ice raft. But because those people are really bad at building fires, unfortunately they never tumble into the icy waters, sparing us of their idiocy.
You’ll frequently encounter these genetically defective twits as you go through your life. Therefore, you need to learn how to deal with them. In the old days, the world was less forgiving when it came to such people; nature had a way of sweeping them away like human-shaped dust bunnies. Nowadays, despite the world’s knowledge being available at a moment’s notice and on social networks, people have made a concerted effort to regress to a mental state somewhere between cabbage and a malnourished barnacle.
To be a pretentious book nerd, I’ll say that Holden Caulfield would not approve of our current habits. But he’s a fictional character, so if you care what he thinks, you’re an idiot, and you need help building fires. I could go on mind-blowingly intelligent rant about how Holden is a prescient manifestation of over-pampered teenagers, but I’m definitely not an idiot, so I won’t.
That said, I want to show you how to deal with a variety of idiots, broken down into five easy categories:
- The Person with the Social Skills of a Brain-Dead Walrus That’s Been Dynamited: We’ve all met these people. They corner you at social gatherings and start prattling on about some meaningless hobby they’ve taken up. In Viking days, people like that would find themselves throat punched, but today we have laws against that (except in Detroit where it’s an hourly ritual). This person usually ends up being the son or neighbor of some socially influential person, so you can’t just tell them to do an impression of a Vietnamese monk protesting a war. Their brain spewage usually concludes with a sentence so destructive to everyone’s IQ that one can’t help but wonder if people like that were pestering the people who installed lifeboats on the Titanic.They’ll say something like, “And that’s why I collect chairs shaped like monkeys.” To respond properly, simply say something like, “Have you told Ted over there? He’s really interested in that sort of stuff.” Ted, of course, is the guy who gets all the attention at parties, so you’ll buy yourself some center-of-attention time at the low cost of your conscience. Plus, you’re redirecting monkey-chair person to someone else, thus showing that talking about this subject is something to continue, just not with you.
- The Guy Who Wants You to Agree with Everything He Says: Thinking is overrated. Unfortunately, plenty of people think differently (hey, irony), and they always want to share their useless thoughts with everyone. A novice would argue with someone over politics or religion. A better tactic is agreeing to everything, even if you’re being inconsistent. People will interpret your inconsistency as an indicator of wisdom. Why? Because smart people change their minds, and you’ll look like a smart person, which is good. And if they don’t see it that way, remember that, compared to you, they’re nothing but formless protoplasm that’s one generation away from becoming sand. Anyway, here’s how to deal with them:Idiot: Everyone who disagrees with me politically should be thrown into a wood chipper.You: I agree. Plus, if people are being thrown into wood chippers, that will help save the rainforest.Note the precision, the beauty of that response. Not only are you agreeing, but you’re being environmentally conscious all in one sentence. Who doesn’t care about the rainforests? (Besides Communists).
- Make Random Yelping Noises to Undermine Idiots: The fancy word for this is caterwauling, but I read somewhere that most people are stupid and don’t have a good vocabulary, so I’ll consider it a day’s work that I just taught people a new word. How, you might ask, do yelping noises help you deal with annoying people? Forcibly inform people that you’ve been studying subconscious ancestral cognition. Not only does that sound super intelligent, no one will know what it means. Even if people know what those words mean, they won’t know what they mean in that order. And they’ll be too embarrassed to ask, lest they look stupid in front of their peers. If that doesn’t work, tell everyone that you’re channeling Yoko Ono, who went into a museum and screeched into a microphone, while a bunch of sycophantic dolts clapped like drunk harp seals.
- Dealing with People Who Are More Charismatic Than You Are: If anyone threatens to take attention away from you at a party, this is clearly a serious offense. While these people aren’t technically idiots, just ignore that fact and be inconsistent (see #3). The best course of action is to call 911. The dispatcher may express some annoyance that you called over this issue. To fix that, alert the dispatcher that he (or she) is oppressing you by not recognizing the full emotional trauma of you not being the center of attention. This would also be the perfect time to tell the dispatcher that you’re very close with the mayor’s son, who collects monkey-shaped chairs.
Where’s number five, you ask? Look up “gullible” in the dictionary.