Coining an inadvertent portmanteau
The situation: You’re talking to someone whom you need to impress—your boss, your stalkee, your neighbor’s shih tzu—and you start stumbling over your words. It takes too much mental capacity psyching yourself up to complete a full, grammatical sentence that you don’t have any brain power left to utter real words. Your boss says “fix this thing you completely effed up and have it on my desk in 20 minutes” and you reply with “Arkay. I mean Oright. I mean…”
The solution: Say “see what I did there? I mashed ‘okay’ and ‘alright’ together! And I’m chock full of these clever witticisms should you ever need me!” It’s always good to make an awkward situation seem intentional so people don’t know how awkward you indeed really are. Plus, this way you end up looking clever, unlike the complete unitard you are for not being able to talk right, ya gork. I mean deek.
Falling prey to the cell phone delay
The situation: When you’re talking on a cell phone, you have to expect a certain amount of silence in between conversational turns due to the mysterious cell phone delay (which probably only exists so the cell phone providers can use up all of our anytime minutes!) But the detriments to my life are not limited to my overage charges; the cell phone delay also makes for some awkward situations, such as when your friend tells you her dog died and you don’t hear it until you’re done announcing your extreme need for a Whopper Jr. She thinks your burger lust is in lieu of condolences; you think she’s trying to one-up your horrible cravings with her own sob story.
The solution: Tell her you’re very sorry about her loss, and that your can totes relate because you truly miss your childhood pal, Whopper Jr. the pit bull. What a great companion ol’ Woppy was, you should say, and how much you wouldn’t give to have him again, with his cute little snout and his razor sharp teeth. And yes, you’d like fries with that.
Getting stuck behind a slow mover
The situation: You’re walking down the hall, the sidewalk, the aisle at the furry convention—wherever. The person in front of you is taking his time, checking his cell phone, gazing at his own reflection in every window he passes, stopping at every booth to grab a free plushy. You try to pass him on the left, but he suddenly darts left (slowly, but suddenly). Then you try to dart right but his furry senses are strong and he slides on over. You decide to go for broke and squeeze past him, but he steps over just as you’re passing and now you’re pinned between his heaving body and the cold, hard wall. He apologizes and you scurry away.
Typing in the wrong instant message box
The situation: You’re simultaneously chatting with, say, your grandma and your one night stand from last weekend. You accidentally send “That lip-bleaching stuff you suggested worked really great, thanks!” to the one-night stand and “I’m wearing those sexxxy Spanx you like” to your grandma. Both reply with “WTF?”
The solution: You can send the same recovery message to both: “Sorry my hamster just escaped from her cage and ran across the keyboard!” I guarantee they’ll buy it. This actually happened to me once, except it was my full-grown Labrador instead of a hamster, and those exact sentences appeared. So I know this excuse is legit.
Stopping at a red light next to a douchelord
The situation: You commit a moving violation and some douchelord blows out his horn while trying to tell you what he thinks of you, and then he lets his middle finger pick up where the ineffectual horn left off. Or maybe you’re the douchelord and you’ve just given someone the finger, or worse—you accidentally made eye contact with another driver while yelling the lyrics to Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” Now you’ve pulled up next to the guy at a red light. And there’s a train passing in front of you. A freight train.
The solution: Keep eye contact with the douche and keep doing whatever it was you were doing before—belting out the song, flipping the bird, committing a moving violation, or whatever. It’s like playing chicken with your eyes; pretty soon he’ll have to look away and he’ll be the only one who feels awkward.
What other awkward encounters have you had?
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