Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sorry He Hijacked Your Party

Ever meet one of those people who just tries way too hard? A social Sisyphus, struggling mightily against the forces of his own uncoolness?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting The King of That Person. He was loud. Very, very loud. Not as funny as he is loud. In fact, not really funny. At all. But that didn't stop him from making "jokes" for hours on end, and interpreting the pained smiles of others as ample encouragement. If you were going to host a wedding in Hell, this man would be your DJ. This man is the Electric Slide and the Chicken Dance rolled into one epically unfunny package. He was, in a word, oneofthemostdreadfulpeopleIhaveevermetinmylife.

He hit on the host's date, in front of the host. He was punched in the arm for his efforts (by the girl...and while I don't condone violence, this was exactly the sort of person who deserves to be punched by a girl). He also nearly took a sock in the face from another guest. He badgered us incessantly about going to a bar, while the rest of us were quite cozy and quite happy to stay in for the night. Luckily, we were able to tune him out enough to keep the evening enjoyable and pleasant, but it made me wonder...how do you avoid becoming That Guy?

Think about it. If you're a little less than self-aware, and you believe that you're funny, there is almost nothing stopping you from holding your fellow man hostage to your lectures and roundabout, amplified, yet limp flavor of humor. We've all been that person who droned on a little too long, or mistook politeness for interest, or made friends sit through eleventy billion vacation slides. Or we've been that person who felt awkward in a group of new people, and overcompensated by cracking too many jokes. How do you tell when you've crossed the line?

Easily. When you are threatened with bodily harm by more than one person in the course of an evening, you should probably cool it.

In the comments, tell me about the last time you were witness to a party hijack situation.


Clairebell said...

I'm from a family of hijackers, but so much so I can tell now when people are bored or otherwise looking for escape.

My little brother perfected the "ending the conversation to everyone's benefit" technique that we both use (if mom knew, she's just die) but when things start getting awkward we stop, say "and then I found five dollars." and usually walk off.

Entertainment AND mystery all in one comment.

kate.d. said...

while i can't recollect encountering a hijacker any time recently (thank goodness), i am really curious about who might have brought this guy to the gathering at which you encountered him. not meaning to pry, of course, but given that it sounds like it was a fairly low-key, smallish get-together, he must've been known to (and invited by!) someone. how did THAT person handle things??