You meet a nice girl at a party; she tells you about her trip to Mexico; you tell her about your parents’ divorce and your father’s eventual cohabitation with Carlos, a Mexican national. You’ve just found yourself in an awkward situation. Don’t break down and cry about it (like I did that one time). Just by following a few simple steps, you can rescue any embarrassing happenstance with grace and ease.
The human animal is both intellectual and instinctual. Our two halves juxtapose and compliment each other while maintaining their separateness. Gaffs usually manifest entirely in one Ying or the corresponding Yang. Accordingly, a factual mistake can usually be covered by performing a back-flip. This act is surprisingly easy to learn and is quite impressive to those not in the know.
Joe: I’m just glad that the Tom Daschle, Republican Speaker of the House is looking out for my interests.
Jack: Don’t you mean Tom Delay? Tom Daschle is the Democratic Senate Minority Leader.
Jack: Oh? oh, I guess that makes it okay.
The Magic Explanation
Did something jerky? No problem! Just explain that you had a really good reason at the time and you couldn’t tell why until just now.
Jane: I can’t believe you did that to me. I hate you. [Turns her back.]
Bill: [smiling] How wonderful! You’re right! You’re absolutely right!
Jane: Why are you smiling?
Bill: Don’t you see? It was a test! A test, Jane. [Begins to cry with joy.] And you passed!
The Shocking Secret
Make the situation less awkward for you by making it more awkward for them.
Brett: Hey Earl! You used the last of my toothpaste!
Earl: You know when you want to tell someone something really really badly, but you’re not sure how they’ll react?
Brett: I was saving that toothpaste!
Earl: Brett, I’m gay.
Brett: Oh. Okay.
The Long Term Solution
Of course the ultimate goal is to give you the ability to right any embarrassment, however slight. There is only one sure fire way to do this: build your own time machine. While you’re working on it, feel free to be as big a jerk as you want: You can always go back and make everyone love you.
Frank: You’ve got to be kidding me! Phil, did you eat my ice cream? I specifically labeled it!
[Lights dim, lightning crashes, and a burst of smoke fills the corner of the room. Future Phil steps out and is holding a poster showing an ape dressed in full military regalia commanding an attack on Sacramento.]
Future Phil: Phil! I need you. The fate of humanity may very well rest in your hands.
Phil: Oh my god! [Gets inside machine with future self.] Hey, thanks for the save.
Future Phil: No problem.
Phil: Hey, wait a second, it was you who ate that ice cream, wasn’t it?
[Future Future Phil arrives in time machine, knocks Phil out.]
Future Phil: Thanks, Future Future Phil.