Presenting Trisha Ray's guidelines on how to avoid the living and the Non-Fictional.
|Courtesy - Google images|
You may have been led to believe that humans are social beings. Smiling at passersby, holding doors open for people behind you, making small-talk with others standing with you at the queue for the ATM while the elderly gent inside struggles with the complications of this goddamn modern technology: all these are valuable social skills. But from time to time you will come across situations which require a very different skill set. Un-social skills are more important than you think. You can thank me later, when what I impart saves your puny, outgoing hide.
1. The (Serial) Killer Smile
The first and foremost skill in the arsenal of any aspiring anti-social is a smile made to kill. Literally. This little move can take years to master, especially if you’re (sickeningly) sunshine-y.
First- conjure up a normal smile (ironically, for a natural anti-social, this is cyanide). Now think of the worst thing that has ever happened to you: the missed promotion, the neighbour who steals your newspaper, the dead family pet, the un-dead family pet. Now feel that smile slowly begin to warp. Stop as soon as you think you’ve achieved the optimum level of “I may be thinking of rainbows and beaches, but I might also be planning to murder you and feed you to my pet Chihuahua”.
Congratulations. You have successfully driven a person to the brink of a psychological breakdown!
A word of warning: you may want to remove yourself from the vicinity of your target soon after pulling this move, since there is always a risk you might get arrested.
2. The Headphone Manoeuvre
Any good anti-social has a pair of headphones in easily-accessible places wherever he/she goes. If you see that chick from work who insists on calling you in the middle of your Hitchcock marathon to moan about her boy problems, quickly turn around, put on your headphones and turn up the volume. Stare steadily into the distance and bob your head slowly. Eventually, you will attain a mental state of complete blissful ignorance. The skill set required for this is not that different from meditation. In fact, I wager that the early ascetics were in fact professional anti-socials, avoiding friends complaining about relationship problems.
You’ll eventually get so good at this that you won’t even require a device attached to the other end of your headphones. If you keep practising, you might not even require the headphones. Avoid muttering lyrics though. Mental asylums are fun and all, but they don’t have Wi-Fi.
3. The “I’m Either Sleeping or Dead, But You Really Shouldn’t Risk Checking”
This is one step up from the Headphone Manoeuvre and can even be used in conjunction with it, for situations where your adversary is particularly virulent. Find the nearest flat surface or seating area. Lie down or slouch over the seat. Close your eyes and be careful to control that annoying eye twitch that crops up when you pretend to sleep. Let your limbs go loose. Drool a little if you have to. You need to carefully tread that border between life and apparent death. If you’re successful, your target will be unsure of how to react- not willing to disturb your deep slumber, since you seem shit tired; not willing to approach a dead body, wanting to avoid involvement in a murder investigation.
4. The Side-Step Tango and the Duck-and-Hide
Anti-socials are unjustly perceived to be couch-potatoes with next to nothing by way of physical capability. This is pure hogwash.
When cornered, an anti-social can execute complex, rapid and graceful manoeuvres that can give a gymnast a complex. When encountering a large crowd, the anti-social can in a split second calculate the path of least resistance and in the next second, can pass through said crowd with next to no one noticing.
Aside from getting out of awkward parties, this move is useful in settings such as the crowded train coach, crowds outside polling booths and anti-corruption riots.
5. The Phantom Social Gathering
Before you start envisioning a supernatural soiree, let me clarify. Say you run into your pet stalker. You really don’t want to risk interaction, but he/she has been in your life for so long that you don’t want to hurt his/her creepy feelings either (Maybe you’re just that nice. Or possibly because you might wake up to a photograph of yourself with a knife through it.)
Immediately cite a social gathering you need to be at. For this to work on the tenacious, you need to have a backup person willing to call you at a moment’s notice. If you don’t have any friends, (and then hello to you, soul mate) your mum or your parole officer will have to do.
Master these 5 moves, and you might convincingly pass for an anti-social person to the untrained eye. If you’re really, really good, I might find you and offer you a lifetime membership to the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Anti-Socials (RSPCA). Activities include staring at the walls (which are plastered with interesting trivia), ODI Charades (on account of both sides trying to communicate without words) and Semi-Awkward Parties.