Tag Archives: weird

Practicing Handshakefulness: What I Learned at a Geeky Networking Event

Don’t watch!

The other day I went to an event where most people had friends and I knew no one. I cleverly disguised this, however, because it’s hard to meet people when you start out by saying, “I came alone.” I immediately got in line for something, because lines are by far the best places to mingle. The guests are trapped, subject to any conversation topic you might bring up, just waiting to be entertained. It’s perfect.

After hanging around in lines, I ended up leaving the party and getting a drink with a group of new friends, failing to get all of their numbers with one exception, and resigning myself to the fact I’ll never see any of them again. It was a valuable experience, and I learned two things. One is that wearing a piece of crazy clothing makes it easier for people to remember you, especially if it’s a cape that allows you to blend in with walls and then scare them. And the other, more important thing I learned is that you shouldn’t look while you shake hands with someone, no matter how weird or uncomfortable it is.

Here’s what happened. As I and my group of new never-to-be-heard-from-again-techie friends were leaving, I went to give handshakes all around. I “put ‘er there” to a young man who is beginning his job at a well known Bay Area start-up that has revolutionized how we interact (hint), and as I gripped firmly I noticed that something had gone horribly wrong with the handshake. I felt pressure, but only on the outer rim of my palm. It was like his hand was hollow or weak muscled on the interior. Puzzled, I took a peek to find out what was happening.

This was weird. I had no idea that staring at handshakes is unusual until I was doing it, and it was weird. Immediately, the soft techie geek took notice and asked me what I was doing, to which I quickly replied, “Nothing.” And he said, “You were looking at the handshake,” an accusation I dodged by saying, “No I didn’t.” Seconds later, I walked away with two strange nerds and never saw any of them again, yet.

A fedora-wearing-boy who was possibly still in high school accompanied me back to the train station with a man who builds inflatable robots at work. I told the fedora I would text him about contra dancing and he seemed rightly skeptical.

As I got on the train heading home, I thought that maybe not getting any of their real information except for fedora’s was for the best. And after all, it is San Francisco, and I’ll probably find people just like them at the next nerdy event I attend. This is my ocean and I’m on the lookout for bigger fish to cling to and shake hands with properly.

*The term handshakefulness is not my own. It was created by the 30 Rock writing staff.

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How Many Capri Suns Does it Take for the Pain to Go Away?

100% Fruit Juice and 100% blindness cure

Sometimes there’s only one way to soothe the ache that comes from living on this crazy ball of dirt. When the pressures of life worm their way into my brain and my mouth gets dry from the non-stop screaming, I shut myself in the coat closet with the lights off and suck back those sweet sweet Capri Suns like there’s no tomorrow and the night is truly endless and all-encompassing.

I drain pouch after pouch of sugar juice until my stomach swells and the pain dulls behind the sinking realization I’m going to have to buy more, slinking in front of the eyes of suspicious Wal-Mart employees who know I’m back at 3 am again to buy another 24 pack of Capri Sun.

Scientists say that Capri Sun is the healthy way to self medicate and recommend that everyone drinks at least one a day in order to keep down hair follicle aggrandizement. But I don’t care about the health benefits. I drink C-S because I know no other way to cope.

The amount of Capri Sun I need to consume in order to feel like my life has some kind of worth to it differs from time to time. Based on my years of experience, here’s a rough guide to how many pouches go with various kinds of emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial trauma.

No more poptarts left: 4 Capri Suns (preferably tropically flavored)

Stressful paradigm shift: 22

Un-stressful paradigm shift: 8 (it’s still a big change)

Personal breakup: 30+ (embrace the hopelessness)

Hole in the crotch of one of your favorite pairs of pants: 2

Celebrity divorce:0-18

Too many voices in your head: 3

Silverware crises of various kinds (attacks, thefts, displacements):8-12

Your best friend turns out to be a potholder:27

You can’t sleep because your dream self keeps on trying to kill the president and you have a habit of sleep walking: 50+ (make a game out of it so you don’t fall asleep)

Poorly executed exorcism: 14

Broken arm: 5-7, or however many you can get before your family makes you go to the hospital

Sister ate your peanut butter: infinity. No amount of Capri sun can soothe this pain.

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I Am a Meat Flavored Chip

Hello there. I am a meat flavored chip, a food even most animals avoid. I see you’ve come to the shop for a snack, and luckily for you, we have many delicious offerings: tea biscuits, sawdusty wafer crackers, baked goods that smell slightly of garbage, refrigerated Snickers bars, and most importantly, all varieties of MSG laced chips: the Chipsys and Doritos and what have you. Sure we have the ketchup, chili lime, cheese, shrimp, and salt and vinegar flavors, but have you considered trying something slightly more repulsive? What you’re really looking for is me: a meat flavored chip.

Don’t think about it too much, about how this piece of fried vegetable matter has the distinctly smoky taste of leftover oil from a kebab grill or about how the almost fulfilling meaty taste and irresistible crunch leaves you deeply dissatisfied and spiritually drained, or about how you know your tongue will start to feel raw as your taste buds inevitably dull from the cocktail of chemicals that imbue me with my meaty flavor against the will of God.

You know that I’m an abomination, that this kind of taste should not exist on a chip. You know that your entire body should shrink away from me in disgust and recognize me for what I am, something wholly unnatural, a deviation from all that is wholesome. Furthermore, you know how you’ll feel about the whole affair in just 5 minutes, after your wave of hunger has subsided and you’re left tasting the chemical after notes of the artificial kebab flavoring as it bubbles up over the next hour.

But you’re hungry and your mind is not functioning quite right. The part of your brain that would recognize the horror of what you’re about to do is busy watching the food channel and drooling. Nothing can stop you and I’m so close. I’m right here, behind these bags of chips covered in far less carcinogens, the black color of my bag hinting at the evil that lies within, the evil that will soon be within you, creating in your stomach a veritable cesspool of laboratory substances.

Forget everything. Forget how you felt the last time. Forget that I am a meat flavored chip, nature’s scandal, and think of me only as the snack that you need right now. And the next time you want to spend a few hours in a bathroom, you can try out my buddy, the Doritos T-Bone Steak and Curry Collision. Treat yourself. Because you deserve something reprehensible.

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True Life: I Have a Little Thumb

These are both my thumbs

My left thumb looks like a toe and is roughly one centimeter smaller than my already petite thumb on my right hand. All my life people have laughed at how ridiculous my thumb looks and/or how precious it is, sometimes wanting to touch it as one might want to touch a friend’s baby or a puppy. They alternately tell me it’s adorable, reprehensible, or impossible. The little thumb baffles them. How does it exist? Why does it exist? Can you even use it? What kind of freak are you?

For years I’ve answered questions and put up with people objectifying me because of this irregularity in finger formation, and now, for the first time ever, I’m speaking out about my little thumb and putting to rest the rumors surrounding its existence.

Yes, I have a toe thumb and this does makes me different from people with two normal sized thumbs. And though it is true that one centimeter separates this thumb from the other, and thus separates me from most of the earth’s population, it is far from the only thing. The toe thumb also has mysterious powers.

I hesitate to use the word magical here, because that would give the impression I’m just another conjurer with sparks shooting out of my thumb as I summon plates of fresh cookies, but the powers of the toe thumb are much wider than that. Indeed, I am still discovering the full extent of its use. God knows how many natural disasters I’ve accidentally caused.

Aside from random acts of time bending, I have found that my thumb has water filtering, coffee warming, and dandruff inducing abilities. I can also control marsupials, watch black and white movies on any liquid surface, and always get the last biscuit.

Not only that, my thumb can detect the fashion trends of the future and is the reason for my impeccable style. Because of it, I can tell without looking when professors are wearing pantyhose or taking anti-balding medication and can sense the very moment in which a cucumber passes its prime. Every time I play one of those claw machines at supermarkets I win seven stuffed animals and I have never overcooked pasta. My whites are brilliantly bright because of the toe thumb and it reduces the ability of employers to know when I’m lying, though it doesn’t directly increase my productivity.

To say the least, my toe thumb is powerful and more opposable than your normal length thumb. So while people may laugh at the toe thumb because of its mildly grotesque appearance, I am the one laughing late at night as I gaze into my coffee mug and watch Casablanca while thinking about Professor Norton’s battle against genetics.

There are dozens of us out there, fellow toe thumbers with powers untold. One day we’ll live in a world where people will revere our disfiguration, but until then, let us wield our secret power over the same sizers as we bide our time for greatness.

P.S. Professor Norton actually has a great head of natural hair.

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