Car Profile Pictures.

Car Tunes show in BeloitIn this day and age, when I see someone’s profile picture as a car, I wonder…

Do they identify with the color of the car, or are they trapped inside waiting to be a different color?

Do they identify as an automatic or manual or CVT or Dual clutch sort of car?

Do they identify as having leather seats or fabric?

Do they identify as a V8 trapped in a 4 cylinder body? Or vice versa? Or do they identify as electric, or hybrid?

Do they identify as a front wheel drive, a rear wheel drive, an all wheel drive or a true 4×4?

Do they want some cosmetic surgery, maybe change those headlights to round or rectangular or… hexagonal?

Have they been abused? Will they be triggered by someone with heavy feet, or a woman with stilettos?

Car profile pictures are so very open to interpretation. People worry about people too much, but what about people who identify as cars? What kind of cars?

I’m sure I don’t know.

What is clear is that they don’t identify as a human, for whatever reason. Maybe they were born that way. Maybe they smoked some strange plant – not marijuana, of course, something stranger. Maybe they were raised by feral Tonka toys, or Matchbox cars.

Maybe their parents were cars. Maybe it was a one night stand, they met by accident, bent some fenders…

So don’t treat them like humans – you should treat them like cars. Send them lubrication. Fuel/electricity. Make sure that they have enough blinker fluid stockpiled. Communicate in ‘vrooms’. Wave your hand at them like windshield wipers.

Whatever you do, don’t make fun of them. They’re really, really sensitive.

How To Make Awkward More Awkward

So long!Maybe you’re like me. An introvert who has learned to deal with people without anxiety. If you’re like me, you don’t need to read this and you can carry on with your lives.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t read further either – but I can depend on you to tell everyone about this wonderful article you were discouraged reading and how you feel about it. Extroverts are good like that.

Anyone who made it through the last few paragraphs, here are a few fun things to do when in public. The idea is to given into that social anxiety and share it in your own controlled way.

Disclaimer: Of course, I’m not responsible for anything that happens by you do any of these things.

The Chameleon
The Victoria Butterfly GardenWhen entering a large room full of humans that you don’t know, repeat in a low and firm voice, “blending, blending, blending…”.

This will let people know who are interested that you are attempting to blend in. You’ll probably that the garrulous people won’t even notice – which means you’ve been successful!

Trust me. You didn’t want to talk to the garrulous people anyway. Only garrulous people like each other, everyone else either tolerates them or doesn’t.

The Mingle

minglingSooner or later, one of your well intentioned friends may first suggest, then plead, then force you to mingle. They’re well intentioned, don’t get upset with them.

Simply wander around, repeating in a low and firm voice, “mingling, mingling, mingling…” This will let everyone in earshot know that you’re open to a social mingle – and ‘mingle’ is about combining.

Should someone accept the mingle offer, you can proceed to talk about most things other than how much you hate mingling. If they didn’t, you tried. However, this can lead to problems, so your last gift from me is my last bit of advice.

The Bad Mingle Strategy

AwkwardBad mingles happen. It’s awkward. And, really, it’s just a bad combination – that’s what a mingle is.

There are a variety of strategies here – one being the “What’s that over there?” while-pointing-then-running-away strategy, which is pretty cowardly and doesn’t always work. This leaves people with a view of your buttocks as you duck for cover.

Do you want to be remembered by your backside? Well, barring the Kardashians, of course.

The way to deal with this is to look the person straight in the eye – this part can be hard – and say, “This is socially awkward. I’m leaving.” Then leave, calmly.

You can even do it when they’re talking, particularly the ones who are always talking. In this way, they will remember you as being a socially awkward mingle partner and will leave you alone in the future.

There. Not so bad, is it?

Certifying the Negatives

blank certificateWe live in a strange society. People are running around getting certified for all sorts of things to prove to other people that they can do them. There are certificates of achievement, completion, graduation… and so on, and so forth.

How old are you? Oh, you have a birth certificate – which you only get once. You get death certificates once as well, but typically only posthumously.

You can get certified on all sorts of things. People will ask you, “So, are you any good at this?”, and you’re prepared: Just whip out a certificate on whatever this is.

But we don’t certify the bad things, such as:

  • Can’t keep a secret.
  • ‘Great personality’.
  • Being over 5 feet tall.
  • Being under 5 feet tall.
  • Exceptional Procrastination.

Think about it. Someone asks you to do something: You tell them you’re procrastinating. By the Laws of Certification, they should then wonder if you have the capacity to procrastinate effectively. Can you? Why don’t you?

“It’s clear you never took the time to get a certificate of procrastination, which tells me…”

The point is, we use certificates for things that we think are positives, but what did those certificates cost you? Did a Certificate of Perfect Attention cost you a Certificate in being a happy and healthy human being?

When you really think about it, certificates are silly things. Either you did something or you didn’t, either you are good at something or you’re not.

And don’t even get me started on degrees…

The point is, if we’re going to certify some things, maybe we should be certifying everything else.

Product Placement In a Trinidad Pharmacy.

Product Placement. Hmm.

I was leaking a bit of blood this morning, and I was in the bush. So, I tore one of my rags, made a quick compression bandage on my pinky, and continued checking the lay of my land.

So I checked one of my neighbors when I got out – and one of the other neighbors had seen me with my fluorescent green wrap and sent their 6 year old grandson with a bandaid. A nice one. And I remembered that I needed to put things like that in the pickup.

After a nice lahay, I went to the pharmacy – Bhagans at SouthPark, if you must know, and I surveyed their bandaids. It used to be much simpler – just grab one and go. Now they have sheer, fabric, waterproof, blah blah blah… so I looked to my left, and a decidedly young woman at the counter was watching me. Then I looked back at the shelves. Above the bandaids were the condoms.

A sigh. A shake of the head. I got the fabric, water repellant, hypoallergenic, strong and durable… oh, you get the point. No bacitracin or neosporin (that was behind the counter, it ends up), but enough KY and other lubricants (warming and otherwise) to drown a small horse.

And then I looked at the condoms. And then I looked at what was next to the condoms.

Exif_JPEG_420And I considered the science of product placement and wondered what the HELL these kids are up to these days where Orajel is next to the condoms, above the KY Jelly, and the bandaids are under them.

Now that’s a story right there.

The Trinidad Hardware Non-Browsing Experience

DIY Mini-Softbox (First Subject)At the neighborhood hardware, where you can’t just browse…

Waiting. Someone shuffles to the front.

“I could help you?”

“Yeah, I need a roll of painter’s tape.”

“What kind of tape?”

“Painter’s tape….” Seeing the look of confusion, I continue: “the blue tape, for masking off while painting.”

“What’s it used for?”

Straight face. I say, patiently, “…for masking off while painting.”

“You mean masking tape?”

“No, painter’s tape. It’s blue. Specifically for painting.”

She goes in the back, rummages around and triumphantly raises a roll of tape which is… unfortunately grey. And duct tape.

“No, that’s duct tape. Painter’s tape. Look for a blue tape.”

Some more rummaging around, and she cautiously shows me a roll of… blue painter’s tape. “Yes! That’s it! Do you have any that is wider?”

She looks at the tape, looks at me. “You mean thicker?”

“Yes, ok, thicker.” No, I don’t want thick tape, I want wider tape, but this has gotten way too complicated.

Rummages around. “No…”

“OK, I’ll take that then.”

She smiles, tells me it’s only $15 instead of $25, not knowing that I probably would have paid $25 just to get the tape without all the drama and been happy. And I show her the label says… wait for it… “Painter’s Tape”.

New Rule: If I can’t browse the wares, I won’t peruse your lairs.

Observation: This is why the government of Trinidad and Tobago charges an online purchase tax of 7%. Because of these valuable interactions.