Everything you need to know

**Dear Hoskins Brothers, **

**I like to compete. A lot. Sports, drinking games, drinking sports, everything. I especially love trash-talking, but I suck at it. Do you have any tips on tearing down my competitors’ self-esteem? **

Sincerely, **
**Pong King

**Dear PK, **

Lucky for you, I happen to be an expert on hurting people’s feelings. Step one: Disregard any feelings of compassion you may have toward your peers. They’re not people, they are your opponents. Step two: Find out what they are most sensitive about — those insecurities that drive them crazy. Use those weaknesses against them. Step three: Cackle in victory.

As an example, I will now trash-talk my brother. Hey Brian, you suck at [insert sport activity here]. You perform [athletic activity] worse than an 80-year-old arthritic woman. That buzz cut makes you look like a baby the doctors needed to use the tongs on. At least now you can audition to be an extra on Coneheads. That show sucks about as much as you do at [athletic activity].

By now, my brother should be in tears, totally distracted from the game at hand. From here, victory is assured. As long as you don’t suck.

**Insecurities are there for a reason, **

Patrick Hoskins

**Dear Hoskins Brothers, **

**I like to play sports, drinking games, and drinking sports. However, I find that everyone trash-talks me. By the end of it I’m reduced to tears and can’t compete. How can I better react to trash talk? Words hurt me. **

Sincerely, **
**Words Hurt

Dear WH,

First, stop being such a pansy. Remember, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will hurt forever. That’s why you have to give as good as you get. They’re in your head? You’ve got to get all up in theirs. For example: Sure, I was hurt by my brother’s comments; sure I cried a little, but now I’m ready to tear him down to the speck he is.

Hey Patty, how ‘bout them apples? You enjoying this cold dish of revenge? Why don’t you go sit in front of a computer all day, you CS nerd? Be careful not to get carpal tunnel — oh wait, you have an ergonomic keyboard. You’re so “cool.” I wish I could be “just like you.” You’re my “hero.” I hope to “one day be as great as you.” I “idolize you, your intellect, and your striking good looks.”

That sure put him in his place. Just follow my example, kid, and you’ll go far.

**Patrick definitely didn’t write this response, **

Brian Hoskins