Pillbox

Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

I woke up 20 minutes ago on a frat couch. It’s the middle of the night. I don’t know where I am. I’m covered in vomit, and there’s a large bloodstain on my right pant leg. How do I get home?

Please help,
Ostensibly Helpless Guy, Often Drinking In Heavy Excess, Awoken Rudely, Seeking Immediate Response, Encouragement, and Navigation Suggestions

Dear OH GOD I HEAR SIRENS,

First things first: Get out of that fraternity. Don’t make eye contact, don’t talk to anyone, just head straight for the door. Now, you need to figure out which direction you should travel. If the moon is in a crescent phase, make a line from the top tip to the bottom, and continue that line to the horizon. The intersection of that line and the horizon is south.

Alternatively, find a landmark like the Cathedral of Learning, and head for it. If you’re outside too long, you may have to forage for food. Squirrels are easy to catch — construct a simple loop with your shoelace, leave some bait in the middle, and tighten the loop when the squirrel steps inside. Skin and gut him, and build a fire using a nearby car’s battery. Now that you’re nourished, it should be easy to find your way back home.

Or just use the GPS in your phone,
Patrick Hoskins

Dear Patrick,

I’m bad at small talk. Like, terrible. When someone starts talking to me I immediately start to have an asthma attack. I just have no idea what to say. How do I engage in normal, human conversation?

Thanks,
Completely Suck at Making Any Joke Or Repartee

Dear CS MAJOR,

Well, a good place to start is with your name — or theirs, if you’re feeling crazy. Then you can do the whole “what’s your major, what year are you, where do you live” thing. If all else fails, you can go with a premeditated line about their major. For instance, “Oh, you’re a drama major? You must think you’re better than me. It’s okay, it’s true” or “Wait, you’re CS? But you’re outside of a cluster and you don’t smell that bad!”

Basically, the easiest way to make conversation is to do as little talking as possible. People love talking about themselves. Just ask them questions and insert little comments while they’re rambling about how that two-day layover in Europe while on their way to a cruise really opened their eyes to, like, a whole other way of life, man. You just don’t get it ’til you’ve really seen it, dude.

Or try some Cyrano de Bergerac,
Patrick Hoskins