How to Have a Safe Thanksgiving (Turkey Excluded)

  • Move the children’s table out to the tool shed.
  • Point obnoxious relatives, who expend potentially lethal particles while explaining why Trump actually won the election, in the direction of an open window.
  • Warm chestnut stuffing is very pliable. Still, covering your face with it is no substitute for a mask.
  • Always get tested before and after cranberry sauce wrestling.
  • During family Zoom gatherings, make sure the children leave the room before Uncle Jeffrey Toobin logs on.
  • Don’t share food or drink with anyone. As an added precaution, dogs should drink out of separate toilets.
  • Stay at least six feet apart from anyone who does not live with you. Stay at least twelve feet apart from anyone you wish did not live with you.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, mouth – unless you’re putting the moves on yourself.
  • Make the meal more of a shared experience by deciding which family member has been the biggest disappointment.
  • It’s okay to loosen your belt after stuffing yourself with turkey, yams and green bean casserole. It’s not, however, okay to maintain any social distance between you and your pants.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Generic Advice Column Answers

These should have you covered for any situation.

  • You need to get into counseling.
  • Maintaining a long-distance relationship requires extra effort. If you can’t afford airline tickets, consider flying as freight.
  • It may never be easy for her to accept you dressing as a woman. Try meeting her half way; go with a more butch look.
  • To calm your husband down, rub his belly.
  • To calm your dog down, rub his belly
  • Sending a wedding gift is not necessary if the bride’s family is responsible for you being deported back to Guatemala.
  • You really need to get into counseling
  • It’s unreasonable to ask your wife to remove tattoos of her old boyfriends’ names – especially if she took the time to list them in alphabetical order.
  • You’ll never have peace in your house as long as your mother-in-law is living with you. Have you considered moving her into a tastefully redecorated tool shed?
  • Being a bad cook is no excuse for ending a relationship. Insisting you buy your own stomach pump is.
  • You are not responsible for other people’s life decisions, even if you were driving the getaway car.
  • If your 88-year-old husband won’t stop chasing women, put a Denver boot on his wheel chair.
  • It’s never too late to find love and companionship. In fact, many people have found rich and rewarding lives with inflatable soulmates.
  • Unfortunately, in this superficial day and age, there are people who can’t get past a sudden 600-pound weight gain.
  • There’s no reason the voices in your head can’t get along. But if they don’t, all four of you most definitely need to get into counseling.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”

Myers Briggs? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Myers Briggs!

tester_01

Sure, you could answer a detailed and time-consuming questionnaire to find out if you are an introvert. Here’s an easier way. Answer these questions with a simple yes or no.

  • While most people enjoy the company of others, I love nothing more than a spirited conversation with myself.
  • I often feel alone in a crowd – even when it’s a crowd of my identical clones.
  • When working as an exotic dancer, I treasure my alone time before jumping out of bachelor’s party cakes.
  • I always choose my words carefully, particularly before screaming for help in a burning building.
  • When being examined at my optometrist office, it’s very hard for me to make eye contact with the eye chart.
  • I avoid any event that includes group participation, except silent auctions.
  • Whenever I’m in a room full of strangers, I usually talk politics with the most-informed lamp shade.
  • I always sit in the back of a room. Therefore, I never sit in round-shaped rooms.
  • People always tell me I need to come out of my shell. (Note: this question does not apply to clams and lobsters.)
  • I notice details others don’t. For example, if I read this test backwards it indicates whether I’m qualified to work in a Romanian call center.

If you answered yes to at least one question, congratulations, you are an introvert. Reward yourself with dinner-for-one at a five-star restaurant. If you answered no to at least one question, treat yourself to dinner, but feel free to make small talk with the maître d’.

Introvert Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

introvert_all_of_fame_02Introvert Hall of Fame executive director, Regina Reclusaconti announced this year’s inductees. Some notable honorees include:

  • Helen “Muffin” English – Longtime White House correspondent English never asked a question for 32 years until her final day when she demanded to know the location of the ladies room.
  • Thelma Anne Louise – Sears and Roebuck employee Louise is the only cashier in history to process over a million sales transactions without engaging a customer in small talk. The closest she came to idle chatter was in 1968 when she told a shopper, “Your fly is down.”
  • Myra “Cloudy” Myers –  Myers maintained a 4.00 grade point average from kindergarten through graduate school while constantly staring out the classroom window. She has since founded a charity for indigent former teachers who said she’d never amount to anything.
  • Hank “Got My Back” Reardon – The master of avoiding attention, Reardon has never met a back wall he didn’t cling to. His motto: Have obstructed view, will travel. Hank is the only chairman of a Fortune 500 company to address shareholders from a janitor’s closet.
  • Ernie “Frozen Call” Dawkins – In an unintentional groundbreaking experiment, telemarketer Dawkins proved that staring at a phone while in a cold sweat for 8 hours a day is not conducive to selling vinyl siding.
  • Cecil “Sweaty Palms” Singletary – Dating maven Singletary has driven over 100,000 miles around the city blocks to avoid arriving at singles mixers early. His circular travels also earned him an inadvertent induction into the Stalkers Hall of Fame.
  • Ilia Onandon – NPR talk show host Onandon has interviewed one guest since 1985: himself. Few will forget his 2003 Valentine’s Day discussion in which he proposed to his inner voice and was rejected.

At the honorees request, the formal induction will be conducted by registered mail.

$ol’s $uper $ilent $pecials

salesman_01Hi Friend, You’re an intelligent introvert.

  • Do you value silence?
  • Do you desire tranquility?
  • Do you crave serenity?
  • Do you want to save money?

You’re in luck!

This week is my annual Super Silence Explosion!!!

Check out these fabulous deals:

  • $1 buys you a moment of silence without having to contemplate a dear friend or relative’s passing.
  • $5 gets you a complete trip through a supermarket checkout line without being forced to discuss dairy products with chatty shoppers.
  • $25 earns you the right to read a book on a park bench without people assuming you’re trying to be noticed.
  • $100 gives you permission to report to Homeland Security without guilt the guy who keeps going “pssssst” in the library.
  • $250 entitles you to an entire dinner without anyone asking, “Why are you do quiet?”
  • $500 purchases a roomy isolation tank with WiFi and a fully-stocked mini bar.
  • $1000 sends you to a some-expenses-paid vacation on the abandoned tropical island.

Our experienced sales staff is eager help you achieve inner calm at rock bottom prices.

So what are you waiting for? Come on down!

Introvert Myths

introvert_myths_02

Google the word “introvert” and you’ll find countless websites waxing poetic about these moody wonders. Are they quiet spiritual souls or personality-deficient party poopers? The truth lies somewhere in between. The following clarifies a few introvert myths.

Myth Reality
Introverts are quiet because they always think about deep and spiritual things. Some introverts need a lot of time thinking about  whether to have pepperoni or sausage pizza.
Introverts hate small talk because it bores them. Some introverts love discussing how much the hosts paid for their house.
Introverts are great writers. Some introverts are great at writing home for money.
Introverts hate being in crowds. Some introverts like to rub gently against passengers on crowded subways.
Human interaction exhausts introverts. Some introverts don’t want you to know they love watching TV for hours while eating junk food.
Introverts are good at seeing the big picture. Some introverts think the big picture involves government control of our tooth paste reserves.
Introverts have a constant, rich and fascinating inner monologue. Some introverts can bore even themselves.
Introverts are very sensitive people. Some introverts will ask you to pass the ketchup while you’re telling them your dog passed away.
Introverts intrigue people. Some introverts scare people.
Introverts have the most interesting friends. Some introverts can’t distinguish between fascinating and certifiably insane.

Don’t Help! I Need Nobody

introvert_roommate_03Cecile Sowhat

Being introverted used to bother me. As the years pass, however, I’ve grown more comfortable in my reclusive skin – even when my eczema flares up.

I used to think, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I so averse to social interaction?” Then I realized the one person who can make me happy has been in my head all the time. I may seem like a quiet soul, but put me in a room with my own thoughts and you can’t shut us up.

I love sitting all day in a chair while contemplating back support and Barcaloungers. The fire department occasionally breaks down my door to see if I’m alive. That’s enough social stimulation for me.

There was a time I tried to fit in with the rest of the world. I even belonged to a sorority in college. My sisters meant well, but there’s a name for that kind of non-stop friendliness, affection and emotional support: hazing.

Relationships have always been challenging. I dated one woman for three years. We were inseparable until she returned from her job overseas. She was a great gal but I felt lost without our long periods of separation, plus I missed the mind-blowing long-distance sexting.

My parents are extroverts and have never understood me. How else can you explain them fixing me up with Frank Sinatra Jr.? (Nice guy, though. When it became obvious we weren’t hitting it off, he sent me Nancy’s phone number.) It’s only been recently I’ve been able to look at them indirectly in the eye and say, “Mom, Dad, I love you.”

A wise man – okay, a pretty bright lyricist – once said, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” For some people maybe, but not if you don’t mind a fireman’s ax crashing through your door now and then.

Cecile Singular wrote the best-selling book, Become a Millionaire without Leaving Your Closet.

 

 

Backseat to Basics

back_of_classroom_04For many introverts, home is where the heart is sitting behind the other hearts.

When introverts enter a classroom – or any room – many look for that one special seat in the back. It beckons: “Come, sit, relax, away from the maddening class.”

Contrary to popular opinion, observing the world from the rearmost view isn’t so bad. Are you really concerned that your dying words will be, “Why wasn’t I friendlier with that girl in sophomore geometry class who always sat in the front row and did her homework on time?”

If you choose to be a back sitter, here are some tips to make your stay more enjoyable.

  • Sit behind a large person. They’re great shields and provide effective soundproofing.
  • Always have at least 10 excuses handy for when you’re caught staring out the window. For example: a) I think I just figured out a cure for cancer. b) That’s exactly how the sky looked on the day I was placed in an orphanage.
  • Never sit behind a student who participates enthusiastically in class. Watching an arm continually rise for attention causes severe exhaustion.
  • If your lifelong dream is be a ventriloquist, never use students sitting more than 10-feet away as practice dummies.
  • As a courtesy, always share your seat with other introverts. Simply get up, point to the chair, and of course, avoid eye contact.

 

Pre-Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries

painter
What was the best time of your life – high school, college, your 20s, 30s or 40s?

Many introverts would go back to a womb of one’s own.

Why?

  • It’s the only time you could relax without bracing for human interaction – unless you were a twin or part of the Octomom’s brood.
  • Being alone was as normal as avoiding eye contact with everybody and everything, mainly because there wasn’t anybody or anything.
  • Life in the womb was the first and last time you were part of the “in” crowd, albeit a very small crowd.
  • You could be unapproachable to your heart’s content because no one approached you.
  • There was no agonizing small talk. Not once did anyone ask, “Nice womb, who’s your decorator?”
  • There were no self-doubts because there wasn’t a family therapist telling your parents, “There’s something wrong with that kid.”
  • No one asked, “Why are you so quiet?” Just as well since you didn’t know how to speak.

In short, it was the most normal you will ever feel – until a doctor slapped you while attempting to make small talk.

Regrets, Don’t Have a Few

relaxed-monkeyDo you feel being an introvert has caused you to miss good opportunities in life?

Really? Think about the bad ones you’ve avoided.

You weren’t popular in high school. But you didn’t marry Bunny the head cheerleader who now weighs 250 pounds and travels the child beauty pageant circuit with her Honey Boo Boo-ish daughter.

Your aversion to eye contact may have cost you the CEO job at your hedge fund company. It may have also saved you from an SEC indictment.

With a few more connections you might’ve found a famous film director to read your screenplay. At least you didn’t have to deal with rejection when Arnold Schwarzenegger passed on “Conan the Technical Writer.”

If you were more sociable you’d be less lonely. But you never would’ve bonded with the voice in your head.

You’ve always struggled with job interviews. In the long run, however, it forced you to pursue your real dream: freelance dulcimer player.

It’s been hard to meet men because they think you’re aloof and unapproachable. Luckily, it’s made things easier at your Sexaholics Anonymous meetings.

There’s never been a hiring demand for day dreamers. Just as well. The time sheets and weekly status meetings would’ve ruined the fun.

You may think a lifetime of sitting in the back of the room has gotten you nowhere. But it’s allowed you to flourish as an under-the-breath wise cracker extraordinaire.

Your quietness makes people feel uncomfortable. It still comes in handy on rare occasions when people misinterpret your silence for wisdom.

So maybe your life would be different if you were more sociable. But better? What could be better than sitting alone contemplating if it could be better?