1. Have you ever noticed how, if you are with a friend — let us call him Gary, because I don’t actually know any Garys — and he is doing something annoying, like cracking his knuckles, and you say, “If you crack your knuckles one more time, Gary, honest to God, I’ll kill you right here and now”, and then, of course, Gary — because it would be funny — deliberately cracks his knuckles, and then what you do is, you lunge at his neck and scream this sort of exaggerated, joking scream, because that is what people do in this situation in cartoons. But then there’s always an awkward moment, once you’ve lunged, because you then need to stop lunging and sort of withdraw and compose yourself, because you’re not really going to kill him just for cracking his knuckles, but you did have to follow through on the premise of your joke. And now you’re both in this weird state of not having the joke followed through in a satisfactory manner, like it would be in a cartoon. I have a solution for this. I would suggest that, instead of saying, “If you crack your knuckles one more time, Gary, honest to God, I’ll kill you right here and now”, you should say, “If you crack your knuckles one more time, Gary, honest to God, I’ll gouge your eyes out with my thumbs.” And then, once he’s cracked his knuckles and smirked, you can wipe that smug fucking smile off his face by gouging out his eyes, and you’d be totally justified. Is my thinking.
2. You’ll notice how, when walking down the street, you’ll sometimes find yourself facing someone going in the opposite direction, and each of you is blocking the other, and when you move to the left, the other person (let’s say it’s Gary again) moves to the right, and vice versa, and after you’ve done this, say, twice, it’s almost impossible not to do it, and now you’re having far more interaction with this other person than you really want to have, and you’re both looking at each other all apologetic and embarrassed. It is an awkward impasse. My solution for this is to embrace the situation: If you two are going to keep blocking each other, make a game out of it and actually try and block the other person. Feint, dart, try and anticipate his every move just by watching his eyes, and for every time you block him, you get a point. And if he does manage to slip by, well, then, your awkward impasse is solved, now, isn’t it? It’s win-win. I am a genius.
3. Let’s say the cable installer (Gary) has just come to your home to install the cable. Actually, you had cable already: He just needed to flip a switch and turn it on. Took less than five minutes. Now, the question is, do you tip him for the visit? On the one hand, he did have to get into his truck and drive to your home. On the other, that is what he’s paid to do, and it’s not like he’s in the same situation as a waiter, where the restaurant pays them less than the minimum wage and then expects them to make up the rest in tips. And besides, maybe he’s a professional, and would be insulted by a tip! But on the other hand, does everyone tip, and do you look like a jerk if you don’t? Will he hate you? How do you make the cable person not hate you? There are two solutions here, it seems to me: The first is to simply ask, “So, do you guys take tips?” And if he says yes, give him some money — not a lot, a few dollars. The other solution is to think about all this, then show him to the door, and then feel guilty for not tipping him, and then pray the Hail Mary, over and over, and then touch all the doorknobs in the house in three sets of three, and then pray some more.