Thursday, May 10, 2012

12 Things You Should Know How to Do

Recently I read an article online about things you should know how to do, and I liked it so much I decided to write my own.

heh heh heh. yeah, not this kind of butt.
There were some things I felt the author left out, and also it could have had more immature butt jokes. And stuff.

So here I am, writing my own bit, oh-so-cleverly titled "12 Things You Should Know How to Do: In No Particular Order at All, Really, Just as They Pop into My Brain."

1. Tell a Joke

This one's pretty simple, on paper, anyway. I think everyone in the world should have at least one joke tucked away into the memory bank of their brain. It doesn't have to be a good joke, it doesn't have to be a particularly funny joke. It just has to be a joke. 

There are lots of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is you can run into a whole lot of awkward, weird, and plain uncomfortable situations that could be made just a tad less painful if you whipped out your joke. 
For example, try to recall the last time you were at the doctor. Don't you think  the experience could have been improved if, while you were laying there staring at the ceiling thinking of England 
wait, wrong euphemism. 
you had thrown in a cute little duck joke or something? Exactly.

2. Speak a Foreign Language

Now this is one that's perhaps a little debatable, but I stand by it. First of all, it's good for your brain to learn another language. No, I'm not going to source that, but if you doubt me so much you can go and look it up. It's true, honest.
you should because here is a neon sign telling you to do so.
Second of all, it just makes you sound smarter! Next time you're losing an argument, you can say airily "Well, I suppose that makes sense, but really, as they say in Iceland, andlit þitt hefur leiðinlegt útlit þurrum  dauðum fiski."

And what kind of a response will they have to that? Nothing! Unless of course they speak Icelandic, in which case they'll know you just told them they look like a dry dead fish, but then you might have made a new friend with whom you can practice your Icelandic!

Also, if you travel, in my experience most people are really really excited if you try to speak to them in their language. They'll help you with your pronunciation, they'll helpfully point out better ways to construct your sentence, and they'll gleefully teach you to swear. I can almost guarantee you that it will help you make friends.

Not to mention if you and a friend both speak the language, you can sit in public and talk about people while they're right there, and they won't know you're doing it! Just make sure they person you're talking about doesn't also speak the language, because that could get awkward real fast. And then you'll have to break out your joke skills.

So even if it's just the basics of a language- where's the toilet, hi my name is _____, holy shit a monkey stole my passport, etc. It's totally worth it.

3. Throw a Punch

This one is very important, and I must add a qualifier- I am not advocating you know how to beat the shit out of someone, nor am I advocating you go out and start doing just that.

However, there is a possibility that, in your life, you will run into a situation in which you think to yourself "Damn, I wish I knew how to punch people, because this person just fucking NEEDS to get whacked in the kisser."
please note that here I am assuming you think like a 1940's gangster.
4. Swim

Because by the time you are a grown-ass adult, you should not be in a situation in which you think "Well shit, if only I had learned to swim, something toddlers are capable of doing, I would not currently be drowning."
Brad will not be impressed.
A caveat to this that I find perfectly acceptable if you are at the beach, and there is a really hot lifeguard who fills out their red bathing suit juuuuuust right who happens to be on duty, and you pretend you do not know how to swim. Because that right there is how true love happens.
mmmm-hmm. you run with that floaty thing. I'll just be over here filming you so I watch it in slow motion later.

5. Tip People

This comes from having been a waitress/in the food service industry for 5+ years in high school and partially during college. Some people cannot tip to save their lives, and it drives me INSANE.

Here's the deal: if you're thinking to yourself "Golly gee whillikers, I can't afford to tip this waitperson!" then you shouldn't fucking well be eating out!
and I will find you.

It's that simple. Servers are often paid below federal minimum wage, because the cheap-ass place they work is assuming that your (the patron's) tips are going to make up for what they're not earning by the hour. If you're a dirtbag and don't tip well, they aren't going to be able to make up that difference.

Now, I get that sometimes servers suck. That's fine, don't tip them as well. But here's the thing: 10% of the bill is a shitty tip. 20% is good service, good food, friendly people, all that jazz. 15% is somewhere in the middle. No tip at all is you basically going up to your server, looking them dead in the eye, and saying "I hate you. And your face. And your hair. And also you're adopted. Plus I banged your mom."

Everybody got it? Great.

6. Argue

Now before you go off all willy-nilly and start shouting angrily at people left and right, let me explain what I mean.

In life, there are going to be squillions of people who have opinions you are going to disagree with, some more so than others.

And here's what I think: IT IS OK TO ARGUE WITH THESE PEOPLE. But you have to know how to do it nicely. Or at least, without it escalating into a screaming match and insult competition.

It's always good to be able to state what you believe in, and to let people know that there are other world views out there they don't necessarily know about. But it's also important to do it without being an asshole.

Arguing can be instructional for everyone involved, and it's perfectly acceptable to have differing opinions. But you should be allowed to defend what you believe without having to resort to physical violence or spitting. Or whatever.
that's why llamas spit, you know. because they're terrible arguers.
7. Tie a Knot

Because you never know when you're going to kidnap someone and have to tie them up.

But seriously, you might have to tie a canoe to your car, or tie a tie (in this instance, that counts as a knot) or improvise a shoelace, or retrieve a friend from the deep well they've fallen down.
if only Lassie had read this list. and also had opposable thumbs.

8. Use Proper Grammar in a Written Sentence

For example, it drives me batshit insane when people use the improper forms of "they're" and "their." 

If English is your first language, and you are not a troll that lives under a bridge eating cats, you should not be fucking this up on a regular basis. No one will want to hire you ever. No one will want to be your friend. People will point and laugh at you on street corners.

It's all true.

9. Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Now, I was going to put that as "make a basic meal" which is actually pretty common on lists of things you should know how to do, but I decided that was too complex. Plus, what if you're a really terrible cook, and you just can't even make pasta?
also, I pity you, because pasta is delicious.

So instead I picked one of America's most awesome contributions to food
along with the deep-fried Twinkie. you're welcome, world.
and decided everyone should know how to make it.

Because it is deliciuos, versatile, and ridiculously easy.

Plus, even if you burn it a bit, you can just scrape off the burned part of the bread, and eat it anyway. Problem solved. And if you add tomatoes or some shit like that, it's basically all the food groups in one scrumptious sandwich.
*imaginary editor's note* please note it is ill-advised to take dietary advice from Marshall, as she considers cheese to be one of the food groups.
10. Smile

Ok, so this one's a bit cheesy. 
mmmm, cheese...
Whoops, sorry, got distracted.

Anyway, as I was saying, I know this one's pretty cliched. And I'm not telling you, dear imaginary friends, that you should always be smiling, or to smile through the pain, or to grin and bear it, or to smile 'cause it makes your face prettier.

What I'm saying is that sometimes, a smile directed at a stranger can make their day.

Smiling at a friend can give them a case of the warm fuzzies that maybe they really needed today.

And smiling is scientifically proven to make you feel better.

11. Scale a Fence

Because sometimes shit gets real, and you've gotta get over that fence. Like pronto.

12. Sing Along to Some Awesome Song

I'm not saying you have to be a fantastic singer. I'm not saying you need to know the difference between a treble clef and a bass clef. I'm not even saying you need to know how to find a pitch with both hands and a map.

I just think everyone should possess the ability to hear a song they adore, and be able to sing along.

If you're not a sing-along type of person, and you're seriously doubting me right now, just try it.

One of those times you're driving in your car by yourself, pick a song you cannot help but love, and belt along with the chorus. It will make your fucking day.

So that's all for today's post, friends. 12 things I, in my oh-so-unqualified opinion, think everyone should know how to do.

What do you think, did I miss any?