Sunday, April 8, 2007


I’ve always lived by one philosophy; "Your friends are the assholes you can tolerate the most."

Not to say they can’t be fun people you really enjoy being around, but, come on, even your close friends can be real pricks. For me, those are the best friends...

I believe in a code of friendship where you can, essentially, take out all your random frustrations in a constructive, amusing way without fear of any dire consequences. Instead of rising up in violent retribution against any perceived slight, you should be able to, say, rip mercilessly on a buddy for having "fat ankles" until he finally gets annoyed and yells at you.

Well, OK, you got me. That take on friendship is too cynical even for my tastes, but it is partially true.

Becoming close with anyone automatically entails a certain amount of good-natured annoyance and playful insults. In the interest of helping others fully enjoy blatantly screwing with the minds of their dear, dear pals, I’ve compiled a short list of "Fun Things to Annoy or Amuse Your Friends."


This one is potent if you have a friend who is either (a) shy in public or (b) worried about "not looking cool." It also works for anyone, at any time, and in any situation, provided the dance is stupid enough.

If you've ever watched "Arrested Development," you’ve seen Gob’s "Chicken Dance." If not,
behold. This is the level of stupidity you should aspire to.

Certain "stupid dances" work better than others in a given situation. For example, a "stupid dance" you would use to celebrate, say, throwing a piece of balled-up paper into a trash can might differ greatly from the "stupid dance" you would use to intentionally embarrass a friend on a crowded dance floor.

Here are two more examples (given the "Chicken Dance" as a first)...

"Surgeon Hands" or "The Funky Surgeon"

Simply hold your hands in front of your chest with the palms facing towards you, like a surgeon would after sterilizing their hands. Now, in time to the music, of course, move your "Surgeon Hands" up and down and groove.

You can then say stupid things like, "Aw, someone better bring me a beer, stat!" Or, "Funky Surgeon’s ‘bout to open up your heart, girl!"

"The Mummy" or "Fuck-You-Hotep"

This one works best with lots of people around. Simply hold your arms in front of you, stumble around like you’re drunk (or have been dead for a few thousand years), and moan periodically. All those club kids with the glow-sticks and pacifiers will love it.


No, it’s not a bastardized Zen koan; it’s actually a fairly old, mostly tired ruse that only works really well with a certain personality.

Know the guy/girl who, if you mumble something to yourself, will keep asking, "What did you say?" This will nail that guy/girl at least once, maybe several times if they're a few old ladies short of a sewing circle and/or unbelievably gullible.

It only works if you have at least one accomplice. If "the mark" should leave the room for more than a minute (maybe less, it depends), explain the ruse to your accomplice(s) then...

Just as "the mark" returns, act like you’re just finishing the best joke in the world. It works even better if you can come up with a really weird punchline. My friends and I always worked off the "And, so I/he/she/random name said..." template, just to get an honest competition out of it. So, when "the mark" enters, be on the verge of breaking down in laughter and say something like...

"And, so I said, ‘If you think that’s a rodeo, Mister, you ain’t seen jack shit!’"

Then you and your accomplice(s) laugh like it’s the funniest thing since Lenny Bruce.

If all goes according to plan, "the mark" should want to hear the joke also. Whatever you do, make sure "the mark" is told something along the lines of, "Ah, you wouldn’t get it."

If "the mark" is of a certain personality, he/she will be driven to the brink of insanity until he/she hears the "joke." Surprisingly, it also works on "normal" people every now and again but you've gotta commit (and a large number of competently manipulative accomplices helps).


My absolute favorite. Since I listen to a lot of random music and tend to associate with people who do the same, this always ends up being a very simple game.

It works well if you have a friend who hates, say, a particular genre of music that you happen to dig. I’ve found, however, that it works better if you happen to use a song that "the mark" likes.

I prefer to use 80's songs because, for some reason, people either really love or really hate 80's songs. Either way, it works for me.

Some songs I’ve used recently include...

Steve Winwood - "Higher Love" (From "Back in the High Life")

John Parr - "St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)" (From the "St. Elmo’s Fire" Soundtrack)

Paul Simon - "You Can Call Me Al" (From "Graceland")

Huey Lewis - "The Power of Love" (From the "Back to the Future" Soundtrack)

Hall and Oates - "Private Eyes" (From "Private Eyes")

The H&O, particularly, is often devastating if "stuck" because you automatically want to go...

Private eyes!


They're watching you!

(Clap! Clap!)

If you can, try to do it before someone does something fairly important, like work, school, a funeral, a quadruple bypass, etc.

The title of this bit comes from direct experience. A few years back, I caught a college buddy before an important business exam and sort of absent-mindedly sang some ABBA during lulls in the conversation. After the test, he walked in my dorm room, slammed the door, pointed a menacing finger at me, and said, with all the malice a person could possibly muster, "Thanks to you, I had ‘Dancing Queen’ stuck in my head the whole goddamn time!"

I also have friends who won’t hesitate to get cheap and paltry with this game. I draw the line at using commercial jingles or modern pop/country songs but, sadly, I have more than a handful of acquaintances with no such scruples.

One guy in particular (let’s call him "Bitchpants," because he would do this frequently) would whistle the Enzyte theme at inopportune times and also sang various McDonald’s jingles. Damn you, Bitchpaaaaaaaants!


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