Sunday, January 17, 2010

Off-Menu Adventurer

The Off-Menu Adventurer makes his douchebaggery known and felt everywhere he goes by insisting on modifying the local fare to highlight his sophisticated palette to the simpletons he humbles himself to commiserate with.

There are potentially infinite manifestations of OMA's, some might fancy the rugged realism of the local dive while others are stimulated by ethnic samplings. Still others may prefer to cleanse their palette with only the rarest of goods from around the world, prepared by men and women of scholarly distinction in the culinary arts. Nevertheless, they all have in common that they are rarely satisfied with menu items, seasonal or daily specials.

The Off-Menu Adventurer will typically give a menu only a brisk read, generally making faces he hopes his companions will recognise as just shy of horror and disgust, landing somewhere in the neighborhood of displeasure and disappointment which he will then abandon for a glimmer of hope and cautious optimism. Then he will signal a waiter and begin weaving his tapestry of douchebaggery to the amazement of his chosen company: "I am not sure what to have here. Several items seem to have promise but I just have too many doubts about each. Would it be possible to substitute the duck from the daily special for the tenderloins in the..." Well, you get the picture.

Uncertain how to react, most struggling actors or part-time college students will retract to the safe haven of the kitchen to call a conference and establish whether or not they are truly dealing with a douchebag, and if so what variety of douchebaggery is afoot. Different kinds of food-service related douchebaggery call for entirely different responses. Some extreme cases require full scale biological warfare be waged to discourage further infiltration. This kind of retaliation is called for in a zero-sum game, take-no-prisoners, death-before-dishonor type of confrontation.

However, scaled responses are often used either due to lack of interest, ambition or energy on the part of the wait staff or kitchen staff. One generally effective trick involves challenging the douchebag to a battle of wits--with or without the douchebag detecting the challenge. Typically it involves returning from the kitchen and explaining that the specific parings requested are universally accepted as being offensive to even the most chemically abused sinus cavities and the head chef wishes to spare his new patron the misery of getting his wish. It is sometimes risky for the waiter to serve as messenger when engaging in a battle of wits which is why chef's often take pleasure in serving this volley themselves.

The risk is that you won't know for certain the caliber of douchebag you are dealing with until round two begins. For all you know you could be dealing with a former apprentice of Alain Chapel or Nils Norén, though that would be highly unlikely. Should you find yourself going toe-to-toe with either a classically trained aficionado or self-appointed cable television foodie it shouldn't make much difference, the objective will remain the same: to keep them off balance and plant seeds of doubt that will erode the foundations their alleged knowledge is built upon. At this point you can relax, it matters not whether you get through to this particular douchebag, you simply need to draw attention to him, embarrass his friends and if he won't back down, just throw him out in an angry tirade. Typically when dealing with douchebaggery, such an angry outburst will win you favor and immediately command respect from other patrons nearby. "Wow, dinner and a show? I shall have to recommend this place to my office staff!"

At some point it should have been noted that the Off-Menu Adventurer is not to be confused with the picky or highly allergic consumer. While they might be easy to characterise as a lesser variety of douchebag, they are generally harmless, highly apologetic and extraordinarily grateful any time you accommodate their particular neuroses. The true OMA is not simply a man of omission, but of substitution and malicious re-engineering bent on showing off to his fellow douchebags in any case where he is allowed to escape the confines of the printed offerings and prices.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One-hundred-dollar Bill

In order to understand $100 Bill you must trace the roots to his origin. He is, as you may have guessed, in his element showing off in a variety of ways; telling tall tales of exploits on the high seas, his days stock car racing or smuggling weapons to guerrillas to destabilize foreign governments and nearly getting caught if not demonstrating his skills at games or trivia or perhaps simply winning at being the most generous gentleman in the room.

Of course while the $100 Bill prides himself on his generosity, it does have it's limits. He does not wish to be taken advantage of or worse yet, stolen from. This would defeat his generous nature and make him appear weak, which he cannot abide! Douchebags throughout the ages have attempted to abate their vulnerability to thievery by becoming master gunslingers if they are less physically endowed, or adding more definition to their physique if they are. Regardless of the means they use to discourage a pickpocket they are most vulnerable whilst enjoying their favorite libations in the company of attractive ladies, so douchebags have had to come up with other ways to more easily detect an attempt to relieve them of their ample means.

Many creative tools have been fashioned and engineered for this purpose: some attached chains to their wallets and created an entire culture of fashion behind this device. Others designed wallets that could be carried in the front breast pocket, but it really was only ever practical if you were wearing a coat and let's face it, a jacket or sport coat often becomes too much attire when engaging in douchebaggery. So the idea to travel as light as possible led us to the invention of the money clip--the douchebags best friend.

Lightweight, the money clips sole purpose is to keep a small amount of cash (and in recent decades, credit cards and identification) at the ready while out on the town without making too much of it--that is, until it caught on and became a fashion symbol itself like the cigarette lighter or pocket watch; out of sight most of the time, but when called into use highly admired and coveted.

Aside from the importance of the particular style of money clip you invest in to your personal style of douchebaggery perhaps nothing else matters more than how you put it into use. You don't simply fold up a two dollar bill and clamp down on it. That would be akin to using a jackhammer to repair a blemish on Michelangelo's David. No a money clip is really only appropriate when it has something substantial to hold onto. Given the disparity of means among douchebags there has evolved several ways to use a money clip. Someone of simple means might go with single bills only, but after suffering the embarassment of trying to count out seventeen dollars one bill at a time he might try a slightly more advanced strategy; wrapping a modest stash of singles with a twenty. Now if someone notices his clip their brow might rise slightly when they assume all of the bills are twenties.

One of more generous means might instead go with all twenties, however after being found to carry so much cash he might quickly find himself the prey of moochers asking him to buy them a drink. All douchebags enjoy the opportunity to do this, but rarely like to be asked when they haven't offered. So this person might instead wrap his stash of twenties in a single one dollar bill, thus fooling the inebriated simpletons around him into believing he is as common as they.

Then there is the rare breed known as the $100 Bill. This particular douchebag may or may not be independently wealthy, but it does not matter. He will ask for all his cash to be dispensed in $100 bills from the bank, even if his entire payroll check is required to amass enough to fill a money clip. Then when he is out on the town he will make a point of displaying them proudly when it comes time to ask the man behind the counter if he can cash it.

$100 Bill knows well that most businesses have the ability to spot a fake $100 bill as easily as they can a fake twenty, but depending on how business has been that day, how long since the till has been reset and how many tens and twenties are required to remain on hand they might refuse to cash a $100 bill for a small tab of say, less than twenty dollars. This means $100 Bill has would need to raise his tab a bit, which it turns out is easy to do. All he needs is engage in his favorite form of douchebaggery; buying a round of drinks for his friends, a nearby ladies-night-out threesome, or even the entire bar. Certainly they would take a $100 on an $85 tab, no? Or several on a $450 tab? Well then. Now you're talking!

If you find yourself in the presence of $100 bill and you are wondering if you should succumb to his douchebaggery, be advised that there is no need to shy away from letting a fool part with his money. Figure this: that you are in a win-win situation, he wins by being seen to be the well endowed generous man that he thinks he is and you win by getting a free drink or two. However, do not let it get out of hand. You should never let $100 Bill buy you more than two drinks, lest you become obligated to remain in his company as long as he fancies it. Let him buy you a third and a meal too and you have allowed yourself to become his bitch, whether you be man or woman it makes no difference! Given time you may find yourself being subtly guilted into doing favors for this man long after you have grown tired of his shenanigans. Still, take this warning to heart and you have nothing to fear from $100 Bill except a little extra fun than you previously budgeted into your evening and let's face it, we are in a recession.

Cheers!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Iggy--please--Stop

Granted, all men are douchebags, but most men really only ever achieve the rank of amateur douchebag. The kind of douchebags we celebrate here are those that that learn to expand the scope of their douchebaggery to include innocent bystanders virtually everywhere they go. Iconic douchebaggery can be achieved both actively and passively, but we really tip our hats to the douchebags who manage to score bonus points via the passive system.

Iggy--please--Stop is just one such douchebag. At first glance nothing seems out of the ordinary. Sure he is dressed a little obnoxiously, as is his date, but they hardly seem out of place until they take seats next to you at the bar. There is nothing a lady enjoys more than sitting at a sticky bar sandwiched between her hunky hottie and sweaty, smelly, average Joe. Iggy might then order the drinks without consulting his date for her preference and then banter with the bartender a bit. It seems Iggy is known to more than a few here.

In fact, this is Iggy's territory. Perhaps this isn't a date at all, or it might just be the douchebags equivalent to bringing her back to meet the parents. Will she meet the approval of his band of douchebags or be rejected. What possibly could the criteria for acceptance into this strange family be anyway?

Quickly Iggy's attention is drawn away to an old friend who has just come into the bar. Elaborate hugs are exchanged making a show of their comfortability with male bonding, and finally our date is introduced. A few words are exchanged between friend and date and then quickly the old friends begin to catch up. The topic of conversation quickly navigates from things she can attempt to keep interest in and occasionally laugh or inject something witty of her own to keep herself in the game, but inevitably wherever two or more douchebags are gathered in the name of douchebaggery, the date will be squeezed out and marginalized.

Do not panic! You are not easily marginalized are you? You are not easily angered about being ignored are you? Of course not. You are an intelligent, gorgeous modern woman. You still have control of the situation and what before your wandering eyes does appear? Is that a crossword puzzle solving, self mumbling, head scratching, awkward gentleman with dust-smudged eye-wear?

Thanks be and praise the goddess of distraction and false-seduction! You shift your weight and pull away from your date and toss your hair over the other shoulder as subtly as you can manage and find a way to break the ice with your patsy. It helps to fully introduce yourself because that might solicit a shake of hands. Contact makes the waters of seduction more easily navigable. It also makes waves your douchey date is likely to notice even with his back turned to you.

"How is the puzzle coming along? Come here often?"

At this point it helps to allow some silence to elapse and the sexual tension to build. No point in blowing his mind all at once. Also it will boost his confidence if he can solve some more clues while you watch. Still, you are quite hot and he isn't likely to be attracted to beauty alone. Show him you have some brains too! Don't wait too long before you offer to assist him with today's puzzle:

"Isn't 24 down Wilford Brimley? Well just Brimley of course! HA HA HA!"

If he takes the bait, you're in. Congratulations you're sharing a moment. Your douchebag date will not take long to notice, will he? WILL HE? Oh God, do I have to do this puzzle with Dexter here all night? Oh, what if he is a Dexter? I mean, what if he is pathological? You might have just put yourself on the radar of a serial killer! Don't panic. Your date hasn't noticed your disinterest in tonight's douchebaggery yet. If you do have to die for this you wouldn't want it to be for nothing, would you?

Athena be praised! You have succeeded. He's touching you again. Looks like he's wrapped up his conversation with this old friend. About damn time! What on earth was it about anyway? From the sounds of things he was just showing off a bit.

It is time to note that this whole exercise was straight out of Iggy's playbook. You really didn't think he drug you out to wine and dine you just to bring you down to this dive did you? He brought you here because he knows he will have the chance to introduce you to his friends, show off to them, then to you, ignore you for a while, then cut off his friend just in time to imply that the two of you have business to attend to, if you know what I mean.

Your little road-trip to the crossword-puzzle-clatch didn't even raise a brow for our master douchebag. He never even perceived a threat. The fact that you wanted to arouse his jealousy was all part of the plan, as was his preemptive strike to set a precedent that you are his flashy accessory, easily hung up for a moment while he rolls up a sleeve or two to wrestle with the boys, but that he can reclaim you any time he wants.

The poor victim in all this charade is the gentlemen to your right who just wanted to do his crossword puzzle in peace. Now you've gone and raised his expectations which will inevitably be crushed in a fortnight!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Pusher

Our first Douchebag profile comes courtesy of The Pusher. Every good bar is a friendly place for people to gather and socialize. We are, after all, social animals with the need to connect to others of our species to engage on a variety of levels, from casual encounters to complex mating rituals.

The Pusher is a certain subset of the Douchebag who finds his origins, like many other kinds of douchebags, in places like college fraternities, military enlistments or perhaps gang initiations. The Pusher is trained to perceive that people are incapable of making their own decisions and asserts their own will upon the weaker members of the Douchebag race.

This behavior can manifest in a variety of ways, but one stereotypical behavior pattern that manifests in public houses is the convincing of others to participate in bizarre drinking rituals. At his best, The Pusher might convince complete strangers to join their cohort in drinking a shot or a bomb that would otherwise be considered a dare. It is always implied (though not necessarily stated) that to refuse this dare would be to admit to being of a weaker variety of douchebag and thus establishing The Pusher as the alpha male in this circumstance.

It might be worth noting here that The Pusher never travels alone. The Pusher general travels with an entourage of other douchebags in supporting roles that may be discussed separately. The Pusher gains strength from the passive assistance of the entourage and the weaker douchebags present will fall easily like dominoes and submit to their crazy shenanigans. The Pusher gets a strange satisfaction from their ability to manipulate the will of other douchebags present, though their final goal is (as with all subtypes of douchebags) to break through social barriers that might otherwise prevent them from establishing the merits for their mating with the female of their choosing.

It is also worth noting that a true Douchebag Pusher deviates from other kinds of pushers in that they might not conform to normal etiquette. Our Pusher does not concern themselves with such things, in the case of convincing an entire bar crowd to join them in drinking a shot or a bomb they will not concern themselves with who will pay for these libations. They may not even mention the fact that they are not offering to do so themselves. The goal of manipulating the will of other potential douchebags present is paramount. They would never concern themselves with the tediousness of who might be responsible for the tab, much less concern themselves with the thought of buying drinks for other douchebags. The Pusher may persuade himself to cover the helpless damsel who stumbles into his stunt, but other douchebags be warned: you are on your own.

One needn't be entirely intimidated by The Pusher. It is entirely acceptable to deny them their aim. They will not turn on you. To the contrary, holding your own in the presence of a Pusher is perhaps the only way they might come to respect you. The Pusher is ultimately seeking other douchebags to join his entourage, but seldom is willing to ally himself with another Pusher, unless they happen to form a bond around another trait. Two pushers in the same cohort is rare, but if their symbiosis is powerful enough, they make quite a formidable pair.

It is difficult to hold your own in the presence of the Tandem Pusher. They might come at you from both sides, either insisting on the same thing or playing "good cop, bad cop." Pusher A might insist on one kind of drink or drinking game, then when refused Pusher B might jump in with his own particular favorite and provide the full-court-press. Still, it is possible to deny the Tandem Pusher's their sport, though few have managed to do so and live.

Still, bear in mind that the douchebag must remain his own man. In order to embrace your own inner douchebag you must recognize these threats and neutralize them immediately. Your survival depends on it! If you find yourself engaged with a Pusher (or Tandem Pushers), first remain calm! Remind yourself of your own douchebaggery and remember that The Pusher is only one type of douchebag and they are not the most powerful by any means. Remember that your own douchebaggery has a dignity all its own, no matter what kind of douchebag you are. So hold your ground. Consider then what The Pusher is pushing. Are you interested or not? Please note that we are not only considering the actual drink, shot, bomb, or drinking game being offered, but the whole package. Who is present? Who is the Pusher and who are among his entourage as well as who might be the potential prey of this particular douchebag? Do you want to be a party to the douchebaggery of this particular Pusher in the specific context of the moment?

If the answer is yes, certainly it is not against your own douchebaggery to join them in theirs. If however, the answer is no, think quickly and establish your own douchebaggery to the Pusher. Let them know you have your own douchebaggery to engage in and that what the Pusher is pushing just isn't assisting in your own. The Pusher, if he be a true douchebag, will respect you and the space you demand to carry on in your own douchebaggery. If the Pusher happens to be keen on disrupting your own douchebaggery be prepared for confrontation. Typically confrontation is rare, as douchebags are not as interested as others in getting dirty, smelly or ruining any vintage clothing they have spent so much time collecting. Still, if it comes down to one douchebag versus another in pursuit of the same prize, a Pusher will certainly toss aside ordinary douchebag protocol in favor of conflict, as conflict is certainly an acceptable alternative given the proper motivation.

Once again, if the Pusher bares teeth or puffs his chest, do not be immediately alarmed. Remind yourself of your own merits as a douchebag--quickly because timing is important. Not all douchebags are created equal. You do need to decide if the particular object of your douchebagging is worth the effort. If you do not believe this to be so, it might be worth conceding. However, being challenged does present it's own dilemma. Even if the object of your douchebagging isn't really worth it, you might have to accept this challenge regardless--if the context demands it. If there are enough witnesses, whether they be other potential targets of your douchebaggery or perhaps your own entourage, you might be required to engage in such a conflict to preserve your status as a master douchebag.

Relax though. Most of the time such events are easily avoided. It helps to remember that there are plenty of excellent excuses to be a douchebag. If you have to back down there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you around the corner. If you perceive the threat of The Pusher too great, you might consider conceding the turf to his cohort and finding another of your own. You certainly wouldn't be the first to resort to this tactic. However, if you do find the territory worth defending, consider alternatives to physical confrontation. There are a number of tools at your disposal, depending on which kind of douchebag you find yourself to be.

Generally speaking though, the weaknesses of The Pusher are glaring. Typically it doesn't require much to outwit the Pusher. Pusher's breed themselves in the cesspools of excess testosterone present in places such as fraternities, infantry units, and construction related trades. Typically these environments may value intellect but ironically do not encourage it to be attained. It tends to be easy to outwit The Pusher through humor or a wider breadth of knowledge of social norms or even alcoholic tendencies.

For example, simply ask if the Pusher is offering to buy you whatever they are pushing. Chances are they are not, so you immediately reply that as long as you are buying your own drinks you will stick with a libation of your choosing that demonstrates greater taste and culture than theirs. So in merely two moves you have reestablished yourself as the master of the art of drinking. If you want to go one further you might offer to buy them a drink of your choosing. This move reasserts yourself as a fellow pusher, but one clearly more evolved than they since you are not only capable, but willing to do what they were not--which is to buy a drink for an unfamiliar fellow douchebag. This is truly a master level form of douchebaggery that only the most advanced Pusher is capable of. So in three moves you have check-mated your competition. They will either fold or accept the challenge, either way you have gotten out of having to participate in whatever foul drinking game they initially proposed. Either way, you win!

Merry Douchebagging!