I’m Boring So You Don’t Have to Be.

I went out with friends recently and, as usual, I got stuck talking to the most boring loudmouth there. You know when you feel like they’ve cornered you at the bar, asking you what you’re drinking even though they have no intention of buying you a drink? And you get that awful sinking feeling when you realise everyone has managed to make their way to fruit machine, and you’re insanely jealous that they all get to stand together being unsociable whilst you have to fake-laugh your way through twenty minutes of the most mundane conversation known to man. Yeah, that was me; the one you’re all looking back and laughing at from the fruity for having one of those faces that apparently says PLEASE TALK AT ME I WANT TO LISTEN.

Luckily I have come up with a coping mechanism for these kinds of situations that I feel could potentially be the inspiration for a new X-Men character. I have this magnificent ability to completely blank out large amounts of time. Like sometimes when I know work is going to be particularly boring I can zone out so much that before I know it it’s the end of the night and I’m back in my bed again, and I genuinely wonder whether I’ve left it that day. (Sometimes this skill can be a curse as well as a blessing; I did it the other day at work, and when I managed to bring my attention back into the room my trainer was staring at me, asking if I was going to write down what he’d just told me. I said yes regardless of the fact that I didn’t have a fucking clue what he’d said, and when I thought he wasn’t really watching I just started drawing a picture of a dinosaur on my pad. Of course when he saw what I’d done, I had to admit that I hadn’t been listening the whole time and he called me a time-waster.) This was a skill I applied when talking to Boring McSnoozerson. I was in my element. pretended to listen so intently. I nodded at the appropriate times, I humoured them until I could humour no more. I’m not quite sure how much time had actually elapsed, but I was two glasses of wine and a Jagerbomb down by the time I got a word in. But when I had finally found a way into the conversation, I lasted about two minutes before the walking tranquilliser dart made the lamest excuse ever to leave. That’s right. THEY got bored of ME. I WAS THE BORING ONE.

It had never occurred to me that I might have always been the boring friend. I did wonder why people avoided eye contact with me like I was the Demon Headmaster. I thought it was because it was universally acknowledged that I’m the one to avoid on a night out because I always do weird stuff that freaks everyone out. THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE. I thought the fact that I normally get cut off when I start talking was a sign that the whole world was self-centred, not that I’m just dull as fuck! I feel even more upset and embarrassed than the time I was made to stand in the corner of my music class at school for trying to play Für Elise on the keyboard with my face when I thought no one was looking.

So that no one else has to go through this terrible and soul-destroying feeling, I started a secret experiment that’s scientific in no kind of way to establish what makes a boring person. So listen up fellow bores, and welcome to Snoozefest 2013.

1. Stop Talking About How Much Money You Earn

I am so guilty of doing this right now, probably because I’ve never earned more than six pounds an hour before. But now I’m head-baller shot-caller, making some sweet mular without having to moonlight as anything, I can’t stop telling people. (Don’t worry though guys, I’m sure I’ll be fired faster than you can say “Can someone wake Pascale up?” when work realises they have hired a complete dumb-dumb who chooses to draws dinosaurs in crop tops instead of absorbing vital information.)

If you have a good job or you don’t have a good job but think you do, people will hate you for it. There’s only so many times you can get away with purposely dropping your paycheck on the floor before you’ll actually have to start buying some new friends.

This is how money-orientated I have become: A few days ago I started looking online at cars, and I genuinely considered buying one. I can’t even drive. I have never had a driving lesson in my life. Once my ex-boyfriend let me drive his car slowly round a Tesco car park, and I thought “I’d probably learn to do this properly if the speed limit was brought down to five miles an hour.” I don’t even know what horse power is. I’m all like “The gear stick? Oh you mean those things we used to play Doom with in the nineties, right?” And I don’t understand why it’s called a three-door. The boot isn’t a door…is it?! A couple of days later I was telling my nonsensical plan to a friend; I’d barely even finished saying “I dunno, a silver one?” and she had called me a dick, picked up her bag and walked out of Costa. So I’ve stopped telling people exactly how much I earn because I want them to like me for me, and not the crazy insane amount of cash that is always spilling out of my money clip.

2. No One Wants to Hear About Your Sickly Pet

Nothing ruins a good conversation than divulging the gory details of how your 19-year-old cat’s Uveitis has flared up again. Trust me; I learnt this the hard way. After I cried for an hour at my friend’s 21st because I was convinced my cat was getting feline Alzheimer’s, I stopped receiving invites to birthday parties.

3. Stop Retelling Irrelevant Conversations To People Word-For-Word

This might come as a shock, but reiterating the scornful Cher Horowitz-style diatribes thrown between you and that bitch from your office that no one actually knows verbatim is not as interesting as you think it is. And little details like whether it happened on Monday or Tuesday has no impact on the story for someone who doesn’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Which brings me nicely on to my next point…

4. No One Cares About The Time You and Your Friends Did That Thing That Was Totes Hilair

OH. MY. GOD. This is the worst. Here’s a little tip for people who desperately cling onto nostalgic flashbacks like you’re a walking, talking episode of The Wonder Years: If the person you’re telling wasn’t there to experience it, the whole story tedious as fuck. And I don’t think anyone appreciates how hard it is to keep laughing along with the story every time they laugh, which is pretty much all the fucking time. I suggest writing all these funny experiences down in a diary, and then burying it so far in the ground like it’s fucking Jumanji, because no one is going to want to find that.

5. Talking About How Fat You Are All The Time Is a Real Drag

I think it’s a girl thing, but listing how many different types of biscuit you’ve eaten that day and then asking your friends if it’s bad is pointless and stupid. Because if you feel the need to list it then it probably is. And what’s the point? If they say yes, you’re offended; if they say no, you know they’re lying. And so you enter into this cycle of thinking they’re a dick either way, which is exactly what they think of you for asking such mundane and self-absorbed questions. It’s a hundred times worse if you do this and you’re skinny, though, and you’re saying it to your slightly doughier friends even though you weigh about as much as a newborn baby. If this is you, I just want you to know you’re a bad person. I hope when you’re 40 all those cakes that you can get away with eating now go straight to your ass and face.

6. Showing Everyone a Million Pictures of Your Baby

“Here he is with wet hair… Oh look, now it’s dry! And this is him just sitting watching television. Awww look now he’s asleep! This is two hours later when he was still asleep… Oh and this was when he ate a banana for the first time… See this was his first mouthful… And his second… Look and his third! Then this was when the banana was all gone and” OH GOD SHUT UP.

Come on, mums. You should know this. At some point or another you weren’t a mum, and you must remember how boring it is to look at 200 pictures of someone’s kid sitting on a seesaw.

7. Telling a Single Person About How In Love You Are With Your Boyfriend and The Ins-And-Outs Of Your Fantastic Sex Life Really Is The Worst

Really? You think a single person who isn’t getting any wants to hear how you worked your way through the entire Karma Sutra before your boyfriend took you out to a fancy restaurant and paid for your 100 oz steak dinner? No deal, ok. No one wants to hear that. I’m mentally listing all the ways that I could kill myself whilst you tell me you still managed to make energetic love after practically devouring an entire cow.

So there you have it. There’s ten minutes of your life I have just stolen from you. I feel like if I went looking for anyone who had made it this far into my blog post without dying of boredom, it would be as tragic and devastating as this bit in Titanic:

Disclaimer: All jokes aside, I cannot be held responsible for anyone who actually has died in the process of reading this post.

How To Be A Good Third Wheel

Being a third wheel is almost never voluntary and hated by all. It’s probably the one thing I can really advise people on, because I am always a third wheel; a big awkward tractor tyre stuck on the back of a little girl’s pushbike. But luckily for all you slightly-below-average-looking third wheels, the gooseberry MASTER has compiled her top tips for being a good third wheel. And by good, I mean so terrible that no one will ask you to do it again.

1. It’s Ok To Be Offended 

When someone invites you to be third wheel on their date, it’s safe to assume that they have invited you because they think you’re unattractive. Yeah that’s right, you’re friend that’s always saying “Don’t worry, you’ll find the right man! You’ve got beautiful ankles and such a bubbly personality!”? THEY THINK YOU’RE UGLY. Of course your mate isn’t going to invite someone attractive; they’re going to invite the friend that takes full advantage of the limitless ice cream and leaves the restaurant with chocolate sauce all over their face. That’s right, that has actually happened to me before. Let’s be honest though, if your boyfriend is taking you somewhere that does free ice cream on one of your first dates, then it’s only going to go downhill from there. You’re dating a major tightarse. HEAR THAT HAYLEY? I SAID YOUR BOYFRIEND’S CHEAP! (Ps. Thanks for paying for my limitless ice cream bowl, John.) So don’t feel bad telling them how offended you are that they think you’re a hideous ogre. Hopefully they will feel so bad that you worked out the real reason they invite you everywhere that they’ll just stop asking you.

2. The Cinema is Actually Alright

It’s the only place I enjoy being a third wheel, as long as I get to pick the film. If I don’t like the film, I like to ruin it by trying to piss everyone in the cinema. The best way to do that is to stand up as the film begins, and say “EVERYONE, I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE. BRUCE WILLIS IS ACTUALLY A GHOST TOO AND THAT’S WHY HAYLEY JOEL OSMENT CAN SEE HIM. ENJOY THE FILM.” But tailor it to your film obviously; it would make no sense to give the plot of The Sixth Sense away when you’re watching Bridemaids or something. If you’re too much of a pussy to do that, just take some inappropriate food, like something in a really rustle-y bag that’s hard to open. I went to watch The Impossible recently, and the girl in front of me had brought salami. SALAMI. AS A SNACK. The smell was so strong that I honestly couldn’t concentrate, which meant I couldn’t get emotional when Ewan McGregor makes that phone call. Fuck. It still upsets me now. Selfish salami skank.

3. Dish The Dirt

That’s right. Dig up the dirtiest dirt of all on your friend and work it into conversation. Not the powdery kind of dirt that can be easily washed away, but the kind that gets under your nails and smells suspect and you’re not sure if a sewer has burst somewhere nearby and seeped into the dirt.  If you’re scared, it’s best to wait until your friend goes to the toilet, but once you’ve been a third wheel long enough seeing your friend plot how she is going to murder you later will become the highlight of your evening, trust me. The line that I enjoy working with is: “Hmmm? Oh are we talking about shitting ourselves at Wagamamas? It’s funny you should bring that up because my friend here….” And the rest, as they say, is history. Messy, gag-inducing history. Of course my friend never really shat herself in Wagamamas. There’s no way I can afford to eat there. But your friend will protest so hard to prove their innocence that it will genuinely seem like they did.

 4. Bring Your Phone

This probably seems like an obvious thing to say. I never go anywhere without my phone. What happens if I’m in an awkward situation or I see someone I don’t want to see on the street? What am I going to look at? How am I going to pretend to get a conveniently-timed phone call?

To start with, it’s a great tool for discovering useless stuff whilst your friend is busy talking about how many kids she wants with her date. Sometimes I just Google myself. One time I put my name into Urban Dictionary and this is what came out:

“Pascale.

A complete whore who steals peoples boyfriends.
Hypocritical in the sense that she/he is obsessive and clingy, yet cheats on their boyfriend all the time. A compulsive liar and a ugly bitch. Attacks younger people to make themselves feel better. Fucks every guy she/he meets and trys to lure guys into clubs by ‘forgetting’ her ID. Just an ugly bitch in general. An easy target for a ‘good time’.”

Could not be more accurate.

However, I like to bring my phone for a different reason. When things start getting really boring – which is pretty much straight away – I will text a friend at random and say something like “RING ME ASAP, IT’S AN EMERGENCY.” That way, they’re guaranteed to ring you because they’ll think you’re dying or have got a pen lid stuck up your nose again, and when they call, mould the conversation so it sounds a little bit like this to the smug, happy couple:

“Oh heya…… no no it’s all good, I’m just with Dawn*, she’s on a date though…with…. No not him….No, not that one either…No….No….No…. Yes, him!….With the little…. Yeah that’s the one! HA! I’m surprised it’s happening too…. No… No her results aren’t back yet… Well let’s hope it’s not that! Nah it’s not very good. I just came for the free ice cream….. yeah…. No I got some thank God….. mint chocolate chip obviously…..”

I swear to God, they will stop spoon feeding each other from the word “little”.

(*Dawn is just a name I made up. If I used Anna’s real name she’d get really mad at me.)

(I made Anna up too. Sort of.)

(I’m sorry Anna. We hope you recover soon. Just keep applying the creams.)

5. Try To Always Bring The Conversation Back To Death

Nothing kills the mood more than talking about suicide rates and the time your dog got hit by a car.

6. Know The Appropriate Time To Do Something Inappropriate

This is the crucial moment. If they haven’t already asked you to check cinema times and then ran away, or relegated you to a shit seat at the front of the cinema whilst they get weird in the premiere seats at the back, they must really like having you there. And that is not cool.

You’ve got to go all out. Otherwise you’re destined to be third wheel forever. And I mean forever, because even when these people get married, and that marriage starts to disintegrate (because that will happen), they’re going to want an emotional buffer. And they’ll be all like “Who was really good at hanging out with us when we were all annoying and in love?” then you’re name will crop up – even though they’ll struggle to remember it because they dropped you when they stopped needing a third wheel on their dates – and you’ll have to actually take your tracksuit bottoms off and find someone to catsit.

I’m going to be honest, you’re on your own from here. I’ve tried everything I can think of, and I’m still third wheel. I’ll tell you this for nothing, though: crying hysterically gets you NOWHERE. If anything it is like catnip for third wheel abusers; they will think think that you’re a much bigger loser than you actually are, which means they’ll start inviting you to loads of shit, thinking that they are doing YOU a favour. Then your friend’s new boyf will start inviting his weird friend places too, and before you know it you’re on an awkward double date with a man who likes to huff glue whilst wearing women’s underwear. All I will say is just wait until the opportune moment, like when they’re leaning in for their first kiss, and just do the first inappropriate thing that comes into your head. Just go with your weirdest instinct.

So my fellow ogres, just follow these simple rules and hopefully you’ll never have to be third wheel again. And if you’re really lucky, you won’t have any friends anymore and you can spend all your time on your real passion: creating cross-stich penises.

vagootowel