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:
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.