Reflections

Confessions of a Social Pariah: How to avoid the masses in 2016

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By Spliph, South Africa:

A discussion on avoiding motor mouths, Ntsu Snuff and how a pair of wrinkled Boxers on your face can save you from Halitosis.

We have all become social pariahs and we are okay with it. We don't eat with the family, we don't talk in buses and we strategize entry into food aisles in shops. Ask yourself when the last time was that you grabbed a packet of frozen veggies while another veggie patron was fishing through them? It's been a while hasn't it? We would rather wait for that person to finish their business, then and only then will we make for the fridge.

This is the way of life at the moment; no one is willing to talk to another person unless it is through an LCD screen. Of course this is great news for people like me who possess what Google calls Deipnophobia – the fear of dinner conversations, but for the sake of context let us spread it as the fear of conversations as a whole.

Striking up conversation is such a schlep, it requires much skill, tact and for men, machismo with a peppering of bravado. It's amazing that I know the ingredients but the culmination is alien.

Of course humans are social beings, and to survive we need to communicate. I believe this to be the very reason intelligent fellow Deipnophobes developed things like MXIT, Facebook and Whatsapp. Those social networks have revolutionized the way and ease of communication.

I am a major beneficiary and exploiter of social networks – the mention of name is still spoken in hushed tones on MXIT spheres. During my time as a teen I possessed Alec Baldwin's charisma when it came to wooing ladies in the wee hours of the night.

But those years are gone, I no longer have an s'curl and cut and because of my age I am now on a razor thin line from between being a hip adult or paedophile – the latter seems to resonate with women my age. So MXIT is out.

Whatsapp too has been a great tool for communication, but this was before they introduced the blue ticks and the “last seen” capability. Also, for some reason people seem to develop an acute propensity to start groups every week. Such individuals should be avoided.

You can make faces all you want but you know you now strategize entry on Whatsapp to avoid the proverbial “So what are you up to”? or being added into a group. These factors burn me up, so much so that I have quit Whatsapp too.

This has left me with a rather unique problem, how do I communicate? Fortunately, I have conjured from the depths of my posterior the ultimate method of communication for fellow Social Pariahs. I have christened this, 'The Magneto Theorem'.

I will mention that The Magneto Theorem is quite complex and requires decades of avoiding conversations and hiding in bushes to escape chatty neighbours. Although these strides have proved golden for me they do have their limits. For one: how do you avoid a person on the bus or in a lift? Unless someone releases bum gas, you're stuck.

The Magneto Theorem then will prove pivotal. Basically it involves the ability to repulse small talk all the while avoiding veering into Social Pariahdom.

To be truly effective in the MT you will need: headphones, a pair of sunglasses, boxer shorts, a container of Ntsu snuff and any melodic account of Justin Bieber's music.

How to apply the MT.

Say you are in a bus and a rather passionate Motor mouth (a person with a proclivity for small talk) spots you and starts making his way towards you – let's call this person Desmond.

Step one – always wear your sunglasses while on the bus, people naturally assume you are hung over and the fear of halitosis will keep them away. If that doesn't work.

Step two – have your headsets on. People avoid situations where they will look desperate for conversation, and so will ignore you. If that fails.

Step three – hum a riveting tune of Justin Bieber's baby. No one wants to be associated with adult Bielieber. If that too fails.

Step four – hold the container of Ntsu in full view. This doesn't even need justification as to why it is wrong. This is normally the final straw to ignoring small talk. Although unlikely but if it too fails.

Step five – pull out a pair of wrinkled boxers and start blowing your nose. I guarantee a wide berth.

There you have it, the Magneto Theorem. Effective, and from step 1 to 3 quite subtle, you can tweet later to thank me.

@JustLebo.

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