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How To Win Friends & Influence People: Bring Gum.

Gotta get all seven food groups...

Don’t you wish it was that simple? Well it is! … Mostly. There are some small (and by this I mean infinitesimally minute) guidelines that need to be followed when choosing and bringing gum to a social gathering.  I am a gum addict but you should definitely keep reading whether you partake of the sugary goodness on a regular basis or not. It goes without saying that there is an etiquette to discarding, offering, chewing and swallowing gum.Yes, I said swallowing.

Rule Number One: Don’t swallow it. I trusted my parents when they said it would either stay in my stomach for 13 years or give me gumorrhea ( a terrifyingly big word at the time). I recently spoke with a friend who can’t break the habit of swallowing gum at the young age of 22 years old. You don’t want to be that guy. It’s just not cool, not to mention that, due to its startling resilience when it comes to stomach acid, it limits space for food and that to me is far more tragic than being un-cool.

Rule Number Two: Don’t chew or spit like a llama (cow is fine but llama’s just take things to a whole new level of grossness). This applies to those of you who partake in the nasty habit of chewing tobacco as well. Also, don’t blow bubbles that pop back on your face. That was the cooler than double jointed thumbs back in the day but there’s a reason it’s back in the day.

Rule Number Three: We know the goal of this whole post is to win friends and influence people using our little sugary chewing devices but we don’t need to be asked if we want every 5 seconds. If you’re going to use gum to back up your social status, play hard to get. Make people CRAVE it subliminally. Tease them with a wrapper and a small (SMALL!) smacking of the lips here and there. Eventually they’ll come around, get the right idea and ask you for a piece.

Rule Number Four: I know it’s convenient to test the adhesive power of gum on the bottom of tables, arcade games and counter tops but in today’s fast paced world that is SO five minutes ago. And the whole throwing it over your shoulder with no thought to future consequences? Refer to the picture below. I rest my case.

Get it? It's a high heel... NOT! I'm ashamed to admit it took ME a few seconds.


One thing to keep in mind is the kind of people you’re wanting to attract and what situation you’re going into. Like attracts like. Hence, you need to BE what you are trying to attract.

# 1- is for all you James Bond types out there. The cool cats. This paragraph is applicable at black tie affairs (AND for those who like to pretend their life is one loooooong black tie affair. Most of us know at least one person like this).You have two types of gum to choose from: peppermint or spearmint. Nothing else will do.You’re trying to give the impression you’re the classiest thing since the invention of un-boxed wine (if I find the exact dates on this invention I will source them immediately). This type of gum can also work for older ladies at bridge and book clubs. Don’t ask me where the connection between this and 007 is.

# 2– The Funster, the Ace Ventura types, the movers, the streakers, the shakers (yes I did just throw that in there). The people who think they’re the hottest thing since sliced bread, indoor plumbing and embedded video combined. You too have two options: bubble gum or chewing fruit flavored gum. With bubble gum you’re gonna come off as one of two things. A zany, adventurous adrenaline junky or an infantile, nerdy kid. It’s really up to the rest of how you present yourself as to what kind of people you will attract (or repel for that matter). Fruit flavored gum has much of the same pros and cons. As long as you don’t shove 10 pieces in your mouth to create an exploding jungle of colorful nirvana you should be in good shape (working out on a regular basis can help with this last part too).

# 3– The sporty yet thoughtful hero/heroine (and often host) of the social scene,  If this is what you’re going for I suggest you live in a mansion complete with pool and soda fountain.  If you happen lack the aforementioned items you will have to try to make the same impression with what you choose to put in your mouth. In this case, gum. This is a mix of the first two options. You will pick your own poison, maybe even take a little of both and use them as your mission requires. You are all things to all people and the scent of your breath must say the same thing.

It looks like that’s all we have time for today. I would like to apologize in advance for the cartoon at the end of this post. I couldn’t resist. It’s been a pleasure devastating some obvious with you. I do hope you found this mildly educational and will join me next time. I SHOULD TOTALLY START A RADIO TALK SHOW! But who listens to radio anymore… anyway getting back to the conclusion.

The End



Making Waves

© Captain Obvious 2011

For all of you who’s limbs have risen in salute to your fellow man and the thought crossed your brain… “Is there a method to this madness?”… and for the rest of you who do not partake in such frivolity but can appreciate a good laugh I have composed a comprehensive guide to ‘the wave’ as we know it.

It seems as though we now have at least 6 different types of wavers (for all of which I will use the term “guy” for convenience sake):

The Pre-Emptive Waver: This is someone who enjoys being a waver and waves at everybody, their mother and her cat Fluffy. He starts waving from at least a quarter of a mile away to make sure that you will see that he waved and is expecting the return wave. (Note: Pre-Emptive Wavers symptoms may include [but are not limited to] over-excitement and nervous energy. Side effects can lead to friends pretending they don’t know them and relational estrangement.)

The Late Waver: The guy who was actually waiting for you to wave first, but since you didn’t, the guilt of leaving a fellow homosapien un-waved is too much to bear. He waves at the last possible moment. If you try to give the return wave you are forced to look like A) You’ve run into a spider web B) You’re being chased by a bee or C) A retard.

The Perfectly Timed Waver: The guy who waves at just the right time to be cool, but allows enough time to get a return wave with no extra effort on your part. PTW’s are few and far between. (~RRA~Random Relationship Advice >)If you are looking for the cookie cutter, white house with a picket fence life with 1.89 children, marry a PTW. They will not disappoint.

The Accidental Waver: The guy reaching for his sunblock visor, sunglasses or sunscreen (I know what you’re thinkin’. Sunscreen? What if you’re at the beach? And yes it’s creepy that the Accidental Waver seems to only reach for items with the word “sun” in them… I’ll look into that). Too late you realize that the gesture was meant for an inanimate object and the initial rush of being noticed is replaced with rejection. Such is life.

The Liability Waver: This guy is really not a fan of the wave but will give a half smile and slight raise of the arm if he feels liable and cannot escape said gesture. He will rarely be a First Waver and is much closer to a Non-Waver than a Waver.

The Wave Shunner: This guy will be the only one not participating in a whole stadium of sports fans doing the wave and is therefore (clearly) a lost cause. Trying to force a social gesture on this guy is like a piece of dropped toast landing on the floor butter side up, it’ll never happen.

I‘m sure you’ve experienced most of these wavers somewhere along the line and fit into one (or parts) of these stereotypes. Still, only you know who you are. It takes a lot of personal security to wave at someone you don’t know. What if they’re a Wave Shunner? Then you you feel somewhat offended and spend the next couple of miles (if you’re driving… yards if you’re walking) trying to figure out why you were snubbed.  A few of these instances can actually give you a Late Waver complex.  All viable questions that only trial and error will answer.

The Types Of Waves

There are also 5 different types of waves applicable to all types of wavers:

The Right Angle Wave: This is the open palmed, arm bent at the elbow 90° with the fingers pointed straight up much like a jointed stick figure. This wave can also be mistaken as a right turn signal in traffic.

The Hail Hitler Wave: This wave is performed with the arm fully extended and slightly angled with the fingers pressed together as to resemble the Leaning Tower Of Pizza. A favorite of the Pre-Emptive Waver at long distances, this motion tends to revolt waving reciprocation 99.9% of the time.

The Cool Finger Wave: The peace sign. The pointer finger. The finger gun. This wave will get you shot in some neighborhoods but as such is a clear sign of its demonstrator’s invincibility.

The Miss America Wave: (not restricted to women unfortunately): Resembling a windshield wiper. “Elbow, wrist… elbow, wrist.” This is with the left arm elevated and hand moving side to side like you actually know the person you are waving at.  This wave can usually be seen coming from wanna-be prom queens, arrogant snobs and the Kardashians (but I repeat myself).

The Head Nod: This is a totally chill, very vogue response in lieu of a bona fide wave. Very popular among adolescents and men chewing toothpicks. A Head Nod exchange is indicative of mutual recognition for the others in-crowd status (applicable to the mafia, mobsters, gangs and teenage cliques).

Modus Operandi

What do you do when passing a group of say…7 people? Will one long wave take care of the whole group? Or does it require 7 individual waves, up and down? What about the ‘going the same direction’ wave? Does this require a wave or a nod or both? And with all the commotion in Japan… is it politically incorrect to talk about waves in such a witty and humorous manner?  These are all questions that inquiring minds need to ask.

Find Your Wave

The only way to find and recognize your wave and waver type is to try it. Next time you feel the urge to greet someone with a raising of the arm and a spreading of the fingers… just do it! Record the results in your brain and tell me on here WHO YOU ARE and better yet (if you’re way ahead of me) do it right now. I wanna know!

Happy Waving.


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