How to be cool at social functions

The following speech was given to my local Toastmaster’s club. The members, much like many of you (who else would be reading this trash?) needed guidance on how to be cool. It took considerable effort put these ideas into words that only you can understand!

What does a former pickpocket do after he has paid his debt to society? Simple-he becomes a consultant with Good Morning America and tells the audience how to guard themselves against the likes of him! What does a former member of the IRA do after there is peace in Ireland? He becomes a security consultant!

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, what can a former gawky geek turned suddenly cool by joining Toastmasters, founding the non-government, non-profit, non existent Andrew Kennedy foundation and becoming a Rap Star do? Simple-He goes on a worldwide lecture tour on improving social behavior! So ladies and gentlemen, today is your lucky day! Today, I will teach you the Vicky Dee guide to social occasions. This will help all of you when you rub shoulders with the high society!

The first situation that I will teach you handle is that of a social Snob. The variety who say “We only eat ala carte”. Once, at a party my wife made me go and make small talk with one such lady. As I was asking the usual questions, I noticed Ambika had crept up behind me to ensure that I was at my best behavior. I quickly turned to Ambika and said, “Is there anything else you want me to ask her?”. The “0” on the lady’s face was quite amazing effect. The lady avoids me at all parties and we have a nice and cordial relationship. Herein stems the first rule of social behavior, Say something outrageous-let people know you can be dangerous!

The next situation I will teach you to handle is the “musical occasions.” These occasions fall into different varieties, but can be treated much the same way. We once went out to dinner at some Italian place where these guys wearing tuxes and medals were singing. When they heard that it was my birthday, one dude started singing something in this high octave. When he was done, I got up and in the same pitch, screamed “thank Yoo” My in-laws and wife ducked under the table, pretending that they did not know me. The singer, on realizing that he had been beaten by the sheer talent, beat a hasty retreat. Till this day, I have to promise that I won’t sing, before we go out.

Now, before I espouse the next law, let me narrate another musical moment that has helped shape this law. We got invited to this place where, before serving dinner, they all got into this musical mode. The host and all guests took out their song books and started pelting out the oldies. This went on for a long time. With no meals in sight! The only sound that I could hear was the steady rumble of my stomach! Finally, when I could not take it anymore, I grabbed my neighbor’s songbook and in the most arrogant voice, declared that I was going to sing. There was hushed silence as I manfully strode over to the Karaoke machine and grabbed the mike. It was then that I realized that Ambika was giving me the look! She knew I war trying to disrupt the gathering. So I quickly shut up without belting out even one of my favorite Yodelling brays. However, the mission was accomplished. The host hurriedly called lunch. Everyone came out of the situation unhurt. From these two incidents, arises the second law of Social behavior –“In musical situations do not feel afraid to use the singing as a weapon. But remember that singing is a dangerous weapon; use it as a last resort”.

For most occasions, you should be able to get by with the two rules that I have taught you. However, there are other tools available like the Dayal’s egg soup story. I would like to warn you that don’t use these tools unless you have been trained by a professional. This story can scar a person for life. I know of a guy who can’t have a look at custard without falling apart.

So ladies and gentlemen, the rules of Social behavior are simple (1) Say something outrageous, (2) sing something outrageous and (3) tell an outrageous story. If you think that you need to go to the fourth stage – do something outrageous, get professional help.

Mr. Speaker.

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