Don`t Speak. Ever.

Communication. Perhaps mankind's single greatest discovery and yet it is the source of so much confusion, misunderstanding and, inevitably, violence. Whether communicating by speech, written word or carrier pigeon, humans will always be plagued by the shortcomings of communication.

As children, we're taught that honesty is not always the best policy. We later learn through our own mistake of trusting this credo that it is a bullshit policy. I believe that the following "hypothetical situation" best illustrates that lesson. Please note that my use of quotation marks is meant to imply sarcasm and is not an ill-cited quotation of someone who once used those words together.

A professor asks his student, "Why don't you have your ethics paper? It's due today." You might think that the instructor would appreciate the student's honesty and give the guy a break. Yet the following response, however truthful, has proven not to yield any grade-favorable results.

"See, the thing is, we went to the beer distributor to stock up for the weekend. And these underage girls needed us to buy for them. We said, sure, so long as they would come back to our place. Know what I mean? Hehe. Anyway, we got separated when my buddy pulled the fire alarm."


"However, I was able to apply our knowledge from class. You see, after the cops left, I found one of the girls and I was totally going to get with her. But the thing was my buddy was interested in her. So, that's like a conflict of our interests right? Because we were both liked her?"

Silence. Failure.

On the other hand, there are just moments of pure stupidity. For example, I'm aware black people can call each other "negroes" and that I can't. I'm fine with that. Frankly, I have no desire to do so. Still, I figure that I know what's going on in the world culturally. I mean, I listen to the Snoop Dog.

Having said that, I ran into a bit of racially charged trouble while at the gas station the other day. I happened to notice that my windshield was a little grimy, but couldn't find a squeegee. Trying to be the ever-so-charming guy that I am, I go up to the attendant, who happens to be of African American descent and ask him if I could trouble him for use of a spare squeegee. "Excuse me sir. Can I grab your squizzle?"

Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say as I soon found myself on the receiving end of a rampant beating by 'squizzle.' I see my error now, that's all that matters.

If communicating within the species is difficult enough, communication across gender lines has to be near impossible. Men and women have never thought alike and will never understand each other. I submit as evidence, the following conversation I had with a lady friend of mine. It occurred during one of the most tense times known to relationships: when you're getting ready to go out.

"Which of these pants makes me look fatter?" See, I know it's a loaded question. I thought I knew how to answer it safely, though. Tell her she doesn't look fat, but still provide some help. I thought wrong. Never provide help. Ever. To your girlfriend, you have to be a man without opinions, without thoughts of your own. It's just safer this way, trust me.

A wiser man would have known how to answer this question. A wiser man would have immediately produced an ornate piece of jewelry to appease the brewing volcano about to erupt. A wiser man would have known to keep his mouth shut. Sadly, I am not a wiser man.

"The khakis look kind of funny. But not fat. Go with the jeans."


"Well, yeah, but not fat. Definitely not fat. Anything but fat." At this point, I realize that I may be in trouble.

"Funny how?"

"I don't know. Just funny. You know?"

"No, I don't know. What, funny like a clown? You think people schedule my ass as entertainment for children's parties?"

"No, not at all."

"Oh, so it's like a ride at an amusement park! 'Come, fun for all ages! Ride the Tilt-a-Ass!'"

"No, that's not what I mean." Here's your chance to your explain yourself, big boy. Good luck. "I mean funny, like, not quite right." Oh, yeah. I think you've done it now.

She promptly responded by shooting fire from her eye sockets, then breaking a glass bottle on the edge of the counter and attempting to stab me with it. Okay, so she's a little high strung.

Maybe I haven't done a good job explaining how difficult communicating is. But then, that's just my point. So in not communicating my purpose, I actually did. Or didn't. To be honest, even I don't know what I'm talking about, anymore.

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