We all hate doing things. Yet there are peculiar people who are brazen enough to attempt to confiscate a chunk of our time.
“Let’s hang out and retell the same four stories until the grave paradoxically rescues us from our hell.”
“Let's check out that new restaurant so we can lie to our friends about how ‘amazing’ the food is.”
Don’t you wish you had a rock solid excuse ready to whip out of the holster and fire at an assailant who’s trying to rope you into a stupid fucking activity?
Well, you clicked on the right link. Here are the 5 excuses you can deploy to disarm any nemesis.
1. I’d love to, but I’m really busy
Whether you're a single mother working two jobs or an unemployed lumberjack playing Fortnite six hours a day, every person on the planet is busy.
You watched twenty episodes of Homeland, so of course you were too busy to return your uncle’s phone call.
You scrolled through your Facebook feed for an hour before crawling out of bed, so naturally you were too busy to make your morning meeting on time.
And how could a friend expect you to reply to an email when you spent thirty minutes standing in the supermarket snack aisle trying to decide between Barbecue and Salt & Vinegar chips?
Because we’re all extremely fucking busy, whenever you’re solicited for an activity, simply reply, “I’d love to, but I’m really busy.” This is usually sufficient to neutralize your attacker since they will likely be too busy to propose an alternate date for whatever bullshit they were going to lure you into enduring.
2. I got a lot of stuff going on
The tactical flaw in the “I’m busy” excuse is that its inherent vagueness can set off a shrewd aggressor’s bullshit detector. “Busy? Doing what?” this relentless agitator might press.
When confronted with his type of savvy harasser committed to destroying your peace of mind, say to them, “I got a lot of stuff going on.”
The advantage of this rhetorical gambit is rooted in the fact that your opponent won’t dare ask you to elaborate on the “stuff” out of fear of being bombarded with a litany of dull bullshit he’d be wise to not have to listen to.
That’s because the people who have the audacity to seek your companionship are still run-of-the-mill narcissists who shudder at the thought of having to hear about your life. The only reason they want to hang out is so they can complain about all their pseudo hardships until your brain throws in the towel.
3. We should hang out soon
“We should hang out soon!” or one of its many etymological siblings, e.g. “Let’s grab a drink soon!”, “Let’s grab lunch soon!”, etc. is a universal euphemism for “I plan on never seeing you again.”
It’s most effective when delivered in an upbeat manner meant to convey a sincere desire for your soul to be crushed in the person’s company.
And in the age of COVID, this excuse has been reinvigorated by the wonderful addendum, “We should hang out…after the pandemic is over.”
Whereas pre-COVID this phrase signaled that we will not spend time together ever, post-COVID it signals that we will not spend time together ever…plus thirty years.
What the hell does that mean, you ask? It’s the difference between a convicted murderer getting sentenced to just one life sentence and a convicted murderer getting sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.
For example, the notorious drug kingpin, El Chapo, was sentence to life in prison...plus thirty years.
Incidentally, at the time of his sentencing I worked part-time as an informant at the Manhattan prison that housed El Chapo, and was privy to the following exchange between the kingpin and his attorney.
Here’s my recollection of their conversation.
Attorney: You're getting life in prison, but it's not all bad...
Chapo: How's that?
Attorney: On top of your life sentence, you're only getting thirty years. The prosecutor was asking for two life sentences. And with good behavior, we can knock that additional thirty years down to ten.
Chapo, bursting into boisterous laughter: That's one for the good guys!
As you can clearly see from this nonsensical episode, there’s a difference between not seeing anyone forever and not seeing anyone forever plus thirty years.
4. I just bought a men's dress shirt
Certain people will attempt to monopolize your time with little regard for your plan to binge watch You, so telling them you’re too busy is as futile as explaining to your dog why you don’t want to play fetch.
Because these particular instigators have zero emotional intelligence, a blunt approach is required to stop them dead in their pernicious tracks.
Look into their beady eyes and slowly enunciate the words, “I just bought a men's dress shirt.”
This announcement will paralyze your opponent as swiftly as a king cobra's venom. That's because everyone knows the trauma of opening a new dress shirt.
After you open the package, you spend hours plucking needles, and you still put the shirt on with trembling hands because you know you missed at least one mini spear that's going to stab you in your lower abdomen when you bend down to pick up a nickel to catch the trolley.
Women can also benefit from this excuse. Just say that a male friend bought a dress shirt, and you have to console him as he copes with the traumatic experience.
In most cases, the person who hears this harrowing tale will fall to their knees in tears, begging for a higher power to show you mercy. Then you simply walk away and watch your free time bankroll grow to new heights.
5. I don’t want to
When every other excuse has proved ineffective, there is one last resort: telling the truth.
As most learned people know, the adage that “honesty is the best policy” is a lie perpetuated by Scientologists and other deviants.
According to the National Institute of Health, honest people are twice as likely to commit murder, three times as likely to not use their blinker, and a whopping ten times as likely to annoy the fuck out of you.
Honest people are terrible, which is why most of us lie all the time.
For instance, when someone greets you with the standard “how are you?”, you invariably answer “good” even if your life is in utter shambles. Why do we do this? Because lying is the glue that holds society together. Only an honest sociopath would answer “terrible” when asked how they’re doing.
The one time it’s prudent to break this golden rule is when you’re faced with an incorrigible oppressor determined to ensnare you in some horrible chore regardless of how busy you tell him you are or how many dress shirts you purchased.
Telling this person that you don’t want to grab some ice cream or seek out prostitutes is the one time honesty can pay dividends.