Hicks: Survive parties with this guide

By Andrew Hicks

As the school year winds down, I always hear more and more horror stories of my fellow nerds… As the school year winds down, I always hear more and more horror stories of my fellow nerds finding themselves caught in the midst of their own living nightmares: parties. Especially during this critical time of year, parties can spring up anywhere without warning, and those who are not prepared to deal with the mental strain of extended social interaction are all but powerless to save themselves.

So, as an act of public service, I have composed this comprehensive guide that I hope will save more than a couple geek lives this year. If you count yourself as one, keep this column in your pocket. Should you find yourself trapped in a party situation, follow these steps to ensure that you make it out alive.

1. Pick your corner early.

If you’re going to spend the entire night hiding from the rest of the party in a corner, then you’d better find one as quickly as possible. At the standard fraternity party, you have anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to pick one before they’re all claimed. You might even be able to choose your corner based on factors such as minimum distance to the front door and maximum distance from other partiers.

‘ If you’re at a party with a high percentage of social rejects, though, like a Mensa social, then you might have as few as 10 minutes to claim your spot before they’re all spoken for. In this situation, you can’t be choosy. You need to plant yourself in the first corner you can find, or you face the danger of having to actually participate in the party.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of losing your corner at the Dr. Who Fan-Fiction Club party 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You’re going to have to socialize.

2. Make someone your ‘friend.’

At any given party you will be able to find at least one other guest as lost and scared as you are, and in this kindred spirit of misanthropy you can find your most powerful ally.

First, you need to case your target to ensure that they are completely alone and not waiting for a friend to return from the bathroom or the keg. This stalking process might take upward of half an hour, but you need to be certain that you can trust this person to not disappear on you when you need him the most.

Be careful, though. You don’t want him to catch on to the fact that you’re watching him, or he might become startled and flee. You might want to fashion some improvised camouflage out of coats and discarded beer bottles.

Once you are certain that your potential friend is alone, you’ll need to initiate contact. Now, this is going to be hard. It will require you to actually move out of your comfort zone and talk to another person. But in desperate situations such as these, we must do everything we can to survive.

Start with something non-threatening, like, ‘Crazy party, huh?’ and slowly build trust through standard questions regarding major and year in school. What you’re hoping for is that by the end of the conversation you will have a mutual understanding that you will act as each other’s social life raft for the night.

You can even exchange phone numbers with this makeshift friend and, should you get separated, send text messages to each other. These messages don’t have to contain actual sentences or words. They can even be blank. But these messages will offer you the opportunity to pull your phone out of your pocket, flip it open and laugh, giving the appearance that you have a life.

3. Plan your exit strategy.

There’s only so long you can stay afloat in a party before you’ll need to make your escape. Sometimes this is as simple as walking out the door, but at other times you’ll have to employ the tried and true ‘fake phone call from a dying relative’ strategy, or even more complicated maneuvers.

Often, the moment even one person leaves can be seen by others as the party ‘dying,’ leading to a cascade of evacuees desperately trying not to be the last one in the room. As such, hosts tend to have a Blob-like mentality, capturing and containing as many guests as they can wrap their beer-drenched tentacles around. You might have to wait for the host to pass out before making your exit, or you can chance making a run for it, but it’s risky. Many hosts now arm themselves with Tasers to maintain their head counts.

If all else fails, then just start a fight. Eventually someone will have to call an ambulance to transport your broken body out of the house, and then you’ll be home free.

It is vital that you don’t forget these techniques. You’ll thank me later. Make sure to send it in writing, though. I probably won’t be able to understand you with your jaw wired shut.

Andrew Hicks is not legally responsible for medical costs incurred while using this system. If you still want to try your luck, e-mail your lawsuits to [email protected]