The Subtle Art of Getting Fucked: Part I
So you’ve done it. You’ve succeeded! You got the job, found the self, nailed the girl and gotten all the credentials to prove it. Diplomas, employee of the month plaques, stimulus checks; hell, you’re even still winded from a bit of the old in-out-in-out (behind an In-N-Out Burger no less!) with your mildly attractive girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever. You’re tops, kid, absolutely tops.
Then it happens. First, your alma mater loses accreditation. Then, your co-worker (the competitive type, a real prick, and vying for the same promotion you are) begins telling everyone that you’ve got a meth problem you’ve been hiding. Of course you’ve never touched the stuff, but rumors spread like wildfire and eventually spark an unexpected round of employee drug-tests. A long ordeal made short, that spliff on your lunch break comes back to bite you in the ass and huzzah! You’re fired. As if that weren’t enough, your girlfriend decides that the time has come for her to develop as an individual outside of the influential confines of a relationship and leaves you.
So there you are; Friday night, the city is hot, you’re broke, you’re unemployed and to top it all off you’ve got a wicked case of the no pussy blues. Well son, it’s time you got fucked, righteously. But how does one do so effectively on nothing more than your last gasping Jackson? The answer is not an easy one to find, but you’re in luck.
Over the course of the summer to come I, Dr. Lazarus Helm, will subject my mind and my body to a grueling maelstrom of substance. I will enter into the night, submerge myself in the sauce and attempt to become as altered as humanly possible on a budget of only twenty dollars.
Now before we get into this any further, let’s go over some tools and essentials that every self-respecting “man about town” should be familiar with.
- Our first line of defense is the wardrobe. You never know where the night may take you, or who it may take with you, so it is absolutely crucial to be able to switch and alter outfits as your situation evolves. A well-dressed man is a versatile man and a versatile man, quite frankly, makes shit happen. When you’re armed with little more than a crisp twenty, the attitude of being one who “makes shit happen” is the difference between going to bed at ten PM and going to bed at ten AM. So, this being said, the following articles of clothing have come to represent the basic toolkit of the well-dressed man.
- The sweater vest / white button-down. A few years ago I would’ve recommended a blazer, but having a good sweater vest (preferably black) already pulled over a button-down (classic white or a plaid with strong reds) and neatly folded in the back seat has proven to be not just a look that is infinitely less trite than the blazer-t-shirt combo but also one that lends a bit more sophistication overall. Extra points if the shirt is a bit wrinkled or has a soft collar. “Just because I dress well doesn’t mean I don’t live hard” is what this article of clothing should say if worn properly. Pair it with whatever slacks you fancy, but bear in mind that if a jacket of any sort is involved it has to be one that subtly shows off the fact that yes, you are wearing a sweater vest and thank you for noticing.
- The all-star / wing-tip double-team. From ashy to classy, Compton to Miami, dive-bar to club-opening, nothing can stand in your way when you’re dictating the way to stand. Are the evening’s events leading you to a harsh noise show or a mod dance party? Whatever the case, you and your size 12 tag-team are ready to ball and ball hard. Note: all-stars should be all-white but not too fresh. Wing-tips should be well worn but well shined.
- The bandanna. An accessorizing Godsend. Be creative with this one, but never ever wear it biker-style unless you’ve got the luxurious locks to back it up.
2. Our second round of ammunition comes in the form of a pouch of rolling tobacco and a healthy supply of papers. The very ritual of smoking lends itself to innumerable built-in social opportunities, so why not go the extra mile and make the cigarettes you smoke a conversation piece in and of themselves? Any variety will do the job, stylistically speaking, but your choice of brands is rather hit or miss. For your own sake never go any lower than the Zig-Zag brand, but don’t worry about breaking the bank on this one as even the best that Bali Shag has to offer isn’t likely to run you any more than five or so dollars. “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em”? Oh, I will and oh, I do.
3. A cell-phone. This one does sort of go without saying, but the value of this little piece of equipment cannot be underestimated. Aside from the blatant usefulness in the field of gathering numbers and coordinating accomplices, cell-phones do also have the magical ability to act as aid in any number of situations. Think of using it as a sort of cover, a soulless wing-man.
Consider the following hypothetical situation; you’re in a bar run into somebody you sort of recognize but aren’t entirely sure that they are who you think they are. Solution? Whip out your phone and begin having a fake conversation with absolutely no one. Be careful to control your voice here, as the line between normal phone volume and being just loud enough for the person in question to hear you casually drop their name (as in, “Hey, do you remember that time me and so and so etc. etc. blah blah blah…”) isn’t just a fine one but also one that could spell the difference between you looking like an obnoxious douchebag and you reconnecting with some long-lost pal who may be inclined to buy you another drink.
A rather simple toolbox, yes, but one that can work wonders if put to use properly.
So we’re ready for our night out. We’re fully equipped, full of ourselves and full of bad ideas – now it’s time to make some shit happen. Next, we’ve got to pick our destination, because as has been proven true time and time again, it’s not just what you do it’s where you do it.