Sunday, July 17

Task 9: Groucho

My fancy dress character would be Groucho Marx.

I’ve always wanted to go to a party and upon meeting someone who thinks they know me, say,

“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception”.

Not having any natural comedic talent of my own, makes it hard to make an impression on people, so at times like these, being able to get others laughing is important. Obviously I would work my wisecracks into the conversation carefully. Saying,

“He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot”

to the host’s wife probably wouldn’t get me any brownie points.

Likewise, when introduced to someone who works in the Royal Air Force, it might not be such a good idea to be jigging around to the 1930’s Dixieland Jazz record I brought with, and then comment,

“Military justice is to justice what military music is to music”,

or even,

“Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms”.

No amount of alcohol ingestion will excuse such comments, though seeing the response I would get from saying it, might be worth the risk of being talked to harshly by the hosts.

At a party one must ensure that one’s point of view is always expressed clearly, since there will always be someone whose views diametrically oppose your own. Being able to state with authority,

“A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five”,

Will always prove that I had the intellectual high ground; who wants to delve into an argument about an issue when you can end the conversation there and then?

Still, when faced with an argumentative party-goer, dissipating the situation with humour works well. Saying,

“You’ve got the brain of a four-year old boy and I’ll bet he was glad to get rid of it”

leaves the other person speechless, which lets face it, is the best result for someone who thinks they know it all.

But if this doesn’t work, and one finds one has to back up one’s position on things, then there is always the last resort of stating,

“These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others”,

before walking away, head held high.

Dressed as Groucho Marx would enable me to say all these things, and make a good impression on everyone at the party: I wouldn’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Though I imagine that when leaving the party, it probably wouldn’t be such a good idea to tell the hosts,

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it”,

if I want to ever be invited out again.

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