|A WORD FROM THE SWC MANAGEMENT|
(We would like to apologize in advance for what you are about to read. If anything sounds wrong or conflicts with your own personal beliefs, the main rule of thumb is to NEVER TAKE DEX SERIOUSLY. He enjoys doing this for the amusement that there will be someone who will follow his advice, and there’s nothing he likes more then making humans more inferior then they potentially are. If, however, you actually DO want to follow his advice and ideals, then remember to mention that it was him you got it from so he’ll know what his influence is doing to the world. In fact, he’s getting Gia to make a signature for his followers to display to show they do things “the Dex way”. Should you be interested in such a monstrous creation, contact Alex 43 via PM. Thank you, and once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.)
|AND NOW, WE PRESENT: DEX|
Well, Alex finally came through with an article of his own, so that I’m thankful for. However, Manya hadn’t sent us a letter from his adventure yet, and we were getting desperate, so I had to stay up all night and wrote up a quick little something for the holidays. I do hope none of you miss Manya, because when he gets back, I’m going to physically alter his genetic make-up without using a magical procedure!
Anyways, that’s something for the future.
Ah, the holidays. Christmas, Easter, Labor Day, Victoria Day, and whatever else you humans feel is worth celebrating every year. Maybe there’s one for something that never really happened but the idea is so brilliant that you believe it does and therefore celebrate it so it doesn’t die off in the unnatural aspects of science and common sense. Maybe there’s one for the unnecessarily incompetent and inevitable deaths of millions of lives fighting over something that could just as easily have been decided through mud wrestling or checkers. Probably would be more entertaining and heartbreaking, too. Seriously, why isn’t there a national holiday celebrating the chess match of the new millennium or something? Why is it always something like “remembrance day” or “independence day”?
Well, whatever the reason, they exist, and so do all the aspects of them. Eating, gift-giving, moments of silence, revolutions, parades, show-cases, shop sales- … oops, did I say “revolutions”? Eh heh heh …
Uh, never mind that. The point is that there are a number of events that occur during these holidays, and most of the time, the day before such holidays are filled with such stress involving the preparations of them. Meals to cook, presents to buy, decorations to put up … and in the end, it’s always just that one day when they exist, and the day after, it’s all about cleaning, which too is stressful. Sort of makes you wonder why you even celebrate holidays in the first place.
Well, you guys have some reasons behind everything, and so instead of criticizing you, I’m going to help you by giving you some tips and things to try to help relieve this stress through the manipulation, experimentation, and extermination of specific aspects of such festivities.
Allow me to introduce you to Dex’s Guide to the Holidays!
The reason why people go so far as to force themselves to sacrifice personal health, sleep, and hygiene to prepare for the festivities is mainly to show off to the guests. They want to seem like the world’s best decorators and ensure their status holds every year. They want to have the best food, the best decor, the best presents, the best everything. Heck, they’ll even buy super-expensive perfume just to hide the fact they haven’t showered in 5 days, wasting money and smelling even worse.
Give me a break! Holidays aren’t all about competition! They’re all about just having fun and enjoying that particular day of the year, which only comes about once. You’ll only experience so many holidays before you expire, so make sure you enjoy each one of them. Yes, even the ones so obnoxiously commercial and ridiculous.
Look, even if you don’t celebrate the religion whatsoever, you can still do a fantastic job and still save $500 dollars on perfume by taking 20 well-earned minutes to bathe in artificially soapy water for a buck fifty. Here are a few tips to help you do this:
– If you think you can over-multi-task; cook a big dinner while running out and shop for stuff while the laundry is running and the tablecloth is most certainly not on fire, then there’s a simple conjecture. You can’t. Do tasks one at a time. If you’re cooking, stay at home. When you’re out and about, one store at a time. Plan your route, plan your tasks, take time into a factor, and ultimately avoid over-multi-tasking.
– Don’t try adding spices and do crazy over the seasonings just because you’re “heard” it gives just that perfect touch. Cook it the way you know how. If you don’t know how, learn the basics directly from an official cook-book. If you don’t have a cook-book, invite a friend over that has one to help. If you don’t have a friend who has a cook-book, you don’t need to go crazy over the flavor anyways, because they cant cook, and anything that’s not fast-food is always good for them!
– Shopping is not something done the day before the event. It’s done 2 weeks before. The money you save from accidents and towing expenses can be used to rent one of those storage houses for a couple of weeks to store the gifts. That way, you can pretty much guarantee that the kids won’t find them.
– Depending on how busy a neighborhood is, you don’t have to buy 10 packages of candy for Halloween. Just buy 1 or 2. That way, if you run out, just turn off the porch light. It’s first-come, first-serve, isn’t it? Plus, you can always count on your show-off neighbor to hand out expensive treats. It’s not a competition, and heck, if he is, then there’s a chance he’ll get more kids, meaning he’ll have to give away more candies. Are they worth it?
– For New Years or the birthday of your country: If you’re going out to see the fireworks, have a location map set up before you go. The last thing you need is to get lost in a sea of cars hoping to goodness there’s a place you can put your car that won’t involve physical contact with anything. I know this is coming from someone who doesn’t “need” a car, but if you have a map and schedule, including back-up spots and escape routes, you will be able to save yourself having to get lost. Oh, and if the fireworks are going off and you’re still in the car, PLEASE don’t stop moving. There are people behind you who want to see them too. You don’t want to be an inconvenience now, do you?
– For Christmas: Please. No dollar store decorations. They’re a mess to put up, a mess to take down, and they don’t even look good. They just let people know just how desperate you are for attention. Either some lights and a tree or a bonanza of formal, preferably reusable hang-up-ables, figures, and ornaments.
– Also, if you’re bringing food, focus more on edibility rather then presentation. Nothing REALLY has to be cooked for 5 more minutes to give it that “perfect” shade of brown.
– Lastly, for birthday parties, the best time to get presents is while they’re at school. If they’re not in school, they don’t really need any “wrapped” presents. Just go out with them and offer a budget on whatever they want. They’ll like you more for being able to choose what they get, especially at that age. Also, don’t be ashamed to buy a store-brand cake if you can’t cook. They’re at least better then a slab of charcoal covered in 3 bags of icing-sugar. I highly recommend Dairy Queen cakes, as they are simply the best.
Ever have a time where once you’re in party mode and finally ready to go, let loose, and have fun, you spend all your energy in waiting for it to actually begin, so when you get there, you hardly dance at all and just stand there, talking briefly to whoever passes you by? … well, I haven’t, but I have some friends who did, and I made them explain their thoughts at the time to get an understanding to the situation.
I call it Over-Excitement Withdrawl (OW), where one thinks that a party is going to be super-amazing, but is disappointed by the energy of the room that he too gets discouraged and loses energy himself. It’s like the room itself has its own source of energy drainage that saps out the active atmosphere and leaves everyone in a state of semi-conscious sociability. Music is played at high volume, but only a minority actually dance to it.
Those are called “social gatherings”. If you wanna party, then PARTY! Here are a few tips to liven up an otherwise dull party and get things moving and memoriable:
– Somehow surprise everyone from out of nowhere. Scream and jump, blow-horn, whip cracking, steamroller through the wall … anything loud, noisy and sudden will do. It will get everyone jumpy, and what better way to relieve jumpiness then with dancing? … well, maybe not a steamroller …
– Interview all the people and learn what sort of song they just love to ‘get down’ to, and then tell the DJ to play one that matches everyone’s liking. The more people the like the song, the more likely the party will kick off.
– Start dancing, go ballistic, and while people stare at you for thinking you’ve gone insane, grab them and just start swinging them around while dancing. Fun, funny, and memorable. Can’t go wrong!
Here are a few tips to dinner parties as well that should help make them more memorable and interesting:
– Keep a conversation going. If there’s a silence that lasts 8 seconds (go ahead and count to yourself), it must be continued by your own hand, or the conversation dies, and the dinner goes all downhill from there. Don’t let it pass the 15 second mark, or you’re in trouble.
– Should this happen, start the conversation up again with something completely different, but basic. Instead of “the Red’n’Dead Rangers”, mention “hockey” or “sport”.
– Do not talk about yourself until someone asks you “what about you?”, even if what you have to say relates very well. If they’re talking about the past, you listen, and you only ask questions.
– Let everyone have a chance to speak. If there’s a pause, look at the one who’s spoken the least and ask the “how about you” to them. Even the most silent of persons may bring up something interesting.
– Don’t comment on the food unless you go through a silence of at east 30 seconds. Consider it a last resort.
– If something’s funny, don’t bother holding in the laughter. They want you to laugh. Laugh loud, laugh hard, and think of it 10 times funnier then it’s supposed to be. It stimulates you and encourages the speaker to continue.
– Only actually eat when you’re listening. When talking, taking bites will bring up awkward silences.
And lastly, a few tips on going out for dinner.
– Don’t try new places unless you’re totally bored with ALL the places you do and have gone to, even if a friend recommends it. Only try those places if he’s buying.
– Let your guests order first. Sometimes they’ll take advantage of expensive orders since you’re buying, and you want to make sure you can afford it all. Whatever you do, though, DON’T tell them your budget. If it’s so expensive, order something cheap and say you like the taste.
– Alex 43 likes to bring paper and drawing utensils whenever we go out to something formal. If you’ve got nothing to talk about while waiting for the food, this can be a fun alternative.
– Lastly, only order dessert if what you ate tasted worse then you anticipated. If your guest orders dessert, you order some too. Try to match their style as best you can, as the similarities will help your status with them.
Ah, the most hated part of a party is the cleaning up. You may not know it, but the mess left behind will greatly influence future parties and how well they turn out. Should you have to clean up too much, you will be scarred to host another party of the same quality, and thereby it will be worse. Heck, you might not even want to bother with next year because of it! You don’t want that, do you?
Never fear, Dex is here! Here are some tips to doing an easy, efficient clean-up:
– Start off by walking around all the rooms with a garbage bag. If it’s not trash, don’t touch it yet. Anything that is trash, you throw away in the bag. That way, when you actually start cleaning up, it will actually look so much easier.
– One item / accessory at a time. Clear up some space on a table or something and actually group items together close to the mess similar by designated areas they must be returned to. For example, group things that go into the fridge here, things that go into the cupboard there, etc. Then, you can take the items by groupings and make quick, efficient trips.
– Only when everything is put away do you actually wipe everything up. Don’t wipe tables while there’s still a lot of stuff on it because it’s simply inefficient. Wipe, and then mop or sweep right after while you have your hands wet.
– Save doing the dishes for later, after you’ve had a rest from cleaning up. They can wait. Grease spills and puddles of wine can’t.
– That’s the order: Garbage, Accessories, Wipe, Dishes (GAWD). Not so hard to remember, eh?
And that’s it! You’re learning how to do things the Dex way! Remember, if you want to really liven up a party, always remember to invite me!