I discovered, way back in my single digits, that quick one-liners were the most effective way for me to pop into any group setting, draw a semi-positive response affirming my existence, and quickly pop out before anyone has the chance to resent me.
Over the years, I’ve made an art of seizing these fleeting pauses in the conversation and stitching them into scraps of self-worth. Now the time has come to share my secrets.
Secret #1: Be a one-liner, not a headliner. Headlining gives your harshest critics the leisure of time to abhor you for taking attention. One-lining, on the other hand, is stealthy, swift, and relatively safe.
Secret #2: Prep your neurology. To become truly incessant, you’ll want a pathologically driven sense of social desperation. That’s best secured through years of being routinely ignored and, if possible, maligned for having even the most basic of human needs.
Secret #3: Don’t address your issues! Alleviating your self-doubts is the surest way to smother your comic fire. Whatever you do, don’t become comfortable with yourself.
Secret #4: Learn to appreciate the taste of your foot. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And you can’t prove how affably quick and clever you are without repeatedly eating foot. Embrace it.
Secret #5: Everything is a laugh. Any sound anyone makes in response to your jokes, from their mouth or elsewhere, proves that you are, perhaps, actually there. Observe no restraint.
Secret #6: Dismiss the irony of compulsive one-lining. Sure, constant joking may ultimately draw exactly the kind of judgment and resentment you initially set out to avoid. But that’s okay. You’ll likely never know the full extent of it. No one can interrupt you if you have already finished. Nor can they ignore you if they’ve already groaned. The critical thing is that you’ve been seen. Press onward!