1. I make “Skynet” references almost bi-weekly but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any of the Terminator films in their entirety.
2. I regularly discuss soccer with actual soccer fans and get by purely on the basis of knowing three just-above-average players. This strategy works wonders for any sport. By ignoring big name superstars, you come across as a dedicated student of the game. Just Google a popular team’s roster and learn the names of their 4th and 5th top scorers.
3. I tell people I work at an ad agency because Mad Men made it socially appealing. In reality, I work at a “marketing communications agency,” which is far less cool.
4. I read about the hot new restaurants in my city so I can say things like “Oh, I hear that place has an incredible tapas menu!” when we pass them on the street. I’ll never go to any of them.
5. Speaking of food, I only like sushi that contains zero fish. Sweet potato and avocado FTW; get that sashimi bullshit out of my life. Also, sake tastes like boiling hot ram piss.
6. I have loads of bands in my iTunes library that are purely there for musical hipster cred. These atrocities usually fall into genres like “progressive shoegaze” or “post-ambient noise rock,” which are merely synonyms for “garbage.” But a man is only as good as his willingness to explore sonic textures, or something, so there I am — desperately attempting to enjoy Animal Collective for the seventeenth time.
7. I’m that guy who always digs into his satchel of idioms and clichés in the hopes of keeping the conversation going. I have no idea what the correct expression is 40% of the time. You’ll be out there till the sheep come home. No you won’t.
8. When I’m at the liquor store with someone, I’ll stop and point at one of the five wines I’ve purchased in my lifetime and make some all-knowing comment like “What a great sauv blanc! I prefer the Argentinian whites but that’s a great value!”
9. I read the news and pretend to grasp high-level issues, but I’d never be able to articulate them to other people. I recently tried to explain the Higgs boson to a coworker and fell flat on my face the moment he asked a secondary question like, “What does it do exactly?”
10. I was a two-time Male Tennis Player Of The Year at my high school and even went to provincials once. Minor footnote: I played mixed doubles. Also, they spelled my name wrong on the plaque. Both times.
11. I’ve literally NEVER obeyed the rules of a drinking game. I just go through the motions, pretend to chug, and drink when I’m not supposed to. Nobody seems to notice.
12. When people lead into their story by first asking if I’ve been somewhere, done something, or know someone, I immediately lie and say yes. Always. What does it matter, really? Just keep calm and nod along. This tactic works especially well in loud places like bars or abortion rallies.
13. I play guitar for friends and always ask them to shout out requests, fully knowing that I won’t be able to play any of them — unless they’re in the mood for my titillating acoustic rendition of “Party In The USA.” Again. And again.