1. Follow any thematic guidelines provided by the people throwing the party — nobody likes someone who shows up empty-handed or out-of-costume. If it’s BYOB, bring your own beer. If it’s a toga party, wear a toga. If it’s a search party, bring a flash light and tempered expectations.
2. Everyone knows that if you go to prison, you need to show everyone you’re tough and can take care of yourself right off the bat. Usually this is done by beating up the first guy who messes with you. Well, being cool at a party works the same way — you need to show how cool you are as soon as you walk in the door. One method is to show up already wasted, like “Who needs a party? I’m cool drug-addicted guy!” Another is to walk up to the coolest person already at the party and just do a really elaborate magic trick. WARNING: Do not combine these two strategies. Drunken magic, while cool, can be very dangerous.
3. Don’t start conversations with, “A/S/L?”
4. Don’t bring your mom. Like, don’t even let her wait in the car. But if you do, take my advice and remember to roll the windows down.
5. You know how you usually feel like sobbing during social gatherings because you feel so unmistakably alone? How you are inescapably struck by the futility of meaningful human connection? Uh, well, try not to feel that way anymore.
6. Bring a bottle of liquor and invite everyone to take shots with you. If you really want to be cool, don’t even charge them full price.
7. Show up with a D-list celebrity. You could probably rent Alicia Silverstone or the lead singer of Smash Mouth for like $50 a night on Craigslist.
8. Try not to grunt as much as usual.
9. Bring a friend that’s a minority of some sort. This shows that you’re really worldly and have a diverse group of friends. Also, the rarer the minority the better, so if you show up with like an Eskimo or something, you’re definitely getting laid. Only bring one minority friend though — what kind of party do you think this is?
10. Try not to draw any vivid parallels between the way people at a party carnally flaunt their bodies for the approval and gratification of others with the way that meat is evaluated and packaged at a meat-processing facility.
11. Stand immediately outside a circle of good looking people having an engaging conversation rife with in-jokes. Listen long enough to craft your own joke about someone they’ve been talking about, or an experience that they’ve all shared. Use this as your opening, and then stand amidst their group with a pained, contorted facial expression for about 20 to 30 seconds.
12. Make plenty of topical references (i.e. a casual remark about the latest Rush Hour film).
13. Become really good at a drinking game that everyone else is playing. Unless the game is called “Hide in the Attic.” Then they’ve tricked you again.
14. Go outside occasionally to smoke a cigarette. It’s a good way to make friends, it makes you look cool, and you’re already dead on the inside, anyway.
15. Pick the drunkest person there and make out with them, but make sure that the person you actually want to make out with sees it. Try to ignore the fact that the other person is only making out with you because you’re the 2nd drunkest person there and they’re also trying to get the attention of someone else. Also, they just puked in your mouth a little.
16. Just be louder than everyone else.