Sunday, July 29, 2012

How To (Look Like You Can): Get a Date

If you're one of those rare people that doesn't intend to spend the rest of his or her life alone with their computer shunning all of society, you probably want to find a "significant other." The first step in this process (after don't be an idiot, of course) is often the most feared and dangerous of all: getting a date. There are plenty of guides on the subject, with countless ideas and tips on how to land yourself a lady (or a man (or a ladyman, hey I'm not here to judge)). Lucky for you, I'm all about the bandwagon, so let's jump on board and talk about getting your flirt on.

Pretty sure there's room for me on there.

Step One: Don't be an idiot
Nobody wants to go on a date with an idiot. While clearly there there is some secret trick idiots use to manage to land dates, that's not going to be the subject of this guide, because frankly it's not that exciting. And what it says about people as a whole is also a little bit depressing. The way we're going to approach this is going to be smooth, cool, and totally bad-ass. Trying to pull this off while being an idiot is like a fighter pilot going into a dog fight with one engine already out and no ammo. Actually, come to think of it, trying to get a date is a lot like being a fighter pilot, only substantially less cool.

Pictured: Someone cooler than you

So that's what I want you to keep in mind throughout the remainder of this guide. You're a bad-ass fighter pilot. Take that confidence and use it to put on your best game face because this isn't going to be easy. But, hey, if all else in this guide just tell someone you're a fighter pilot. I guess you could say it's worth a SHOT! (See what I did there? (They shoot things, that's what fighter pilots do (it's like a pun, see? because know what, nevermind...))). Anyways...

Step Two: Selecting a target
Now that you've got yourself in the right state of mind, it's time to get you on that date. One of the most important parts of getting on that date, is finding the right person to ask out. This can be pretty hectic and crazy, trying to find the right stranger in the tangled mess of people we pass everyday in our lives. In fact, it's a lot like trying to pick out a target during the hectic madness of a dogfight, miles up in the air, as planes burst into flames left and right...

This is somehow equivalent to your dating scene.

Picking your "target" is a complicated process with a lot of different factors involved. You may think personal preferences or compatibility would be a big factor, but that's where you'd be wrong. It's actually much more generic and universal, who knew? Just like our friend the fighter pilot, you're going to want to pick a nice, slow target. You'll want someone that looks like they don't think very hard, or often. Let's be honest, with the average looks and social skills of an internet dweller, you need all the handicaps you can get. Next, you're going to need to find someone that looks like they really don't have a lot left in them. Like they're just about ready give-up and they would be willing to run with almost any suggestion given to them, it's your go sign to move in, it's the smoke coming off a plane that might already be going down, and needs you to land that one last shot.

Metaphorically speaking, this is what counts as your "type"

So let's say you've located the saddest and slowest looking bogey, I mean bimbo, I mean... person... The next step is where things get interesting.

Step Three: Getting a lock on the target
So now you've got your sights on someone, next step is getting them in your sights (just pretend that metaphor made sense). Lining it up and getting that lock is all about prediction, it's about knowing your opponents next move before they even know that they don't know what you know. Ya know? You have to anticipate that left bank and get a lead on them, you have to have your missiles armed to be ready for the shot, saving you those precious moments that could mean life or death for you and your target. And this probably in someway relates to people and asking someone out...

I'm getting a little too excited about those whole fighter pilot thing...

Yes, you're going to need to be able to anticipate the person you're trying to ask out, by getting to know them. Found out what they're most likely going to respond to. Stalk them if you must, in this day and age that's not only more socially acceptable, it's practically expected. Once you've gathered some knowledge and info on the person you're going to shoot down, I mean, ask out, it's time to move in and finalize it. Just like once you've gotten into the head of that enemy pilot. You know what it's like to be in his seat, behind the controls of a little metal box armed to the teeth and flying by at supersonic speeds, where seconds and milliseconds can make all the difference. You've gone through the training, just like him, you know he's going to try the barrel roll, try to get away, but he won't finish that maneuver, you know exactly where he's going to be, and only one thing is left...

Step Four: Making the shot
ALRIGHT, LIEUTENANT! This is the moment all of this has been leading up to. You've got the lock, he's trying evasive maneuvers, but you know better than him. It's almost reflex at this point, just like in the simulators you've done over and over. You can't let yourself think of it as anything other than like the simulator, there's no time for hesitation. In your head, you whisper a short prayer for the life you have to take, but outloud you can hear yourself saying "Fox 3 Armed. Fox 3 Away....Splash." And that was all it took, after all the preparation and training, it was as easy as that. Looks like you've made yourself a hero once again, Ace.

Good Job, Soldier.

And that's it for my guide on how to win a dogfight as a fighter pilot, join me next week when I talk about attack helicopters and anti-aircraft avoidance measures!

When I'm not getting easily distracted, I can be found trying to be insightful on Twitter @TheyCallMeJor or saying nice things about people that read this blog. Please leave comments letting me know what you think, or give suggestions for guides you want to see in the future!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How To (Look Like You Can): Fight

There are plenty of reasons to want people to think you know how to fight. Maybe you want to look tough for the ladies. Maybe you have a score that only fists can settle. Perhaps the local bullies are on your case, and Mr. Miyagi already gave up on training you because "your anger will lead you to the Dark Side." No matter what the reason, this guide is here to help you fake your way into combative victory.

Pictured: Mr. Miyagi 

So roll up your sleeves, put on your big boy pants, and try not to wet yourself as we step into the ring. It's time to learn to fight, Step One style.

Step One: Don't be an idiot
This step might not be as easy to see as it is in other posts. But, like most things in faking your way to success, the key is subtlety. In this case it's the subtle difference between being an idiot, and multiple concussions.  The moderate to severe speech impediment, lack of short term memory, and general inability to form sentences that are mistaken for idiocy in serious fighters is actually what we in the biz like to call being a bit "punchy." So, unless you have some head trauma of your own to blame it on, you've got no excuse for being an idiot.


Now for some actual instruction on how to not be an idiot. In this case, it's rather simple: DUCK. I mean this in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Metaphorically speaking, you need to avoid actual fighting. No matter how many underdog victory stories you hear, manning up to face your fears and fight that 6'7'' wall of muscles will most likely result in your death. And literally speaking, well... getting punched in the face hurts. Just take my word on that one.

Step Two: You gotta talk the walk
Everyone knows that fights are 75% mental 20% actual fighting and 10% knowing when to duck (that's what we call punchy-math). Therefore, winning the theoretical fight mostly comes down to being able to psych out your opponent and yourself. Assuming my readers engage in approximately as much physical activity as I do, the majority of your muscles are slowly atrophying, and you have difficultly actually forming your hand into a fist to throw a punch. But your opponent doesn't need to know that. If you've got the bark, people won't be able to tell you don't have the bite.

I suggest looking for opponents here.

So keep up the smack talk, emphasize how many forms of martial arts you know (read as: Google'd once), what you will/won't do to your opponents genitals, and of course, the number of people you are capable of killing with your bare hands (you might want to exaggerate a little). This will work to scare off many opponents; however, sometimes, people will call you out, and you'll have to back up your claims. Luckily, you came prepared because you remembered:

Step Three: Every scar has a story
This is the part of the guide where you do Mr. Sun-Tzu proud, and come into battle with a little pre-planned strategy. Remember, actually getting into a fight means almost certain defeat, so for us, the battle is going to refer to the smack talking and psychological warfare that takes place before any fists start flying. The best way to win the pre-fight rounds is to have the best stories, and to go into the most graphic, specific, intimate details of everything that happened. In the verbal battles you'll face, specificity is going to be your best weapon. A well kept secret of the trade: the more specific and detailed a threat or story is, the more terrifying it will be for all those that hear it. So when you tell your stories, remember: you didn't win the fight, you walked away from the scene leaving only mostly-dead bodies arranged in the shape of a giant hand flipping the bird as a warning; you didn't get that scar when a druggie knifed you, you caught that knife with your torso while avoiding your vital organs by mere millimeters and still managing to take him out with a quick Knee of Justice to the solar plexus; and you didn't fight ten guys by yourself, you fought off a gang of 10 burly bikers armed only with your wit, your wicked right hook, and some roadkill you found as you walked in. If that doesn't phase them, go into specifics on what you did with the piece of a squirrel body to the top half of the bikers left eyebrow. If nothing else, they'll call the fight off because you've rambled on for hours with the story of every mark on your body.

The story of that small scar you can sometimes see on my left knee. Abridged, of course.

But if you truly have mastered the sedentary lifestyle of a child of the computer age, you might have some trouble backing up your claims. People are going to expect some physical evidence of the fantastic stories you tell. Which is where things get interesting...

Step Four: Pain Time. Bruises mean you're doing it right
It's time to get full on crazy if you want to pull this off. You're already in too deep to back out now, after those comments about what you'll do to the town tough guy's left kneecap with a dull spoon you've really got to commit. No real tough guy is going to believe you without something to back up your claims of glorious victory on the field of battle. If you want people to think you're the toughest of the tough, you're going to have to tough it out in the toughest of situations. Tough. Since actually getting into fights is out of the question (remember the whole dying horribly part) you're going to have to find a new way to get those scars and bruises. And when it comes to something that is potentially life threatening, trust no one but yourself. It's time to find that pointy object and give yourself some new "stories."

Woah, slow down emo dude, not exactly what I had in mind.

Aim a few swings back at yourself and get something to brag about around the fight club water cooler. Ignore any concerns from friends and family, you've got this under control. And if they won't back down, challenge them to a fight. No one is going to mess with someone that has a semi-permanent bruise on his face roughly the size of his own fist. Keep up the scar-making, and try to keep it a secret, but if someone sees you if might even work out in your favor. You just went from guy that fights all the time, to the guy that's so much of a fighter he fights himself when there's no one else around to punch.

Keep up the good work, Champ.

But if you're doing it right, this is only the beginning...

Step Five: Faking your own death
If you've followed this guide so far, you have managed to spend hours coming up with an elaborate imaginary back story, angered and personally threatened every major fighter/tough guy within 50 miles, estranged your entire family and friend group, developed psychotic self-destructive tendencies, and probably started some sort of revolution against society at some point along the way.

But don't worry. Your friends here at Step One have got you covered. Just because there are several people with open fight challenges/death threats aimed at you, a warrant for your arrest, and the Nice Men in White Coats are coming to take you in for "your protection," doesn't mean it's time to give up. No, it was time to give up a while ago, now you're left with only one way out, Possum Style. Now, the specifics on this step aren't really important, the only thing you need to do make sure to do is leave a lot of evidence pinning your butler as the murderer and flee to a different country. I suggest France, they know what it's like to take a beating a lose a fight they never even fought. And if that doesn't work out for you, well... Good luck, God Speed, and remember to duck.