Category Archives: Social Graces

The Irish Goodbye: Summer Edition

I once offered some tips to help you pull off an Irish goodbye, the art of slipping away unnoticed from a social gathering. Well, summer’s here and it’s time for a few seasonal variations on the disappearing act that saves you from tedious protracted farewells.

  • Bringing beer? Leave the cooler at home. There should be a way to keep it cool at the party — and by the way, if you need a cooler, maybe you’re not drinking fast enough.
  • Bringing a dish like Beans, Beans, Beans? Put it in an aluminum, tray, tray, tray. Yeah, leave the CorningWare at home and put your food in a container you don’t care about. Always try to avoid that awkward ‘I’m taking my dirty dish and heading home now’ moment.
  • Cell phones are a curse, but they’re also a blessing. People think you’re being polite when you step away from the crowd to take a call. Just step away from the backyard with your phone to your ear — and keep stepping away until you get to your car.

One note: these strategies work best for events with moderate to large groups. I can’t help you escape from dinner with your family.

Shoe Business

Wouldn’t it be great if there were voice activated toilet seats? You just could walk in and tell it to go up or down and never have to touch the damn thing.

seatWell, we don’t have them — so until that wonderful day arrives you should just do what most sensible people do: use your foot.

This leads to an interesting question: how dirty are your shoes from touching toilet seats?

“How dirty” stories used to be all the rage in TV news. I did promos for stories where we tested hotel rooms, household items and common objects you find in public, like doorknobs and water fountains. We’d swab the things and send the samples to a lab for analysis. Two weeks later? Instant sweeps story!

Anyway, way back in 2008, ABC News did a story about dirty shoes. The results? Your shoes are astoundingly dirty — maybe even the dirtiest things you own. I’m not trying to freak you out here, but you may be making a toilet seat dirtier by touching it with your filthy shoe.

Just something to think about. Meanwhile, I suppose in the future it will be odd to hear people calling out “up” and “down” in public restrooms.

“The Ghost of Christmas Ass”

I sometimes like to share things I like from the ad world, and I found this Christmas spot particularly inspiring. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I was not previously aware of Poo-Pourri — and this is not their first off kilter video — but you can be certain that I’ll pick it up for the house. I may even bring some to work for those people who insist on shi**ing during the work day.

The Irish Goodbye

A while ago, a woman in my office mentioned she pulled an “Irish goodbye.” A what?

She explained that this is when you exit quickly and discreetly from a social gathering without bidding anyone farewell. Oh, I thought, that’s totally me! I looked it up on the Internet and found this definition in the Urban Dictionary:

Leaving the bar or anywhere for that matter, without closing niceties, like a kiss goodbye to that annoying girl or mentioning something to your friends.

Exactly. I also found this one, which I would not publish if I were not half Irish:

Leaving quietly out the side door of a party or bar without saying goodbye to anyone. Mostly due to the fact that family or friends would most likely take your keys away for being too intoxicated.

My wife is big on long, protracted exits where you touch base with everyone and make some eye contact and leave them with a little special something. I’m big on sneaking out the back door. I just prefer it that way — and friends, I’m an expert, so here are a few tips:

  • Leave the coat in the car. Pulling on a coat is a pretty good sign that you’re leaving. God forbid someone makes a big fuss that you’re going somewhere.
  • Survey the room. Knowing where all the exits are will help you escape undetected. Walk out the front door and you may find yourself awkwardly running into someone who’s just arriving.
  • Shore up the story. Tell somebody that you’re off to the men’s room or going to say hello to so-and-so. Then vanish.

It’s easy and with a little practice you’ll be an expert, too. Remember, it’s always better to leave them wanting  more — instead of wanting to throw you out.