Saturday, November 21, 2009

Teach Yourself: An Iller Vocab

I originally wrote this for online magazine They've had one issue and it's alright. Check it out, but read this first. Been thinking about making a podcast, but the main resource (time) is scarce.

People trust me, and they have good reason. I’ve worked hard to develop a persona well worthy of individual praise and acceptable self righteousness. People trust me because I’m likeable and charismatic, I give a firm handshake to men. A small and polite hug to women, and give kisses on both cheeks to Europeans. I once stumped Alex Trebek (much to his chagrin) and guessed the million dollar briefcase on ‘Deal or no Deal’. After that I never watched the show again, I figured what’s the point, you know? The fact that I am so upfront and transparent about how upfront and transparent I am only increases the already otherworldly amounts of trust that has been placed in my hands. This is why I have been entrusted (there’s that trust word again) to tell you how to live your life, and it is actually very humbling to me. So sit back, relax and get ready to do everything I say whether you agree with it or not. Now that introductions are out of the way let us get started.

Stop being a goddamn prick and use your big words like a big boy every once in a while. I’m not sure if it is the parties or drinking, the drug abuse or video games, the social networking or the TV, but I seem to meet people who talk like they have just graduated from kindergarten with alarming regularity.

Before you wonder if I’m being serious, first ask yourself how serious you are being. Because I am definitely not taking you seriously when you use the word ‘fuck’ as some sort of universal adjective bestowed upon us from the gods. In fact most four letter words are probably not the best way to describe things. Words like, sick, nice, and good, all have a place, but there are other words that someone probably worked very hard in creating and although he is not rolling around in his grave, because contrary to popular belief dead people do not actually roll around in their graves, I will say that if he were alive today he would probably feel a bit downtrodden for wasting his time thinking of some pretty interesting words, when he could have been banging hot bitches that I am sure his ill vocab helped him get.

I’ll even get the ball rolling. “How was the party Jimmy?”

“It was fucking awesome.”


“Errr-It was fucking...good?”


“It was really eclectic; there were a group of people who had some controversial ideas about health care. Initially I didn’t agree...” He looks at me curiously and I nod my encouragement for Jimmy to continue. “but after a light-hearted debate on the matter I found their position to be rather compelling if not at least an interesting stance on a subject that I am not entirely familiar with.”

“Yes, yes that’s a start Jimmy, that’s a start. How about you Jennifer? What are you watching tonight?”

“I’m thinking of watching Housewives of Orange County.”


“Housewives of Atlanta.”

“Try again.”

“Housewives of-“ I give Jennifer a menacing glance. She looks fretfully at the floor and tries again.

“Big Brother?” Fuck it Jennifer you’re a lost cause.

Listen, I’ll level with you, I love to drink. A steady dose of Fresh Beverages (rum and cokes) and White Russians (vodka, milk and your choice of coffee flavoured liqueur, I prefer Kahlua) keep me sufficiently buzzed and happy. But we all know drinking kills brain cells so I’ve decided that exercising my brain to promote growth and mental stability wouldn’t be all that bad. Try reading or playing chess or talking about something other than celebrities. Although I will say J.Lo’s last album rocked....what? I do all the above, and since I have made a concerted effort to partake in activities other than drinking games and watching entertainment television I have noticed a significant increase in my vocabulary, memory, motor skills and various other cognitive abilities, namely telekinesis.

The best part is, when you stop trying to live the life of the hills, and drop the valley girl accent or super bro attitude, you will add a layer of respectability that others will recognize immediately. Conversations will flow easier and people will undoubtedly like you more, especially if you are unattractive. Chances are you will even like yourself more as a steady dose of hobbies is good for the soul, or at least the brain. Try playing Boccee.

The other day I left my glasses at home and had to squint to read a menu, that’s all it took to remind me that one day I will die. Every once in a while you will come face to face with your mortality and if you can face those situations without shutting your eyes tightly and wailing to the lost love ones in your life I commend you, but if you see yourself in that moment of utterly brutal self reflection you better have something better to say to yourself then, “That party was sick.”