In My Absence

In case you were wondering, this is what I’ve been doing while not writing for Office Oddities:

I read The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. Best book ever!

Signed up for Twitter.

Loved Twitter.

Followed Justin Bieber on Twitter.

Died of boredom on Twitter.

Realized I’m the only one who likes Family Guy.

I turned 23.

Somebody gave me a balance ball for my birthday. I still don’t know if it’s an insult to my weight or my balance.

Suffered severe writers bloc. Severe. Really severe.

Still managed to co-found an online magazine called The City Slacker. Support me, WordPress friends!

Asked all the intensely talented bloggers that read my blog to send The City Slacker articles for us to publish. (submit@thecityslacker.com)

Oh wait! That last one just happened!

Dear Idiots,

I’m not sure which walk of my life thus far has led me to the lot of you or what special moment we shared that made you add me as a friend on Facebook but I am truly grateful that you did.

In real life, you seem like your average drug-addled freak show but there’s so much more to you, isn’t there? Had we restricted our friendship to uncomfortable pleasantries in the street I might never have known your complete inability to use a capitalized letter correctly. An impressive, if not somewhat alarming, talent!

I often wonder how exactly you have managed to complete any amount of education writing sentences like this.

caNt BlaME u sIncE u cNT drink NEthIn eLse iN THe OveN ryT nW, bT YEaH JD or jEiGEr shUD b gUD enUf nww I reckOn

[More importantly, I wonder why your friend has to drink in an oven]

Now, I imagine you’ve already sold your parents for drugs and probably have no one to tell you these things so please, allow me!

1) A capital letter is not to be used for decoration. They have something called fonts for that. Yeah, I know- you’re shocked but there really is something out there both completely sensible and decorative that won’t make you look like a complete fool on the internet.

2) With so much communication happening via text (an often emotionless medium – depending on your writing skills) – e-mails, chat, SMS- people often write sentences in capital letters to denote yelling.



Therefore, when your status is “ i’M iN tHE pOrTal. iT’s CoMIng fr You NXt!“ you come across as a severely bi-polar individual switching effortlessly between crazy screaming man and calm individual. You might want to consider that this can be frightening and cause people to hide, run or call the cops when you approach them.

3) As with every rule there is an exception – if you are writing a ransom note by cutting out letters from a magazine, it is quite alright and no one will fault your for it. The kidnapping, on the other hand, may be frowned upon.

In closing, let me remind you that there will be no lack of opportunities in your life to capitalize a letter.  It is hardly as though you could fall short. I will not go into all the possibilities right now but let me assure you, under normal circumstances, you will never have to nor should you ever feel the need to, place an upper-case letter in the middle of a word.


“A Friend”

P.S: Can you tell me on what basis you eliminate vowels from some words? I really have no idea how to do this. Does this work? dt – for idiot?

Social interaction is most difficult when done with people you dislike or find annoying. No matter whether you’ve scored an invite to a Royal Wedding or just another barn dance, you’re bound to be confronted by a social situation you’d rather not have repeated.

But how do you make sure that the insipid person standing before you talking about their eggplant garden doesn’t try it again? It’ll be tough, there may be rumours about you later, people you like may also begin to avoid you but in the end it will all be worth it. Here are your options:

(For the purpose of this piece, let’s call this human phenomenon Exasperating wherever necessary.)

  • Talk about your job in great detail – I’m talking about hair and eye colour of all your colleagues kind of detail. If you work as a doctor or firefighter or anything interesting at all, of course, this won’t work. So if you do have a fascinating job, pretend you work as a bean counter (literally) or someone who is paid to stare at walls. No part of your discourse should be interesting.
  • Carry a small notepad and pen with you. While Exasperating talks, look into their ears and nose. Inspect their hair. Grab their flanks – presumably checking for fat. Put your hands in their mouth and feel around. All the while, nod your head and rapidly take notes and make disappointed sounds. Sigh.
  • I got this one from a child I saw at a coffee shop yesterday. When you’re standing near Exasperating, suddenly fall over (make it look like they pushed you). Struggle to stand up – stagger, sway and look in wide-eyed horror at Exasperating. Screaming will add that extra something to the act.

(Really weird kid! I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet him again.)

  • Ask many personal questions – the creepy kind. Medical stuff even!

Example: When was the last time you had colon irrigation therapy? Did you enjoy it?

  • Stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Remember, this is the most annoying rhyme and is it’s ability to repel people is much improved if you’re screaming it and not singing. By the time you open your eyes and ears again, they’ll be long gone.
  • Mention in passing how a recent accident made you lose bladder control and now you have to wear adult diapers. As soon as Exasperating starts talking about something dull, stop them to take a “bathroom” break.
  • While Exasperating is talking, attempt to take off all their clothes. Look like you’re trying to be subtle. Obviously there’s nothing subtle about disrobing someone in public but when I imagine it in my head, it looks better if you act like you don’t want them to notice. Do not stop till they walk ( or run ) away.
  • Throwing up on someone is the fast track to never having to see someone again. Your regurgitated lunch is something only your family and dearest friends can endure. Spend the rest of your time with them ( if any ) chasing them around, threatening to do it again.
  • As soon as Exasperating is near you, throw your arms around them and start weeping. Offer absolutely no explanation. When they try to pull away, slap them and dash off screaming, ” How could you do this to me!” .
  • Allude, continuously, to having slept with their Moms. Let no comment from Exasperating pass without mentioning their mother and how you “hit that”. This may seem slightly disrespectful, I know but if you haven’t actually slept with their mother then it’s totally okay ( I guess ). Here are some examples:

Example 1

Exasperating: What’s up with the weather? It’s so hot!

You: What’s up with your Mom? She’s so hot.


Example 2

Exasperating: How was your day?

You: Fantastic. Just like last night with your Mom was.


Example 3

Exasperating: This steak is firm but still so juicy

You: Funny. That’s what your mother said about me.

I meet a number of people I don’t enjoy all too often, so if you have any more ideas for me  feel free to add them in the comments section below.

The things I learned the hard way and the things I just plain made up:

  • A bird in hand is worth two in a bush just as a million dollars stuffed in your mattress is worth two invested in a sketchy hedge fund.
  • A good conscience is a soft pillow but a soft pillow is an assurance of not being able to move your neck for many days.
  • A light purse makes a heavy heart but a Chanel purse goes with everything.

Well, maybe not everything

  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness but a Café Coffee Day is always near a Barista – which truly makes no sense to me at all.
  • A fool and his money are soon parted. An alcoholic and his kids are soon parted as well but mostly by Child Protective Services.
  • A watched pot never boils. Boiling pot is never a good idea.
  • Cut your coat according to your cloth – and the size of your hips.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss but the Rolling Stones have gathered some.
  • Bad news travels fast, so do bad smells.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Presents work just as well.
  • A drowning man will clutch at straws but a drunken man will go for your chest.
  • Children should be seen and not heard – as should white rappers.

Actually, we could live without seeing them too

  • Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Looking someone you just met in the mouth is also not advisable.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed but a friend in velvet should be ignored in the street.

Seriously, cross the street and run!

  • Laughter is the best medicine but if this post didn’t do it for you there’s always Prozac.

Love! Love is such a many splendored thing or so I’ve heard from the Moulin Rouge movie. You meet a girl – she’s smart, funny and everything you ever dreamed of. You think she may the one but a few months in you start to wonder if something is amiss.

You Google “signs she’s psycho” but are led to Office Oddities’ “5 Signs she thinks you’re a Psycho Killer not a friend”. This is not helpful at all.

So for those of you who reach here wondering how to know whether she’s going to kill you in your sleep- read on!

  • Her favourite movie is called Obsessed.
  • The walls of her house are red and the paint is always “wet”
  • Sometimes you wake up and there’s a full English breakfast waiting for you which is sweet except, she didn’t spend the night and doesn’t have a key ( as far as you know )
  • She leaves cute little notes and presents at your desk at work. She works at the other end of town and you work in a high security building.
  • For Christmas she takes you to visit her parents – at the mental institution.
  • You’ve seen a marked increase in the number of knives in the kitchen since you started dating her. The butter knives are okay but the machetes worry you.
  • All your ex-girlfriends have died in freak “accidents”.
  • You login in to Facebook and realize you somehow have only one friend- her!
  • She’s met your parents, seen your childhood home and met all your high school friends – without you.
  • When you look back at old photos of you, you notice she’s always in the background.

Party People

You’re at a party. A birthday or an anniversary party perhaps. There you are, ingraining yourself into fellow party-goers memories for a long long time ( if you’re doing it correctly at least)

So how do you want to be remembered and how are you going to make sure you are?

Listed below are the various roles one can at assume at a party:

  • The Host

Everybody remembers the host of a party – it would be extremely weird not to. So pretend it’s your house, your party – you are the guest of honour. Follow people around asking if you can get them anything or give them a tour. Pick up after them. Say thank you when they compliment the venue, the decor, the food. Go so far as to open the presents.

  • The D.J

Bring your own iPod to the party. Stand near the music system all night dancing while fending off other people’s attempt to play something else. Think Kung Fu fighting. The music should be completely obscure and totally unenjoyable. Everytime a song comes on scream ” Wooooooooooooooo. I love this song ”

  • The Drunk One

If you’re a reasonably good actor, this can be done without consuming any alcohol. However, if your acting skill are comparable only to Tara Reid then you might just have to consume a whole bottle of whiskey before the party and then drink more when you get there. This is how you do it. Go right up close to people, insult their wives/girlfriends/clothes, slurring the whole time. When they get mad at you, start crying – weep loudly telling them how your mother never gave you any attention and your father was never around. When they have calmed down, insult their wives/girlfriend/clothes some more.

Beyond a point, you may not be able to drink anymore. At this time, do not stop pouring yourself drinks. Walk through the party dropping alcohol on everyone as you go. Throwing up on guests will increase your chances of being remembered for a long time.

  • The Socializer

Flit from group to group being over friendly. Greet everyone you see with, ” Oh my God. It’s been so long. ” Hug them. Needless to say, this works best if you don’t know most of the people at the party. Involve yourself in all conversations. From the mundane ( weather, movies etc.) to the uber personal ( death, divorce, unemployment) chime in with your comments and advice. The more forward you are, the more chance of you being remembered by all at the party and who knows, maybe something you say could save a life or marriage or someone could slap you – a risk worth taking, I think.

  • The Lone Dancer

Stand in the centre of the room dancing slowly with your eyes closed. Doing this at a dinner party where there is no dance floor or music for that matter would be best. If there is music, make sure you don’t dance in time to the music. Turn round and round slowly while swaying your arms near your face. Do not – I repeat do not open your eyes or stop dancing till the party is over.

  • The Cool Guy

Sit in a corner, by yourself, wearing shades and a hat; a cigar in one and hand, a glass of Scotch in the other. Bob your head only ever so slightly to the music. This is very important. Too slight a head-bob may be imperceptible but an overeager one will defeat the purpose altogether and make you look like an idiot. Ensure that you don’t speak to anyone – not even the host ( the real one or otherwise ). Going to parties where you don’t know anyone and haven’t been invited would be most effective in adding that air of mystery required for this look.

Note:  Today’s post will be in 3-D because I am writing it from a movie and I have the glasses on

A few months ago I travelled to Goa – a beachy state near where I live. Cheap booze ( I don’t drink ) , beaches ( I hate sand) but loads of shopping to be done and great food to be eaten ( which I can more than live with ). It was my first vacation in many years and therefore, approached with much excitement and given the above, much trepidation as well.

It’s a twelve hour road trip which we chose to do in a sleeper bus which left at 9 p.m. A sleeper bus, by the way, is a bus which has bunk beds instead of seats.

By 12 a.m. dinner was done and it was time to sleep (for lack of anything better to do). Except, the two Germans in the bunk above us would not stop talking-really loudly. In German that too, so even if it was entertaining it wasn’t entertaining us.

Finally, at 4 a.m. they slept. Sleep was close at last! I was overjoyed but of course, it was short lived. They were up by 6 a.m. chatting away,loudly as ever.

Such complete Deutsche-bags!


 The Versatile Blogger Award – That’s me. Well, according to my very first friend on the blogosphere at least. Thanks Chris– you are the perfect combination of sentimental and completely hilarious!

Seeing as how Kate and Bill decided to get married the same day I received an award, I assume none of you watched my televised acceptance speech. I’m a little hurt but because I’m nice, I’m going to break it all down for you.

PART 1: Link back to the blogger that gave me the award


PART 2: Tell you 7 things about myself

Here goes:

  1. This blog is my very first attempt at writing or anything near creative – ever. I’m so nervous about the whole thing that every time I put a post up, I spend the whole day asking my friends if it was terrible
  2. I can’t go into any kind of store without finding something I “have to have”- even if it’s a home appliances shop. I have no semblance of control but I try.
  3. My brother recently noted that I sometimes go whole weeks without entering our kitchen.
  4. I eat anything with sugar in it in two’s – never less, nearly always more.
  5. By2 p.m., I’ve already had 4 cups of coffee.
  6. I’ve lost handle on real life and now look at everything through the eyes of my (four or five) readers. If you ever catch me zoning out of a conversation it’s because I’m thinking “Will this be funny?”, “Can I write about this?”, “What can happen that would make this a good post?
  7. I haven’t heard any of their music in ten years but I still love the Spice Girls.

PART 3: Choose 15 other blogs to pass the award to.

And here they are!

The person that got me writing in the first place.

One my earliest discoveries and it’s been a fun ride ever since.








In the old days, when blogging was still unknown to me and indulging in any internet-enabled social interactions seemed a tedious affair, I would spend much of my work day lurking around various blogs that I had stumbled upon. I would laugh, read, enjoy and then slink away in anonymity.

Now that I have my own blog and a resultant predilection for putting everything that pops into my head on the internet, I know first-hand the boundless joy from receiving an flattering comment – such as the one below.

“perfect work you have done, this site is de facto cool with superb info. I suggest you put this content to reddit, and then more and more population might entry your posts. Thank You”

Heartwarming! I’ve never been cool so being de facto cool was a distant dream!

Having learnt this, I now make it a point to leave a comment on anything I enjoyed reading– whether it was an idea, writing style, LOL-ability, even good grammar. This in turn, has brought me to the realization that, while I can churn out one average 200-300 word post daily, my ability to write a coherent compliment or summation of what I felt about a topic is far less than average.

I’ve put much thought and many sleepless nights into it and I think, perhaps, I have found the reason for my glaring inadequacy when it comes to comment writing.

A few months ago my dearest friend left the country. I was so distressed by the whole thing that I felt I must get on every possible mode of communication to keep the friendship afloat. As a result, with a heavy heart, I finally renounced my title as the “Last Person in their 20’s Not on Facebook.” Fortunately (if you’ve noticed the length of my sentences) I’m not fit for Twitter so I spared myself that. Now that I’m there, I often find myself astounded at other people’s ability to say anything about anything. It must be nice to be able to do that. I don’t know how to – from a lack of practice, I fear. Those that have been on for a few years are far at the fore in this respect.

If I have commented on one of your posts or replied to a comment you left on one of mine, you know what I am talking about.  But before you jump to judge, or wonder if I’ve paid someone else to write my blog, you should know that I often spend more time on a single comment than I have on many posts. So don’t blame me; blame Facebook for being unappealing and kind of silly.

To My Feet,

My, you used to be hideous – extremely so. Especially when you grew to full size much before I did. There I was, maybe 13 years old, somewhere in the area of 5 feet where you were an incongruous size 9. I suppose we both hurt each other, didn’t we? Remember that one time, when I asked to see that pair of shoes in my size and was asked to visit the men’s section. Me spending years forcing you into in size seven shoe. You understand, don’t you? Skateboards were certainly not allowed at school and I was only protecting myself from being mistaken for having TWO for feet.

Though lately – and I’m not sure when it happened or I first began to notice – you are no longer as horrid. I often find myself gazing down in wonder at you as I walk. As you know (obviously) I walk really fast. I wonder if I look like a crazy person careening through life looking at my feet but it’s worth it. After avoiding looking at you for all these years, it is worth it.

So I just want to say thank you. Thank you bearing the weight I’ve just put on, for being too giant to fit into any of the shoes I like – I save so much money that way and now, when I’m all done with teenage insecurity becoming reasonably nice to look at.

Love, Love

(Not in a creepy way and my love for feet applies only to you – no one else’s)

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