1. Act like you‘re in the back seat of a car at the age of 7.
Go up to someone and just start gently poking them with your finger. Don’t explain anything, just keep doing it. Even if you are dealing with someone who has the patience of Job (although I have no idea what Job was so patient about, probably the result of years of people not saying his name correctly), the pokee will eventually snap and turn on you in outrage. Act completely surprised when they do. If necessary, fake-cry until you’re back in their good graces. Then poke them again.
2. Chase the cat while waving a slotted spatula.
This will completely irritate the cat, but everything irritates them so it doesn’t really matter. Stomp as hard as you can, since this will up the fear factor a notch, especially if you wave that spatula just right so that it whistles. If the cat manages to locate a hiding place that is inaccessible to most humans, stab the spatula into the opening while muttering things about “kitty pie” and laughing maniacally. If the dreaded “back-arched and claws-extended” reaction combo takes place, signaling that things are about to go awry and bloody, change your tune and offer the cat a treat. Proffered on the end of the spatula. (You get extra points if the cat won’t touch it.)
Helpful hint: If you don’t have a cat, find one of those hard-rubber little bouncing balls and whack it against a wall with as much force as you can. Same thing.
3. Pretend that you’re a programming director at ABC.
Walk into a room where someone is resting comfortably and watching TV. Mumble something about “budget cuts”, snatch up the remote, turn off the TV, take out the batteries, put the batteries in your pocket, hand the remote back to the startled viewer, and leave the room. If they attempt to holler something after you, tell them to speak to your secretary. Then hurry off to attend a staff meeting in the conference room, which is really the bathroom.
Double points: If your disgruntled housemate follows you to the closed bathroom door, still whining about the stupid remote, roll one of the batteries under the door. Then pretend to flush the other one down the toilet.
4. Plan a surprise swimming party.
Once the coast is clear, leave the bathroom conference facility, locate some strong, double-sided tape, return to the facility, and attach the toilet seat lid to the toilet seat. Then, to properly stage the scene and increase the enjoyment factor, remove the light bulb from the fixture and hide all available toilet paper. Now go hide somewhere that is still within earshot. (Might want to snatch up some reading material, this might take a while.) When someone walks by with that “full-bladder” look, try not to giggle or you could screw it up. Listen carefully to the sounds of confusion and fumbling. As soon as you hear the butt-splash, run. When Drippy Booty finally finds you, point at other people.
5. As a tribute to the weather outside, reenact scenes from “Dr. Zhivago”.
Some of you may be too young to recall this movie, but it basically concerns Omar Sharif and Julie Christie having a troubled relationship in some place where it’s really cold. If you want to play the Julie part, be sure to wear pretty fur-trimmed hats while pretending to tromp around in the snow, doing vague social work and not understanding who it is that you really want. For the Omar part, do things that let you look swarthy and hot enough to be partially responsible for the melting of the polar ice caps, even though you are secretly learning to play poker on the side because one day you movie career will tank and you need other options.
Triple points: Build a model of the Ice Palace out of ice cubes before people steal some of your resources for their martinis.
Everything in the house. Even the expired stuff. Calories don’t count when there’s ice on the ground.
7. Call other people that you know are trapped in their own houses, and pretend that you are in St. Croix.
Speak with a French accent, as if you’ve been there a really long time and no longer recall what snow might look like. Rudely eat crackers whilst talking and complain that the caviar isn’t up to standard, and whine that the angle of the sun on your sandy beach isn’t quite as pleasing as you would hope. If your suspicious friend points out that they just saw you yesterday at the Piggly Wiggly, buying sauerkraut, and that you can’t possibly be on a tropical island, act like you are covering the mouthpiece with your hand and stage whisper to a non-existent partner “poor Mary Lou is having those visions again. She must have stopped taking her meds.”
Atmospheric extra credit: Pay the cat to have him make seagull noises in the background, as well as blow on a lifeguard whistle every 37 seconds. If your cat is really talented, have him simulate the sound of bikini tops being tossed brazenly into the wind.
8. Get all Emo and stuff.
Sit at the window and stare out at the blinding whiteness, crying and moaning, psychologically destroyed about all the things you can’t go do right now. Most of them you would never do anyway, but the fact that you can’t do them at all makes you want to do them more than anything in the world. Read a book of Sylvia Plath poems, and then fall asleep morosely on the couch, where you dream in stark black-and-white and no one is ever satisfied.
9. Blame people for imaginary crimes.
You: “I cannot believe you would do that!” Helga: “Um…” You: “You know darn well that I don’t care for the thousand island dressing.” Helga: “Did somebody make a salad? I thought we were having shrimp brochette.” You: “And with our cousin of all people!” Helga: “Wait. Cousin? But we’re not even related. I just stopped by for a cup of sugar…” You: “No one likes a liar. No one!”
At the height of confusion, pretend that the phone rings and run to answer it, tossing Helga a disgusted glare on your way over. Pick up the instrument, say “uh-huh” a couple of times, then hold the phone out to Helga and say: “It’s Jesus. He wants to talk to you.”
10. Drink beer.
And I believe I’ve got everyone covered on this one. You folks can do the other nine. Cheers.