Sarcasm is the primary weapon in the arsenal of the Anti-Social. Not only is it good for amusing oneself, it is a surefire way to get the ever-present human detritus off your back. Sarcasm is the first thing a true Anti-Social needs to develop in order to progress to more advanced tutorials.
Let's make sure that we understand what we are talking about when we say "sarcasm". Telling someone that they suck is not sarcasm, it is honesty. Replying to every negative comment with a Yo Momma joke, while amusing and infuriating for your target, is not sarcasm. Sarcasm is defined as "A keen, reproachful expression; a satirical remark uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt; a taunt; a gibe; a cutting jest." Now that we know what sarcasm is, we know we must hone the edge of our sarcastic wit to a fine edge in order to make it cut smoothly.
Let's try the ever popular practice-in-a-mirror routine to get started. Now, as you look at yourself in the mirror say, as if you were speaking to me, "Hello. Nice day today, isn't it?" Now which of my replies constitutes sarcasm?
- Yes, it is.
- No, it is not.
- Well, I thought it might be raining but then I realized it was just your spittle.
- Oh yes, it was a lovely day, and I had just begun to enjoy it before my tolerance of inane comments was tested. But thanks for wasting my time anyway, I'm going to look this way now.
The answer is, of course, number 4. Sure, number 3 seems sarcastic but it is more of a rude comment than a truly sarcastic jibe. Notice when I replied with answer number 3 how you merely got angry while answer number 4 made you feel belittled. That's what good sarcasm does, because after all, everyone else is below our disdain.
How can you begin to master the sarcastic wit now that you can recognize it? Well, sometimes watching the masters perform their art is the best way to learn. On that note, read as much Ambrose Bierce as you can get your hands on, watch and listen to Denis Leary comedy routines and visit your local DMV in order to sample the sudden displays of sarcasm from both clerk and customer. Another good source is any character played by David Spade. The diminuative Mr. Spade has brought sarcasm to the great unwashed, and you can benefit from watching his performance. Don't forget to practice in the mirror!
Now you need to get out there and set your sarcastic sights on potential targets. This does not require much more than the standard trip to the convenience store to get your cigarettes or to the liquor store to get your booze. Here are some examples of common sarcasm-rich meetings common to everyday life:
- The line to pay for your items at the convenience store: you have 10 items while the woman behind you has 1. She asks if she can cut in front of you so she can just pay for her one item and go. Your reply should be similar to, "Oh please, be my guest. I'd forgotten how little my time is worth in comparison to your obvious need of a Dove bar." Be sure to mention how she'll need to move quicker to work off the massive amounts of fat in the item she is purchasing then snort derisively and do not let her ahead of you.
- The liquor store: the clerk asks if you would like a bag for your bottle of Jack Daniel's. Your reply should relate to, "Oh, no thanks. I was just planning on downing it right here at the cash register so I could get another one that much quicker. On second thought, give me the bag anyway, I've been meaning to take pulls off a brown bagged bottle while stumbling down the street for days now." Snort derisevely and tell the clerk that yes, that means you would like a bag.
- The doctor's office: The doctor calls you in after an hour of waiting. He makes a snide comment hoping that you weren't kept waiting too long. Your reply should be subtle so as not to encourage the doctor to physically hurt you while examining you. Something along the lines of, "Oh no, doctor, the wait wasn't too bad, but I think I may have left a stain on your waiting room chair. My hemorrhoids have been bleeding pretty heavily again. By the way, do you mind checking them out while I'm here?" Doctor can't argue with that logic (sadly for the doctor). If you don't have hemorrhoids, insert any significantly bloody or pus-filled symptom you may have in its place.
Congratulations! You've finished the sarcasm tutorial. You're one step closer to becoming truly Anti-Social. Sarcasm is the one skill you can never truly master. There is always another rung in the ladder to true sarcasm. But keep practicing and soon you'll make people cringe in horror everytime you open your mouth to repond to their inane questions.