Best of 2022

Instructions For You If My Pants Are On Fire

So, my pants are on fire and I’ve handed you this card. You’re probably thinking, “Uhh, say whaaa??” Well, pull yourself together, Gilligan. Every second is critical right now.

Let’s begin with a list of things you should absolutely not do right now:

Don’t yell at me. This isn’t my fault and yelling makes everything worse. This applies to the rest of the instructions, too: DO NOT YELL. If you start yelling, I’ll start breaking things, and nobody wants that.

Don’t tell me to “stop drop and roll.” Don’t you think I’ve tried that, stupid? I’ve been through this enough times to know it doesn’t work. So if you haven’t seen me try it in this instance, don’t say, “Have you tried it?” I have, plenty of times. Also, is that a yell I detect in your voice? See above and remind yourself whether THAT’s a good idea.

Don’t ask how this keeps happening to me. I’m sorry, is this an inquisition? Pretty sure I don’t have time for a press conference right now, Lois Lane. In case you haven’t noticed, my pants are on fire.

Don’t accuse me of doing this for attention. You think it’s fun having your pants catch on fire in the middle of a party/funeral/grand opening/nephew’s baptism? Trust me, it’s not, especially when there are judgmental people like you here. Do everyone a favor and keep your little “theories” to yourself.

Don’t say anything related to “Liar, liar, pants on fire.” This is my line. I do it all the time. I say, “Hey, I swear I’m not a liar liar!” People love it, it breaks the tension. I’ve earned the right to use this line, not you. If you say it before I do, there will be consequences, and you better believe I’m not lying about that.

Which brings me to what you SHOULD do right now…

Get two buckets of water and put them near me. I prefer to put my own pants out with the water, as I know how to do it best. Many pants can still be salvaged if the dousing is done correctly and not by an idiot.

Be a good sport when I douse you with the second bucket of water. What, am I supposed to be the only one here with wet pants? Laugh it off. Maybe say something like, “Welp, guess I should have seen THAT coming!” People like a good sport and you’ll earn many points in my eyes. If you get mad and yell, just read the first instruction to see how well THAT will go for you.

Tell Courtney I was brave. Courtney is a platonic friend of mine and she may have gone to the bathroom or something and missed the whole scene. When she returns and asks what happened, tell her I was very brave and didn’t scream or cry or make intimate confessions while my pants were on fire.

Stay away from Courtney. I said Courtney and I were platonic but I now that I think about it there might be real potential for something more. Don’t talk to her or try to be “charming” and worm your way into our relationship. Just tell her I was brave and back off.

Tell a friend (not you) to ask Courtney what she thinks of me. Tell them not to be too obvious, just casually ask what she thinks about me. Don’t make a big thing of it. Then have them report back to me. Again, not you, but a friend. You stay away. I assume you have friends here, right? Jesus, I hope you’re not some kind of loser. That’s the last thing I need right now.

Let me down easy if Courtney’s not interested in me romantically. This news will be hard for me to hear, as I’ve now gotten very attached to the idea of Courtney and I ending up together. Tell your friend to let me down gently if it’s clear she doesn’t feel the same. I’m sensitive and could use a friend right now.

Tell your friend to double check with Courtney. It doesn’t hurt to make sure they heard her correctly. Go back to her and double check that she doesn’t have feelings for me. My entire future depends on it.

Stop me from jumping out the window. This is something I’ll surely regret later and I must be stopped before I go through with it. It will take both you and your friend to restrain me, as I have considerable upper body strength. Be prepared for the fight of your life.

Say “She’s not worth it!” and “You deserve better, pal.” These are things I will need to hear in order to move on with my life. Be sincere while you’re saying them, as I will be able to tell if you are not.

Set me up with someone else. This will help me forget about Courtney. Turn this card around for more information about my “type.”

Keep this card with you at all times. If I’ve made it this far, congratulations, you’re not a complete idiot. Hang on to this card in case we meet again somewhere else and my pants catch fire. I’m likely being told to leave wherever we are right now. Do everyone a favor and remind whoever’s kicking me out not to yell. If they do, I’ll start breaking things, and nobody wants that.