There is an agreement among intellectuals that social intercourse amongst people is merely a contest to say the best thing. Don’t ask them about it though, because they’ll probably just deny it. These contests are frustratingly difficult, especially since the assassination of Original Thought on Sunday, January 28, 1996, which no one noticed because of the Super Bowl (the death of original thought was quite evident at the next Super Bowl in which millions tried to be creative by watching “just for the commercials”).
That digression aside, let me tell you that there is now an easy way to win conversations, whether they be vocal, textual, across-the-internetual, or telepathic – simply use someone else’s words! “How?” you may ask, “I’ve never used someone else’s words before.” Yes you have. Stop lying; you’ve been doing it since 1996. Fortunately, I am here to help you recognize your shameless plagiarism and show you how to do it correctly.
There are three primary means of expressing yourself with other people’s words: Hallmark cards, t-shirts, and in conversation.
The most abundantly used means of spitting on Original Thought’s grave is the selection and giving of pre-written Hallmark cards for every –every- occasion imaginable. Seriously, name an occasion; Hallmark’s got a card for it. In order to correctly select a card to give someone, you have to browse every single card available for purchase. This is crucial; you must weigh every possibility against all others to pick the card that says the best thing. This takes at least ten minutes. The most reliable path, usually, is to pick the funniest card you can find. If, at the occasion in which people are giving someone these pre-packaged misuses of intellectual property, you present the card that says the best thing, you win.
Another means of disgracing Original Thought and everything that he stood for – a less abundantly practiced means – is to wear t-shirts with rude, cynical, or comical comments printed on them. I know it sounds difficult, but bear with me: you first purchase such a t-shirt, and then you wear it. Be wary, though! There is a correct and incorrect way to do this. You must not, under any circumstance, wear a shirt that says the same thing as someone else’s. A good, reliable way of wearing a unique t-shirt is avoiding major retailers – stick to the smaller ones. Good luck on that, by the way, because I’m not about to tell you where I get my t-shirts and risk having someone else own the same shirt as me, you conniving copycat. Additionally, the t-shirt can’t just say anything; it has to adequately express you. Therefore, like the Hallmark cards, you must browse the entire catalogue of clothes to find the t-shirt that says the absolute best thing. Usually, if you rely on t-shirts to express yourself, a caption along the lines of “I supplement my personality with witty shirts” would be appropriate.
On that visual, we are left with the last primary means of expressing yourself with other people’s words: through conversation – if you can even call it that anymore. I’ve got five words for you: “cultural references, cultural references, cultural”. Whenever you want to interact with another humanlike being that speaks the same language as you, simply rally off quotes from a movie or television show that the two of you share interest in (don’t try quotes from books; it’s too risky, unless the book has been made into a movie, in which case tread carefully). It’s quite that simple. You don’t have to waste time with “hey, did you ever see-“ or “my favorite part was-“ or “I laughed when he said-“. The phrases waste the time that you could otherwise spend vociferating out-of-context quotes that demonstrate your social prowess. This rally of back-and-forth excerpt spitting is to continue until the other person can no longer recall a quote from the chosen cultural focal point; that’s when you win. Because let’s not forget: social intercourse is only a contest.