If you find a shopkeeper who will refuse to sell you something on the basis that it is not right for you, you have a gem.
These people may be hard to find – but if you enter into conversation with them over a regular basis -and if it is a genuine and respectful exchange…you can find a whole new world of intelligent help out there.
I talk regularly to the family who run our local post office agency – and to the lady and the chap who run the Asian food store in the shopping centre. I talk to the man who runs the bottle shop, and to the lady who is teller at my local bank. The result is I get told how to cook well with the Asian ingredients, when to change my deposits for good interest rates, and how to send postal items safely at low cost.
Occasionally the bottle shop man warns me off a dud or mentions a good deal. I am always repaid for listening.
Moral: Your local retailers are human beings who appreciate being treated as such and who will make your life better if you recognise the fact.
Do you have a desire to be noticed by your colleagues and friends? Are you unsure whether or not you have any personal qualities that would warrant this interest? Well, you’ve come the the right place; the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia can outfit you with startling mannerisms, appearance, and theatrical routines – you’ll be the centre of attention in no time.
Now we’ve all had the experience of going to a party where everyone else is discussing topics with which we are totally unfamiliar. It need not be intellectual, either – you can be out of place in a group of people playing a Japanese children’s game, with the only way of coping being bright and brittle and drinking a lot. The social consequences are never good. But take heart – even in the most foreign of cultures the BGA can make you the hit of the evening. All you need to do is remember the motto – Stand Out, Stand Forth, and Stand On Their Toes.
No-one needs an ally in a conversation – no-one needs agreement. No-one wants to be stuck with ignoring the syncophant in the room…The adroit BGA conversationalist makes sure that they do not agree with whatever is being said, and the more experienced Guild members arrange for this to be known before the conversation. They lay down a barrage of disapproval before anyone else can fire a question.
Are you in a mess of millennials? Espouse Donald Trump as your companion animal. Is most of the crowd dressed in flannies and drinking VB? Start up a cheer wave for Wahleed Ali and Lee Lin Chin. Are people complaining about the onions at Bunnings? Demand they sign a vegan petition to have buns banned. You need do no more to become the star of the evening.
If you are in family gathering you need not go to politics or religion to draw the limelight. Every family has a history of an Aunt Olive or Uncle George somewhere and you can be sure that the opinion is evenly divided as to whether they should be canonized or burnt. A really skilled Guild operative can antagonise both sides with one fleeting reference.
But what if you are afraid of the consequences? Of being socially ostracized or cut out of the will or hounded for money? Do not be concerned – a good Guild member will always have one innocent-sounding question that can be asked of anyone – see our section on family secrets and suppressed court orders – that will ensure silence and sweating. Remember to smile and show as many teeth as you can.