10 Times You Shouldn’t “Just Be Yourself!” featuring illustrations by Jeremy Talamantes
Let’s face it. As far as this whole “life” thing goes, you’re not exactly killing it. But fear no more! We at Here’s Why That’s Funny have discovered the key to living successfully: Just don’t be yourself. Especially if you totally suck. Which you do. We’ve asked comedian and artist Jeremy Talamantes to help us illustrate ten situations in which you should be anyone but your horrible, rotten self.
Job interviews: Your gut instinct is probably to say that honesty is the best policy. “Just be yourself,” you think as you walk into the hiring manager’s office. And then it hits you. You know nothing about property management; you have none of the skills and – wait. What’s the name of this company again? Being yourself is a terrible plan, since you’re an unhirable piece of garbage. When the recruiter asks you what your biggest weaknesses are, toss a few copies of your resume in the air, throw on some shades and say, “Them legs, babe.” If the recruiter doesn’t propose to you/hire you on the spot, at least you can sleep well knowing that today you were way more awesome than usual.
Thanksgiving: Please don’t be yourself around the holidays. The only people that hate you more than you do are your family. There’s a reason why they only hang out with you in an environment abundant with turkey and liquor. They’re going to ask you boring, normal questions, expecting you to be your boring, normal, self. But this year, you’re going to shock them by being way, way better than yourself. When your Auntie Nelly asks you to say grace, recite the entire opening monologue to Star Trek: The Original Series with passion and vigor. When asked about this directly, say that you only recognize one true god, and his name is Khan. But you have to say it like Kirk. Shake your first. Really sell it. Look off into the distance wistfully. If your nephew isn’t crying, you didn’t yell it loudly enough. Your family will respect your new religion, lest they face the wrath of Khan! You’re the life of the party, all because you decided not to be yourself. Way to be, stud!
On A First Date: Forbes recently released a scientific study proving that the number one mistake that most people make on first dates is being their stupid, boring selves. Rookie move! In fact, on a first date, you should try to be the exact polar opposite of yourself. If you’re someone who wears bright floral prints, wear subtle, autumn tones. If you normally eat steak or burgers at restaurants, order the salad instead. If you’re a white person, try showing up to the date wearing blackface. Show that special someone that you’re willing to try new things!
Making a Sandwich: One of the most important rules of not being yourself is to never let your guard down, even when you’re alone in your kitchenette at 2:00AM making yourself a sandwich. I know what you’re thinking: “Alex, nobody can see me. I can be myself if nobody’s around!” Well, you’re wrong. You’re wrong about a lot of things, actually. It’s one of the many reasons why nobody likes you. No, even while making a sandwich, you should try to be cooler than you are. Use dijon instead of mustard, aioli instead of mayo, and instead of bread, meat and cheese, consume whole two copies of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. This works better if they’re two different editions of the book sewn together with thread made from the hair of your high school bully. If your bully is dead or bald, use the hair of someone else that hates you. Like your mother. Eat the book, and cry as you carve “Who is John Gault” into your forearm, so that the world can see how undeniably cool you are.
Getting a Pap Smear: There are a couple of good ways to go about this one. Just remember that your stupid jokes don’t ease the tension of having your doctor reach inside of places you only theorize about in your diary. If you tell your doctor, “Hey, maybe you should have bought me dinner first, heh heh” know that your doctor, much like everyone else who’s ever been inside of you, now hates you. If it weren’t directly against the Hippocratic oath, which begins, “First do no harm”, your doctor would ball up six of her rubber gloves into one big latex ball and choke you to death. To prevent non-accidental death by your medial practitioner, lose the awkward joke and instead think about what would make your doctor happy. Put on a nice perfume. Fill your vagina with confetti and balloons to congratulate your doctor for being your 1 millionth vaginal visitor. Who doesn’t want to feel special at work?
Your Best Friend’s Mom’s Funeral: This one might sound tricky, but I’m sure a lot of things sound tricky to someone as slow as you. But don’t worry, slugger! This is an easy one. It’s a rough time for your BFF. They just lost their mom. Not in a sad way like cancer or suicide, though. Something upbeat and exciting, like a fire. Are you thinking about bringing flowers to a funeral? Well, don’t! It’s basically saying, “Hey, pretty soon these flowers will die, but don’t worry, because they still outlived your dead mom!” As hilarious as that sentiment is, be unlike yourself and think outside of the box. No speeches, no eulogies, no patting on the back and saying that you’re “sorry for their loss”. Go big! Dress up like the dead momma in question. Sing a medley of songs relating to fire, concluding with “Hellfire” from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, just to remind your buddy where that old broad will probably be heading. End the show with an elaborate, expensive display of pyrotechnics. Tally up the total cost of the costume, music rights, and special effects. Give the bill to your friend at the funeral. Pat them on the back and tell them that there’s plenty of fish in the sea.
Babysitting Your Nephew: Your brother Garry is out of town and he needs you to watch his six-year-old son Garry Jr. But don’t feel too flattered, as you were literally the last person he asked. He asked your other brother Dan and his two college aged daughters, but they’re in Yosemite for the weekend. He called an altar boy from his church, the pastor of his church and a schizophrenic homeless man who hangs out at the dumpster behind the McDonalds across from his church. But you were the only one who wasn’t busy. Shocker. Anyway, you gotta babysit this little bugger and guess what? He doesn’t like you. He thinks you’re awkward, and is totally creeped out by your weird eye thing you hoped nobody noticed. Well, Garry Jr. noticed, and he is going to make your life even more hellish than it already is. But you have an advantage – you’ve learned how to not be yourself. You’re better than yourself now. You’re the cool Aunt. Give him some candy. Let him jump on the bed. Buy him tickets to Disneyland. Drop him off at the airport. Tell him you’ll pick him up in a few days. But be vague about how he can reach you. This builds character. Staple $40 to his collar and a note saying “If kidnapped, do not request ransom. I do dishes.” Drive home. Turn off your phone and throw it off a bridge. When your brother comes home, and asks where his kid is, respond: “Living life, maaan. Living life.” And your brother will stop and reflect on how uptight he’s been, maaan. It’s a win-win-win: your bother learns to loosen up a bit; your nephew will probably be sold as a child soldier (great real-world experience!) and you get to show everyone how cool you are. Way to be a team player!
Finding Out Post-Sex That Your Blind Date is a Distant Cousin – Now that you know the basics of not being yourself, we can kick it up a notch with this classic comedy mix up. You matched on Tinder, you chatted, you had drinks, one thing led to another, yada yada, then surprise – you have the same grandfather. Hey, it’s not your fault that nobody puts their last name on Tinder. The old you would have high tailed it out of there, fearing that you’ve brought shame upon your family. But stop those negative thoughts! Remember that your family has always been ashamed of you. Lean into it. Go on more dates with your cousin. Get married. Have babies. Create a superhuman race of web-toed amphibian children. For added effect, during your pregnancy consume one daily serving of radioactive waste. If successful, you will have legion of villainous frog children ready to take on the world at a moment’s notice. If you fail to acquire superpowers for your spawn, and they somehow survive the inevitable and numerous birth defects, teach them to use their awkward flippers early. Create a race of swimmers. Go to the 2028 Olympics and take home the gold. You learning not to be yourself is not only a win for your deformed frog-creature family, but it’s also a win for America. USA! USA!
Getting Arrested: Picture this – you’re just driving along, minding your own business. You’re on the highway and those red and blue lights flash behind you. Aw snap, it’s da cops! The coppers pull you over and inform you that your license plate has come up in connection with a charge of negligence and child endangerment. And then you remember – “Oh man!I totally haven’t checked on Garry Jr. and it’s been like six months. He’s probably dead by now!” The trouble is that you made the mistake of saying this out loud, and the cop takes this as an admission of guilt. Next thing you know – clink – the cop slaps the handcuffs on you and read you your rights. The old you might have started to cry, maybe called a lawyer. But you spent all of your money on confetti and frog-child swimming lessons, so a lawyer is out of the question. But you’ve discovered the secret key to life – don’t be yourself. Use your newfound charisma to convince the cop to take on a life of crime with you. Enlist his cop buddies and create the largest drug trade in North America. Use the profits to rescue the child soldiers. Build a huge mansion, move the children in, and put them to work as child butlers. It’s slightly more moral than the other thing, and also your nephew Garry is pretty adorable in a butler costume. He also laughs less than he used to. Another win-win! You are killing it!
Meeting your Maker – Whether you worship God, Allah, Khan, Shiva, or Science, all of us have to go meet our maker and answer for our earthly decisions. For example, had you died today (here’s hoping!) you’d have a lot of things to explain. Like why people hate you. Why you’re so ugly. Why your wife left you. For the old you, the answer to all three of these divine questions would be the same: Because you’re the worst. But you’re not you anymore, thank Khan! Now that you know not to be yourself, you’re ready for enlightenment in paradise! St. Peter meets you at the pearly gates, confused. “Your name is on the list,” he says, “But we were expecting some scrub, not this cool dude!” It’s your lucky day! Turns out the old you would have gone to boring old heaven. This new, awesome version of you gets to go to kickass hell! Woo-hoo! The weather is better, the food is better (Oddly, there are a lot of Italians here?) and you have access to some of the best lawyers around (less surprising on the Jews). Sure, you’ll have to burn in a bottomless pit of boiling lava fire for all of eternity, but at least you had one ballin’ life. You’ve ruined funerals, corrupted cops, decimated the gene pool, and destroyed your nephew’s will to live before he started 1st grade. But you have proven something important – why be yourself when you can be freaking radical?