So, that should settle those questions, right? RIGHT.
Luckily for everyone, this guy managed to come up with a question that I can work with. So, here's what he sent along to Ask the Van:
Today, as I was delivering an extra chair to a relative's house, I made a wrong turn, parked, and had the heavy chair halfway through the front door when I realized I was at the home of a complete stranger. (The houses do look similar.) The question is, what do you say to a man whom you've never seen before in your life and is considering a. calling the police or b. pulling his nine millimeter Smith & Wesson?Warren, after cracking up for several days and kind of wishing this story had happened to me, because um, FUNNY, I realized that what you don't need are more laughs. What you do need, Warren, is an intervention.
Warren, your kind family gesture first went awry with that wrong turn. Why do you not have a GPS, Warren? Is it because you're too manly to ask for directions? Because that is way cliche and sexist. Next, I'm concerned about your eyesight. Because similar houses? Warren. I live in the damn Truman Show of communities and even the pets and children find their way home at night after having been set out of the house at first sign of dawn. I mean, who is this "relative" exactly? Have you even been to this person's house ever or was this some kind of odd Craigslist rendezvous? Actually, don't answer that. Moving right along, Warren, I'm also worried about your sense of etiquette. Did you even ring the doorbell? Because that is customary in America even among people with poor eyesight and an inability to follow directions.
So, to recap:
1. Stop being sexist against GPS-es. Buy one with a man's voice if you must. Ours is named Jack. His voice suggests he's a bit of a drinker, but he's fairly reliable and has yet to direct me off the side of a bridge or into a lake. Which is a lot more than some of the other drinkers I've met in my lifetime.
2. Warren, you need a driver. Or caretaker. Or maybe just befriend a dog or child with a good sense of direction. But be prepared for the backlash of hanging out with young children. Because NO ONE is buying that story, Warren.
3. Familiarize yourself with social norms. Did you know there's an institute of social norms, Warren? ME NEITHER. It's called the National Social Norms Institute, and it's financed by Anheuser Busch, which means it's probably run by a bunch of alcoholics, so don't trust anything they say about throwing parties for underaged drinkers because it's probably going to violate your terms of probation (see #2).
And to answer your ACTUAL question, Warren, I believe that the only acceptable way to get out of such an awkward position is to play dumb. You might be stupidly aggressive and say things like, "WELL AIN'T THIS A FINE HOWDOYADO." Or you might make references to 1990's sitcom humor by saying things like PIVOT! PIVOT! PIIII-VOOOOOOOT!" If all else fails, request a sandwich so that at least you'll have a last supper of sorts. Being a criminal and all.
(Or, maybe just apologize and tell him you're a blogger. Should explain loads.)
Want to send me a question? GET ON THE BOAT, BANANA! Email me at waitinthevan [at] gmail [dot] com.