How To… Breakfast at Tiffany’s

It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve seen the film so I really cannot reliably recall how the proposal of having breakfast at Tiffany’s was first imagined. And simply don’t have it in me to look it up. So let’s stick with the fertile soils of imagination land because that’s always so much more fun. Yes it is. Is it because it’s such an exotic and luxurious location? That’s not a rhetorical question – I am literally going to sit here until you tell me for sure so that I can completely ignore your fact and go off on a total tangent. Thanking you.

As far as I am aware (and we all know quite how limited that particular knowledge set is), Tiffany’s aren’t exactly known for their breakfast catering facilities. I’m relatively sure that they’re all about hats. Or shoe buckles. I don’t think I actually care. Whatever it is they sell it’s not croissants or cereal.

This should of course be quite exciting news to you. Why? Oh let me tell you precisely for why in a way that absolutely won’t come across as padding. You’re going to have to showcase your trademark ingenuity with a slight shade of deviousness because you’re going to attempt to get food into an environment in which it doesn’t truly belong. And by using such a method that will allow you to have it there for long enough to devour it with gusto.

I’m sorry to say that a fry up is almost definitely out of the question. The frying pan alone would probably attract too many dubious glances. In spite of your famous daring you should probably keep your foodstuff as something pretty discreet. Well, and this is in no way influenced by the free sample I was handed very recently indeed, how about some delicious breakfast biscuits? You can subtly chew whilst touring the shop floor pretending you might make a purchase. And go away and top it off with some marmalade for lunch.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

How To… Get the Party Started

Look at me, I’m quite clearly the most down with it raging party animal the world has ever known. Luckily for you, I’m willing to share a little bit of my knowledge. After all, there are only so many parties a glittering socialite such as myself can even attend let alone throw. It’s only right that I give something back to the community that adores me so.

As everyone knows, the key to any successful social gathering is dip. Well, food of all kinds really but one must be able to pull things together with an excellent dip such as sour cream and chive or possibly even hummus if you’re feeling especially adventurous. For those pretending to be adults you’ll need achingly well prepared shreds of carrots and assorted greenery. The rest of us can content ourselves with a selection of Doritos and a very thin veneer of sophistication.

Of course one thing you’ll very definitely have to ensure is a kaleidoscope of personalities when it comes to your guest list. There’s nothing duller than a room of very similar people with nothing left to talk about. Make sure you toss in a few surprises and hang back to observe the carnage. I mean interesting social interactions. Invite that friend you often avoid for their outlandish opinions and set them off by mentioning immigrants. Or the moon landings.

Provide booze in abundance. Lay out a tray of party hats regardless of the occasion. I mean, nothing sets off a wake like a fluorescent cowboy hat. Don’t have a dress code per se but do feel free to make a range of suggestions to your guests. When else are you going to see someone looking uncomfortable in jeans conversing with a stunning lady in a full length ball gown and a six foot penguin? Precisely. Get that party off to a flying start.

Get the party started – P!nk

How To… Fake You Out

What? You didn’t think that all this was real did you? Oh my dear naïve little cherub. I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ll have encountered the notional concept of a practice round. It was realised at the beginning of this year that we were entering a time of many impactful global decisions and you know how we are as a species. We’ve been previously known to rather balls things up and it was thought that the potential consequences were something that definitely couldn’t be left up to chance.

So worry not about Brexit. You’ll wake up some time in the future and it will actually be the past. All that nonsense will have melted away like some kind of terrible dream and you can savour the incomparable relish of a do-over. As such, racism will abate entirely and the knock on effects will be manifold. Just a random example I happen to have plucked out of the air, momentum will dissipate for a certain American mogul’s presidential campaign and an erstwhile sane person will take the stage. And the beloved celebrities will stop dropping like flies as various cures for diseases will be magically invented.

Psych. For better or worse (worse, we all know it’s worse, there’s no way out of this endless darkest night and I don’t know why we’re even bothering to carry on any more. And this is me in a good mood) we’re stuck with how things have currently panned out. All we can hope for is that certain other voters (hint, massive galumphing hint) will learn from what has happened on our side of the pond.

But it’s fun to pretend sometimes that we can have chances to try things out another way. We can envision what might have been and then wander off into reality. Have a go and see if you can fake someone else out.

Fake you out – twenty one pilots

How To… Look Inside America

For a start, do we really have to? Can’t we just stick a pin in it or pop a lid over the top. It would be so very easy indeed to leave America alone for a decade or two. Allow it to congeal or tear itself apart for a little bit and we might possibly uncover a useful member of the global society at the end of it. Or perhaps that’s merely something of a hopeful pipe dream and you will in fact find yourself confronted with a very angry Donald Trump with a face like a smacked cat and a burning intent to claw your face off.

Maybe it doesn’t even have to be the United States of America. The southern continent holds a hell of a lot more wonder and spectacle. You can delve deep into the glorious rainforests in search of fascinating and not at all critically endangered plants and animals. Indulge in incredible cultures and luxuriate in the knowledge that you could purchase an entire village for the price of a one bed flat in London. However, those may well be imperialist thoughts we really oughtn’t to give into nowadays.

But no, we’re both painfully aware that the intention here is to delve into the frightening underbelly of the land of stars and stripes. Do have your handy eye bleach at the ready in case you spot something that there’s no other way to unsee.

Since I don’t seem to be able to dissuade you from such a foolish undertaking I can at least provide you with one or two snippets of my patented brand of wisdom. Be cautious, take a scapegoat if possible to help avert the direction of unwanted attention and sharpen up your flattery skills. They all want to hear that theirs is the very greatest country in the world despite any and all evidence to the contrary.

Look inside America – Blur

How To… Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Have you ever wondered what that special someone, the person you fancied way back then, is up to now? Of course you have, you’re only human. The unadulterated, and not remotely creepy, passion is long gone but that doesn’t mean you don’t remember how it felt. I know the temptation is there to turn to Facebook for some gentle stalking but do try and resist it.

Don’t worry though, I’ve been watching from the bushes and am able to bring you a choice selection of their various exploits. I’m a busy woman though and keep an eye on several such types so you may need to wait your turn to hear about yours.

There’s that girl who was so mischievously lovely at school. Sure, she teaches yoga and dabbles in pet photography on the side to get the bills paid but they’re hardly her real passion. On the dark streets at night perpetrators of crime are learning to fear her as the Masked Urban Fox of Justice (so many of the other nocturnal animal representations were already spoken for).

Oh how about the polite gentleman with very nice hair who dreamed of being a civil rights campaigner, eloquently speaking out for the little guy? He definitely hasn’t compromised his principles in his new job for the tobacco lobby, not at all. He’s on his way to a slightly tarry but shiny enough career in politics.

And as for the person who was desperately in love with you (whether you noticed it or not – go hunting for a comment in your yearbook dripping with hopeful subtext), I almost don’t want to say. They’re doing fantastically, it’s as if they’ve cut the dead weight from their life and is heading upwards to becoming a famous musician/ground breaking scientist/celebrated author/the next Lord and saviour of the human race.

It’s fine for you to have moved on. You’ve seen fit to bestow your love upon another and magnanimously allowed the former not-quite paramour to get on with their own life. Really rather good of you when you think about it. I’ll send them my best, probably not love. Wouldn’t want them to get the wrong idea.

Send my love (to your new lover) – ADELE

How To… Watch the Tapes

So, videos are finally dead. I’m not sure anyone really noticed. There was certainly no one fluttering anxiously by their bedside while they wheezed out their last death knells and expired. Folk were far too busy with their ringtones or off skipping outside playing Pokémon Go.

But what are you to do when you realise that you’re nothing more than an obsolete technology fit for the likes of achingly trend hipsters for whom you’ll be nothing more than a fad or a badge of how ironic they wish to be? Do you gracefully slip from existence and consign yourself to the annals of history? Surely the best time to go is when your fame is at its peak and you leave the rabid consumers only wanting more? I guess inanimate objects don’t exactly have all that much choice in the matter and manufacturers are always going to pursue so much as one more sale. I totally get how capitalism works.

We’re now, however, through the looking glass and have to admit to ourselves that we’re quite certainly not going to miss video cassettes. Not when we’re in possession of the everlasting formats of DVDs or generic data from the cloud. People my age will never hark back to the sweet innocence of childhood when everything was beautifully simple. We didn’t have to worry about student debts or proper nutrition. One could simply pop on a video and feel any cares we did have melt away with the immersive fantasy.

Clearly we have to go back. 2016 has had more than its fair share of unmitigated misery (I’m definitely not overdoing it in the hope of making a point) so let’s pretend we aren’t grown-ups anymore. We can go and watch the tapes. Unearth an antique machine from your nearest electronics disposal yard and fire it up. Where to start though? Pete’s Dragon, Cinderella or something slightly more modern like Shrek?

Watch the tapes – LCD Soundsystem

How To… Interview

I swear to you that I am capable of talking about stuff other than my job. Unless you’re desperately casting about for a new career opportunity you’re probably not going to be all that interested in what a recruiter might have to say. Just an inkling I’ve developed over what feels like the last century and a half. Nevertheless, I have gleaned one or two scraps of sagely advice. Today, however, I am going to discuss none of them. I’m more concerned about a conversation I was minorly party to yesterday.

I’m sure that during your previous social interactions you’ll have encounter folk who are, shall we say, enamoured of the sound of their own voices? They’ll chip in with whatever thought springs to mind and are always happy to expand on whatever opinion they’ve already put forth. While being perfectly capable in taking an interest in someone else they’re unlikely to pay attention to whatever anyone else has to say for too long. They’ll have all too speedily moved onto what they wish you to hear next.

By now you should have some variety of inkling as to what I witnessed. One gregarious outgoing person chattered away merrily, constantly interrupting and changing topics whenever the mood struck them. Another struggling to get a word in edgewise and not being all that well regarded whenever they were permitted a line or two. Rather than twisting myself into frustrated knots and wishing that I’d spoken up a little louder for the latter (my tactful protestation that the former shut up for a minute or two didn’t appear to register) let’s examine what should have happened.

If you put forward a question then the polite thing is to wait for it to be answered. Rather than waiting (or not) for your conversational partner to pause so that you can lunge in with your tantalising titbit do have a go at actually listening to what is being said. Just a suggestion. Then you can respond with whatever factoid or comment you deem appropriate.

Interview – Eric Nam