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How Not to Look Like a Doofus When You Screw-Up at an Important Social Event

Updated on April 14, 2014
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Weddings: The inside truth

The last wedding I attended was mine. That was 39 years ago and I thank God almighty that I didn't do anything stupid. Things like laugh uncontrollably, cough loudly, get a fly down my throat or even stumble as I walked out to the altar with my groomsmen.

But I have, and you have heard, maybe seen first-hand, someone do something accidentally at this most-serious ceremony and went from a good friend of the couple to "neighborhood laughing stock."

This can cause serious traumatic wounds to the person getting laughed at.

So here are some of my inside-tips on . . .

How to Not Look Like a Doofus When You Screw-up at An Important Social Event.

1. If you fall, jump up and say, "Just kidding! I am okay. I was only trying to make the bride and groom laugh to relieve their tension." But if you fall during the wedding ceremony, crawl away without being seen.

2. If you spill food or drink on your tuxedo or gown, laugh loudly and say,"I must be a food and drink magnet." DO NOT say a word if you are overweight. Just gently brush the crumbs off and act as if nothing happens.

3. If you cough during the wedding ceremony, quickly tuck your head in your lap. But do not stay there too long. You might faint from no oxygen.

4. Mispronouncing a person's name is dangerous. So if you call an old man, "Rob," instead of his real name, "Todd," just grin and say, "you famous guys are hard for me to keep up with." The old guy will be so confused he won't remember your error in the next five minutes.

5. Avoid boozing it up because most of doofus-related accidents happen to people who drink like a fish. So if you do get wasted, sit in one place. Do not move. Now if you are the best man, start eating solid food as fast as you can. You need to be completely sober when the ceremony begins.

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Funerals: Best be at your best

Funerals pose a different challenge if you are a friend of the deceased or their family. These are tough times and you best be on your best behavior.

Some friendships and even families divided simply because a doofus did something they shouldn't have done and it offended a lot of people.

So avoid stupid things. Follow these five steps and you should be fine.

1. Do not show-up at a funeral drunk. This is not only disrespectful, but making you a target for a doofus event such as slurring your speech when talking and no one is listening to you.

2, Wear the appropriate clothing to a funeral, not what you would wear to a strip club. I do not care if the deceased and you are hunting buddies, it is his time to be respected and your time to help honor him. Remember, if you do mess-up, no amount of apologizing will erase what a doofus you were when the officiating minister caught you telling vulgar jokes in the lobby of the church.

3. Pets are a no, no at a funeral, so leave "Scratch," your prize-winning Boxer at home.

4. If you are an "ex" to the dearly departed's wife, pretend she is someone you do not know. This is no time to gloat or make fun of her at her hour of need.

5. Ear buds are strictly-forbidden. What would the friends and family of the deceased say if you get caught singing along with Lynnrd Skynnrd's "Gimme Three Steps"?

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Graduations, Swearing-in ceremonies, and the Oscar Ceremony

Have pretty-much the same rules.


1. Yelling is the act of a pure doofus. I know you are happy that your child who has spent 14 years in school is now a graduate, and your uncle is being sworn-in, and Robert Downey, Jr., your favorite actor is up for Best Actor at the Oscar Awards, but please show some restraint. No everyone appreciates you yelling like Tarzan of the Apes.

2. Standing-up and waving your arms like a crazed-baboon is not good behavior. The security guards or people in charge will ask you nicely to stop, and if you do not cease from this stupid behavior, you will be forcibly-removed.

3. Throwing popcorn, candy, or Jolly Ranchers at the grad's, Probate Judge to be sworn-in, are taboo. This shows how childish you are and since you are related to the "person of the hour," you will bring shame to them.

4. Doing animal impressions is a definite no. no.

5. Yelling someone's name across the church, courthouse, or gymnasium where the graduation ceremony is being held is not acceptable. Even if it is your older brother who chose to leave town in the cover of darkness due to a nasty rumor about him and the old maid librarian.

6. Dancing with every woman you see will get you tossed quicker than lightning on a summer night.

7. Doing an impression of a Chippendale Dancer is not good at all. Especially when you are 50 pounds overweight and your suit is almost bursting-off of you. Sit still and be quiet.

8. Interrupting the emcee at any of these three events by talking extra-loud to your uncle who is sitting three rows behind you is not a good thing to do. You are talking extra-loud due to the half-case of beer you downed before you arrived.


"Nothing feels better than not being in trouble." (Kenneth)

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Catgypsy,

      You are right also. No party would be complete without someone trashing several trays of goose liver and champagne all at the same time. Thanks for the heads-up.

      Love, K.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Sheila,

      I suppose I need to say touche' on the part of someone doing something dumb to stand out. I completely forgot about these people.

      Thank God I have you and Catgypsy and my other followers looking out for me.

      Thanks, K.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 

      4 years ago from the South

      Some great tips Kenneth. What ocassion wouldn't be complete if someone didn't do something stupid though?

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 

      4 years ago

      These are some very good tips. Yet for some reason, I see some people reading what not to do and a lightbulb appearing above their heads. They'll do the wrong thing just to stand out in the crowd.

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