#491 The Party Save

The Party Save happens anytime a friend yanks you from a bad party conversation by pulling off a thrilling and daring rescue mission.

Here’s how it all goes down:

Step 1:  The Plan. Say tonight you’re heading to a housewarming, office Christmas party, or New Year’s bash. As you and your date walk into Stranger Conversation Territory it’s important to make that deal up front. You save them, they save you. Don’t forget to shake.

Step 2: The Signal. You’re trapped! When you find yourself listening to neverending vacation stories, getting detailed stock-picking advice, or hearing about someone’s thesis, it’s time to get out. Signal your friend with an eager Smile N’ Raised Eyebrows glance, casual Nodding Head-Tilt beckon, or if absolutely necessary, a booming blood-curdling “Get over here!” scream, like Scorpion in Mortal Kombat.

Step 3: The Save. Here’s the tricky part. Your friend comes over and has two options. First, they can play False Emergency and drag you away while apologizing to the chatty strangers. This is  risky because it could look forced and you’ll need to disappear rather than just talking to someone else. Instead, they can try The Natural, which is where they drop a nice, normal transition into the conversation. “Should we go grab some food?”, “Linda just got here, let’s say hi”, or “Where’s the bathroom?” usually work well.

Remember: when you’re stuck, when you’re stranded, when all you see is gloom, just yell for your brothers and sisters and let them pull you across the room.


Neil Pasricha and The Book of Awesome will be at the New Hamburg Live Art Festival in Ontario this weekend.

— Email message —

“My best friend discovered your blog and the book of awesome and showed it to me one day at work… and well i’m hooked. We often cross post awesomeness on each other’s Facebook walls and started an awesome things list of our own… I couldn’t help but continue to spread more awesomeness to her with the actual copy of the book but, being in Korea made it a little difficult. I couldn’t buy and deliver it to her personally. HOWEVER, i prevailed. I ordered her a book online and had it wrapped, carded and shipped to her!” – Sarah, Sanbon, South Korea

Photos from: here and here

44 thoughts on “#491 The Party Save

  1. Oh I’m all over this like a puppy on a rogue tennis ball.

    I get roped into these all the time, and my friends, bless their souls, know me all too well that they can drag me out of something before I even slip them the signal, thwarting my attempts at feeling like Bond, but I’m still always grateful.

    Sorry, gotta run, we’ll chat later (but we probably won’t).

    I’m a mischievous little devil.

    1. That’s great that you have such clairvoyant friends.

      Somehow, our group often underestimates the seriousness involved in Step 1 of the Party Save Plan … then we end up with a borderline-detrimental case of wrong-place-wrong-time when we’re needed to perform a rescue. Boo.

      It will still happen, just not usually as quickly as the escapee would have hoped. :)

  2. A long time ago, my old roommate/dear friend and I jokingly started an Exaggerated Ear Tug as a means of escaping a boring friend’s dorm room … well, it’s stuck and we use it (more subtly, of course) when we’re together and need to peace out ASAP.

    Yeah, False Emergency is good but guarantees an early end to your party-time. Sometimes, though, the sacrifice is worth it …

    I’m going to have to file some of these away for future use. ;D

    1. If I ever made eye contact with a friend over the person’s shoulder, I would do one of those hard blinks like when you step into a bright light for the first time. That usually does the trick.

      1. Haha! *filing that one away, too*

        One of my roommates likes to plan ahead to use a birdlike “CAH-CAW, CAH-CAW” while simultaneously making bird motions with his hands (think Napoleon Dynamite and company from the Happy Hands Club … )

        We never actually use it – obviously – but it’s pretty funny to think about. Or to receive a text message that urgently reads “BIRDCALL, BIRDCALL!”

        I think maybe next time I’ll try all these together: excessive blinking, bird-calling, ear-tugging, etc. I won’t have to worry about someone saving me, as the person in question would more than likely leave of their own accord.

        1. If you were at a party with alcohol, I don’t think you’d look all too out of place if you did that.

            1. My vote is to sharpen up your grappling hook and pull a Scorpion move, much like Neil suggested.

              Hopefully your friends don’t mind severe chest wounds.

              1. Always loved that MK move! The good old days of player vs player, on the old Super with crappy graphics…

        2. I’d love to see you do all of those at the same time!! yeah, you’d either seriously freak out the person and they run away or… they end up falling on the floor laughing their head off.

  3. the fake emergency seems to only work on nights out…actual parties it never works for me because it’s such a small space :(

    haha, you just reminded me of my friend’s message tone which was the mk ‘FINISH HIM….FATALITY’. good times !

  4. I seem to only get in these kinds of situations at work and there’s no one around to bail me out. I got the smile and nod thing down so the person that’s talking thinks I’m listening.

    1. Oh man, it IS bad when it happens at work.

      First of all, you are never guaranteed a saving-partner. Even if you have one, work obligations (meetings, conferences, actual work) are first priority.

      Second of all, the attacks can be much more severe. You end up cornered in your office, trapped in someone else’s office, stuck in the breakroom, or just plain stranded (with no believable means of escape) with a no-fun coworker .


      1. Yeah, it usually happens with my boss or one other co-worker. They talk and talk and talk and I hear the same stories over and over again. No one around to save me and no good excuse to leave. Smile and nod.

  5. The last time I got stuck in a terrible conversation, my husband just decided to watch for his own entertainment. Not cool. Even though others at the party pointed out that I was stuck with an insufferable bore and that he should rescue me. FINALLY he saved me with the fake, “Do you have so-and-so’s number? I need to call them” line. But I was so traumatized by this time, that I didn’t even recognize the save, and just gave him a blank stare. The insufferable bore must have clued in that it was a rescue, but by then I didn’t care!

    1. Not cool, indeed!

      Now you know that you’ll need to make the Party Save Pact with someone else. Haha. ;)

    2. My husband has got to be the worse saver in the world. He’s never anywhere in sight when I’m in need of being saved. A few times, he too, just stopped to watch me be uncomfortable/bored in a conversation.

  6. Or you could just admit what everybody knows anyway and not make a fake getaway. One can save oneself by honesty, too. By the way (random comment coming), a cop was following me today and then, just as I was sure the lights were coming on to pull me over, he turned left down another street. Does that count as AWESOME?!! I loved it! Thanks for a great blog! http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com/

  7. Our sign is hand on hip and wave elbow…ala I need to fly away. Then we swoop in for the rescue!

  8. This just happened to me last weekend. We were at a get together and one of the husbands started telling a long involved story about something that really was trivial and could have been handled in two sentences. I did have to leave to help someone out, and came back 25 minutes later and he was still telling the same story. All in all it went on for over an hour, until we finally just left for the evening. I try to be aware if my stories get long and boring, but I talk really fast and keep the details to a minimum so I don’t think it’s a problem.

    If someone I know reads this, please let me know if I ramble on and on.

    OMG – am I doing it now?!?

  9. My friend drops all subtlety whenever she’s in an awkward situation. Audibly screaming “HELP! HELP ME! SOMEONE SAVE ME!!” when she’s stuck with someone she doesn’t like.

  10. My friend does the self-save / smackdown thing with this line: “I’m sorry – I have to go. I cut my foot earlier today, and my shoe is filling up with blood.” !! Remarkable, most bores / boors don’t “get it”.

  11. That is funny! By the way does anyone know what kind of stuff you should have at a end-of-the-year dance party? I’m having one at my house.

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