There is no escape. You're standing in a crowd of fantastically interesting people at the sickest party of the year. This could have been the best night ever, but you've only been here for 12 minutes, and it happened already. Peabody Snodgrass, the most obnoxious blowhard on the face of the earth, has spotted you and is currently weaving through the crowd toward you so he can spew infuriatingly off-base political opinions at you for the next 45 minutes. If you're lucky. At the Christmas potluck last year, Miss Ginny was stuck talking to him for an hour and a half because he started ranting about 9/11 conspiracy theories, one of which involved the claim that Harry Potter is a real person. Rumor has it Miss Ginny has been going to therapy for eight months.
This doesn't have to happen to you. If you just knew how to excuse yourself from these unwanted conversations, you wouldn't have such disappointing party experiences. Use any of these tips, and you'll never have to deal with Peabody Snodgrass ever again. Get out of any conversation. Guaranteed.
1. Transform yourself into a walrus. This is very effective because most people would be very afraid of a large tusked mammal, especially if it looks angry. Even if your Mr. Snodgrass is one of the 1.2% of the population who is not, in fact, terrified of walri, he will likely be so surprised that you became one that he will run away shrieking—which is exactly what you want. If you don't get immediate results, try lunging toward his ankles. Works every time.
2. Ask about his toenails. You need to be in control of the conversation. The best way to end it before it starts is to ask your Mr. Snodgrass how his toenail fungus is doing. Ask, but don't wait for a response. Move right along to: "You know, you wouldn't suffer from all of these fungus problems if you just clipped your toenails more than biennially. I've also heard it burns calories."
3. Hide under a table. This works especially well if he hasn't seen you yet. But even if he has, it can still work. Just dive under any table with an adequate table cloth, cover your head with your arms, and refuse to respond to any questions he might bellow down to you. Once he is gone and you want to rejoin the party, someone might see you emerge from beneath the table and ask what you were doing. Remove the Egyptian mummified rat—that you stowed in your pocket before the party—and tell the other party attendee that you were geocaching. Just yell, "FOUND IT!" They'll get it. I promise.
4. Ask him if he wants to play the "quite game." First explain the rules. Whoever remains silent for the longest wins the game! Tell him you're going to "count down to quiet." Then begin counting down from 10. Once you get to 1, discreetly bash him over the head with a crow bar.
5. Excuse yourself politely. In other words, jump onto a chair, remove your sword from its scabbard, and yell, "You will always remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!" Then jump down and run across the room. Run fast enough so that he cannot follow you.
So there you have it. If you have recently witnessed people transforming into walri, diving under tables, or imitating half-drunk pirates, you are Mr. Snodgrass. (P.S., Don't actually try number 4. I've heard that individuals of a certain disposition might find it offensive.)