10 Things I Do Because I'm An Awkward Ass Dude Sometimes And I Have No Other Reason


1.  Make pretend phone calls to just leave places without talking to people when I want to just leave places without talking to people but know that just leaving without talking to anyone would be awkward and inappropriate. Basically, if you see me at a happy hour and I'm on the phone and walking out the door, there's a 95 percent chance I'm talking to no one.


(I do this because I really hate saying bye. Not the act of leaving a place, but the entire bye-saying ritual. So I just choose to opt out of bye-saying.)

2. While sitting by myself, curse suddenly and loudly at the thought of a cringe worthy thing I did or said months (or even years) ago.

3. Carry a plastic bag while walking the dog at night despite knowing I have no intention on picking up his shit if he shits in the bushes. (Which is what he usually does. My dog, fortunately, is not a sidewalk shitter. He's considerate with his shit.)

4. But, if someone is watching, I'll actually put the bag in my hand, bend down, and pretend to pick it up. And then go throw this bag of pretend dog shit in a dumpster.

5. Stretch-yawn loud as fuck in public places. Like, so loud it startles people and scares toddlers.

6. Respond to statements I anticipate being made instead of what's actually said. Which I'm aware is something people regularly do. But instead of just going along with the conversation, like five minutes later I'll say "Oh, by the way, back when you asked 'How are you feeling?' and I thought you asked 'What's going on?', I meant to say 'Good' instead of 'Aint shit, how about you?"


7. Be so consumed in thought that I wear my glasses in the shower. And, sometimes, my socks.

8. It's been at least four years since I left "Happy Birthday" on anyone's Facebook wall because I fear someone who wished me Happy Birthday will see that and be upset I didn't wish them one. So I just don't say it to anyone.


9. Start laughing hysterically if I happen to trip while walking in public, even if no one actually saw me and I tripped because I sprained my ankle and am in intense pain.

10. Pray for my food as many as four times because I'm not sure whether I prayed and I figure several prayers — even mid-meal prayers (which kinda defeats the purpose of praying) — is better than none.


11. Never quite know what to do with my hands in pictures, while standing, while dancing, while sitting and talking, while standing at the bar, while on camera, while on TV, while sleeping, and basically while doing anything other than playing basketball.

12. Talk to myself so much that I do it during conversations with other actual people.


13. List 13 things on a list about 10 things but not edit the title because I just think 10 looks better than 13.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Hateration, That Niggah Kas

So everyone is cool with not curbing your dogs?! Who are you people?!!!