Thursday, May 13, 2010

(Man) Guy Banter 102

Exhibit C: A man who is seasoned in the art of banter will have a line ready. If he just sees you and is about to miss an opportunity for banter he may fall back on a reliable phrase such as the one in Guy Banter 101. Another fall back phrase may be, “You missed a spot.” The unfortunate part of this phrase is it is a closed statement rather than an open statement or question. Remember, you do not want to burden your fellow man with working toward a witty response. If you initialize banter you have the responsibility of setting the man up for an easy answer like: “How ‘bout if I just give you the kids?” or “Drive it over and give me the keys.” Remember, you don’t know if the man you are speaking to is banter certified. He may only smile and say, “I don’t think so buddy” but at least he said something.

Exhibit D: Timing and placement is everything. Banter is meant to be fast. Ideally two exchanges with each banter being one sentence. You don’t want more than two seconds to go by without giving a response or it begins to get uncomfortable. You’re thinking too hard. You need to read and react. Read and react. That is why you need to know the fall back banters. Once you begin to banter with the same person more than once you can take chances with more complex banters. Especially if you have know something about the person. For instance, you see a University sticker on the car and he is in his mid-fifties. You could take a stab and say, “Your kid going to school?” A “yes” reply and you have a ready made, “Expensive huh?” in your back pocket and a reply of *Ha Ha* “It sure is”. But even a “no” response can gain a great deal of respect from the other man in that he knows your observant and have the guts to take a chance. No harm done.

Your placement is important in that you have to be within earshot and can be seen easily. However, if you start your banter too close than you are in the “Intimate Zone”. In my situation, the man was across the street and I was looking his direction. In another situation you could be on the same side of the street but your banter friend is on the roof. Don’t get me wrong, being on the same side of the street is not forbidden. If the guy is working on his door or is across the lawn pulling weeds its fine.

I think that is enough for now. Here was the typical banter between my neighbor (who I have never seen) and me. He decided to initiate.

“Hey, when you’re done washing your car you can come over and wash mine.” *chuckle*.

“Are you sure?” (I raise my eyebrows and point down to the small kids) *chuckle chuckle*.

“Hmmmm, need to grow another foot each.” (smile)

“Already fed ‘em McDonalds today” *chuckle chuckle*.

*chuckle chuckle*.

Did you see? Two exchanges, one sentence each. Initial banter was a fall back but with my confident and creative response he realized he could push the envelope with his last exchange (it was almost two sentences). By the time the last sentence was stated he was out of the banter zone and continuing with his walk.

If you have a young man in your life, or a reclusive man who has not bantered for years, please print this information off or direct them to this blog. They will thank you for it.

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