Awkward moments you must avoid

Jacuzzi banter, public snoring food shame and more situations to avoid Discuss this article

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9. Jacuzzi conversations
Who doesn’t love a Jacuzzi? The answer, clearly, is anybody who has ever sat in one with a stranger. Sit in a Jacuzzi and you’re basically saying you’re happy to share a bath with strangers as long as they don’t mind wearing a bathing suit and watching you squirm uncomfortably as jets of air are blasted against your back fat. The best possible scenario is that you stay mute and people think you are a bit strange. We’ve thought long and hard about acceptable conversation starters in Jacuzzis, and there is not a single sentence you can utter that does not sound weird.

8. Waking up in the wrong place
Waking up suddenly can be disorientating and confusing. Especially so if you’re in a taxi, by the pool or halfway through a massage in the spa. People will spare your blushes by not acknowledging it, but you know full well they were laughing at you drooling and snoring as you dozed.

7. Foodshaming
There is a moment at every brunch when you run the risk of very public judgement, and it usually doesn’t go so well. When you pile your food so high and with such casual disregard for table manners, separation of flavours and dietary concern, it will lead to a few double-takes on your way back to your table. Even you know you probably should have put cakes, carvery and canapés on different plates, but it’s too late now.

6. Bumping into a boss outside of work
You work so hard to cultivate the illusion of professionalism and diligence during the week that it’s hard to explain why you’re Gangnam dancing down the food aisles of the supermarket, to the company director you see at the weekend.

5. Stray hands
Is it going to be a hand shake, a fist bump or a low five? Decide quick! Get it right and you’re the coolest ones in the room. End up limply shaking an outstretched fist and you most certainly are not.

4. Uplifting singing
Do you know why lifts have quiet music playing in them? Us neither, but we’d make a guess it has something to do with filling the awkward silence of a long, slow ascent and creating a soothing environment to stare at the doors to. It doesn’t work if you sing along to the music, though. Aware of it or not, people can hear you singing to yourself in a lift, and it’s a little bit creepy.

3. Being recognised by taxi drivers
A taxi driver bursting into spontaneous song isn’t as rare as you might think. We’re just about used to it now, but when they expect you to join in and then go on to tell you that you were in their taxi at the weekend, it can be slightly confusing. You could easily dismiss it as a mistake if they didn’t perfectly describe where you were, where you live and what you were wearing, and tell you that you were singing Abba songs very loudly throughout the entire journey.

2. Is it art?
Exercise extreme caution when talking to a stranger in an art gallery. If you’re approached by somebody asking if you like a piece, let them commit first. If you say you hate it because it looks like something a five-year-old would do and that the artist has stuck a few ironic business logos on it, added random political buzzwords and called it a social commentary, nine times out of ten it will turn out that they are the artist. And believe us when we say that gets awkward very quickly.

1. Novelty phone rings
It was a cute idea to add the He-Man cartoon theme as your mobile ring tone. A sign that you are not a slave to conformity and have a loveable retro side and are not afraid to show it. Then it rang in a work meeting/cinema/any place it was heard by somebody over the age of ten, and you regret it with all your heart.

Will Milner is a regular contributor. He’s easily embarrassed.

By Will Milner
Time Out Doha,

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