Ski season is here, and you’ll be spending anywhere from three to 15 minutes sharing chairlifts with people you may or may not know. It’s enough time to get to know someone a little bit, or have a brief conversation about snow conditions, or how busy or not busy the mountain is.
Or, you can make things very uncomfortable for everyone. Here are a few tips.
1. Repeatedly Touch Their Skis With Your Skis: People love this, whether you’re slightly rubbing your edges on their topsheets, gently resting your skis on top of theirs to take some weight off your legs, or delivering tiny little kicks from your edges to theirs.
2. Talk Over Everyone: If you’re on the far left side of a four-person chair, only talk to the person on the far right side, and vice versa. This works best if you’ve never met them before the chairlift ride.
3. Pull Down The Safety Bar Without Warning Anyone First
4. Fart Loudly: Farting, loudly, can make almost any situation awkward—first dates, elevator rides, job interviews, et cetera. It can work just as well on a chairlift. Here’s the thing, though: You’re wearing a lot of layers, so the sound will be kind of muffled. It’s a good idea to announce, “That was a fart,” immediately after you do it, lest your fellow chairlift riders think it was just the chair going over the rollers on the tower, or some friction between someone’s pants and the seat covering.
5. Talk About Your Last Relationship: Was it your fault, was it his or her fault, who knows. Strangers you’ve just met are usually a good source of objective advice—they’ve probably been through a tough breakup or two. It’s OK to cry, but flip your goggles up before you get too many tears on the inside of the lens.
6. Tell Them Your Conspiracy Theories: People deserve to know the truth, whether that’s 9/11, the JFK assassination, the Federal Reserve System, or why you got passed over for that promotion at work for that asswipe Gary.
7. Fall Out, But Save Yourself At The Last Second: It’s usually good to have a hold of a part of the chairlift with at least one hand before you do this, but if that’s not possible, grab someone’s boot or pant leg on your way off.
8. Offer Them A Pickle, Pig’s Foot, Or Vienna Sausage From A Jar Inside Your Jacket
9. In The Gondola, Ask: ‘You Guys Don’t Mind If I Smoke Some Weed, Do You?’ Or just do it without asking.
10. Find A Way To Talk About Your Diet: Are you paleo? Vegan? Vegetarian? Eating a gluten-free diet? Only eating locally grown produce? Getting all the nutrients you need from breathing air? A chairlift is a perfect chance to tell someone about it, and why. Say something like, “So where are you from?” and no matter what they answer (or before they answer), immediately begin describing your current diet. If they seem interested, or not interested, try to convince them to adopt your diet too. Not that excited about your diet? Religion and politics are two other great topics to discuss with total strangers.
11. Ask Them On A Date: Doesn’t matter if you’re not attracted to them, or if they’re a man and you normally date women, or if they’re a woman and you normally date men, or if their spouse is very obviously sitting next to them. Works best if combined with one of, or all of, the above (time permitting).
More stories like this in my new book, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, out now.