Neil Sandhu is a biomedical engineering senior and an editor for Mustang News. The Weekly Bull is a purely satirical column and any references to actual people or organizations are coincidental. The satire expressed within this column does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Mustang News or the Mustang News editorial board.

“So what are your plans after college?”

“Why the f*ck are you asking me this?”

For the number of times my reactionary tongue has attempted to pass off this callous remark as a legitimate response to the unsolicited questions that are thrown at me from across the dinner table, you would think I hated my family.

Unfortunately, asking your grandma, “Da f*ck?” isn’t going to earn you an extra slice of pie after dinner and it does a sub-par job at hiding the fact that you don’t even have a, well, sub-par job lined up yet.

No one likes questions, especially ones we don’t have answers to. And if you’re anything like me, “home for the holidays” can sometimes feel more like a congressional select committee hearing on Benghazi than an actual dinner. I want to do my part to make sure that you make it through winter break without another mashed potato incident (2013, never forget). I interviewed the foremost expert on snarky remarks (me), supplying a few template answers that are more dry than the leftover turkey that is now sitting in your fridge. Just insert these carefully crafted responses into your own conversations, and you’ll be back to being ignored in no time.

Who did you vote for?

“Oh, the same person as you did.”

“I plead the 5th.”

(Or if you’re not a b*tch, plead the 2nd, and pull out a .44 revolver from your hip holster, place it next to the superfluous assortment of tiny forks and tell them you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat the question).

How’s school going?

“Oh, I dropped out months ago, but I’ve taken the money that you thought you were spending on tuition and invested heavily in vintage beanie babies. The returns have been pretty *giggles* soft.”

“The funniest thing happened. You know those dreams where stuff starts going terribly for no reason and you’re panicking and have no idea what’s going on? I had one of those a few months ago, I’m still waiting to wake up.”

“My classes are kind of like Cal Poly football games. I hear that they’re loads of fun, I just haven’t had the time to make it to one in a while.”

What do you do for fun?

Avoid the “I watch a lot of Netflix” answer on this one. Just because you like to watch the same TV show over and over again, doesn’t mean you have to keep using the same blasé dry response that got laughs three years ago. Try something new, like:

“I sometimes go on the Ride-Share page and comment on ride-seekers posts ‘I can pick you up, just message me’ and then never return their messages. This way, no one else will offer them rides and they’ll never get home for the holidays and they’ll never have to be asked the mind-numbing stodgy question that I’m answering right now. I consider my work a public service.”

Or instead, just start playing “Black Beatles” and freeze in place. Mannequin challenges are terrible, but old people love feeling young and hip, so they might just join in and forget that they asked you anything in the first place.

Are you seeing anyone? 

“I CAN SEE YOU RIGHT NOW AHAH HAHAHAH HAHAH HAHAHAH HAHAH!“ (hold eye contact and continue laughter until they look away).

“My roommate has been dating her boyfriend for about six months now and she sends me screenshots of their conversations and I tell her what to say, so I like to think that 20 percent of that relationship is mine …  so, I guess we’ve been dating for over a month now.”

“We were both young when I first saw him. I close my eyes and the flashback starts. Im standing there. On the balcony in summer air…” (Go as many verses as you need to, there’s never an inappropriate moment for a good T-Swift solo).

What are your plans for after college?

“I’m having such a hard time choosing where I want to live right now. I was thinking about moving into the basement, but there are spiders down there, so I think I’m going to stick with my childhood room. There’s still so much to sort out right now, what color I want to paint it, which candle I want to get, but I’m really just excited about how much of a change it’s going to be.”

“I think I’m going to apply to be a Kardashian. I’ve really been working on my selfie portfolio for a while and most people say I’m intolerable, so I like my chances.”

OR, if you have recently (by recently, we mean within the last decade) returned from studying abroad, just talk about how much of an adventure it was. Trust me, everyone will stop listening because no one cares how much “Italia” changed your life.

Whatever you choose to say, remember, sarcasm is always better than a meaningful conversation with the people who love you. Happy Festivus, Mustangs.

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