10/ Wearing glasses
Pushing them back up your nose with your index finger to max out the ‘Russian intellectual dissident’ look after you make a point. Or, as everyone else sees it, ‘that old one from The Wombles crossed with that pitiful kid from school who wasn’t allowed to eat mince pies because they were “too rich” for him’.
9/ Making a lengthy point in the comments section under a newspaper story online
Ideally, you should cross reference several other posts, link to two external sources, call the original writer’s qualifications and impartiality into question, posit at least one absolutely ludicrous conspiracy, compare someone to a Nazi, and write so much that you end up filling three consecutive posts. Then realise that so few people look at this stuff you might as well have written it on the sandy shoreline at Dungeness, in your own piss, as the tide comes in
8/ Latin quotations
Turn the ponce up to 11 as you grip your own lapels, smile with your eyes closed and deliver some finely honed classical epithet which, even through your mangled delivery, was obviously nicked from the 7Everton fC badge.
7/ Wearing a raincoat
A bit left bank, a bit Jean-Paul Sartre, a bit existentialist, a bit french. Or, as those kids so delicately phrased it from the passing bush – a bit ‘Paaaaeeeedoooo flasher!’ There’s a fine line between intellectual and total nerdlinger
6/ Laughing out loud in the theatre
Theatre jokes aren’t often conventionally ‘funny’ (they never actually have a punchline or make any sense). But giving an ostentatious snort down your nostrils when an actor makes a vaguely arch comment lets the cast know that you alone are the one who ‘gets it’. Although the loud rustling of your maltesers and constant checking of your mobile might have made them think otherwise
5/ Reading The Economist elaborately on public transport...
...while constantly glancing up to check if that foxy piece opposite you has clocked how the horny brainiac is getting up to speed on the cutting edge of geopolitics. Or perhaps she’s just wondering why that guy who’s been reading the same piece about Burmese political prisoners for 25 minutes keeps staring her out. And mouthing the 4words he’s reading.
4/ Keeping your university dissertation on the shelf
Your penetrating analysis of ‘Traffic management in British Satellite Towns, 1985-1991’ is only going to improve with a second reading. Especially now that all that fuss about ‘gross plagiarism’ has died down.
3 / Sleeping with audio books on
Using the power of the subconscious to boost your IQ and implant the most complex theories into your dozing mind. So far, it just seems to be giving you a nightmare in which the head of the Federal Reserve chases you through a library repeating ‘one ticket to the airport, please’ in Japanese. But give it time, eh?
2/ Trying to get into classical music or opera
The CDs cost £28 and there are at least five versions of every piece of music. You can’t tell when the orchestra’s finished, and you keep clapping at the wrong bits and coughing during the bassoon solo. fat people dressed as pirates are shouting at each other, while one bloke seems to be paid to sit there all evening and hit a kettle drum twice. There’s apparently a ‘dark political subtext’ and you’ve been sat in the auditorium for so long that you’re developing deep vein thrombosis. Can’t they just play the music from Star Wars?
1/ Squeezing someone’s leg to reinforce a point Smiling like a well-fed cat as you lean forwards, clasp the other person above the knee and gently squeeze as you subtly tell them, “I’m the one who really makes the decisions in this office.” Leave your hand there for a few seconds longer until the atmosphere turns really uncomfortable, HR get involved and you start leaving work by the back door with a blanket over your head to avoid the intern’s dad who’s waiting in reception for ‘that dirty bastard with the wandering hands who needs teaching a fucking lesson.’