It has long already occurred to me that so much of what I write is very imaginative and fantastical, so I gave thought to offering several clear applications of what I propose this time round. In fact, I realised it really happened the other way round – real incidents that occurred led me to think about the issue in general. And the issue happens to be regarding social spheres (of influence) that are ubiquitous in our lives.
I thought of it as: how would I present it if it were a product? To be exact, a neat package of Problems that we could encounter sometimes in social interactions that make us ache and groan. For now I’ll just call it the Disparaging Sphere Problems Package, going at only $99.99! This package includes:
- Sphere Restrictions!
- Entering a new Sphere!
- Sphere Overlaps!
Comes with unlimited access to miserable conversations and awkward cliches! Free delivery upon purchase.
Obviously I’m going to need to sell this package to you. So I would start with the first item. Really selling as hotcakes, this one! Or maybe if only the hotcakes were slightly more like soft aromatic oven-baked goods and less like cold hard metal. Anyways, with this Problem, you’ll run into terribly placed social traps in which you are forced into the detested Observer Mode, resigned to your fate of watching other people talk about people or things way beyond your reach. Even if everyone present at the conversation could very well be talking about something in common, someone just had to bring up a topic you are most absolutely clueless about. You might be seething thinking they are in a clever little scheme to make you feel horrible. You could act disinterested, or try to interject (and fail), or just observe. Really, these ‘Solutions’ can hardly stand against this – Sphere Restriction! Most of our customers are 100% satisfied with this magical tool (that is, when they are the ones operating the Problem, rather than recipients.)
Next up! Entering a New Sphere! Oh, yeah, I know you think you’ve got this all covered. I know you’ve probably seen it before or unwittingly used it, but this is different – now I’m telling you to deploy this Problem as a weapon of epic destruction! Bombard the social structures and hierachies with absolute trash! Get introduced to nothing short of everyone, abruptly join in every conversation, learn how the networks are like then scatter these mortals! No one should live to tell the tale of how much of a disarray was left in your wake. This is extremely hard to accomplish unless absolutely resolute, potent and brazen. Warning that failure to meet goal is utter failure – you are doomed to never return to this Sphere, or, if your Spheres overlap, word may get around that you are indeed a
loser/weirdo/antisocial special person, and end up with completely zero many friends.
Oh, so fast and we’re at our final of the trio! We’ve sold only a handful of these over the years because they are overly unpredictable. I mean, surely if we can’t even say for sure what it’ll turn out to be, do you think you could just get one and win the game of life? Yes, and we are talking about the famed Sphere Overlap Problem. We have many variations. While the base remains the same (‘How nice to see you here!’, which roughly translates as ‘What on earth are you doing here?!?”), we do offer add-ons just for the lulz/the thrill. For example you could choose Surprise or Planned – Surprise is us trying to give you a genuine surprise by, like, realizing your school friend is your distant distant cousin/relative/uncle/nephew/etc, whereas Planned is you getting to (covertly) arrange for a coincidence – anything under the sun, really. But all us experts here can assure you of… absolutely nothing, so we’re not offering money-back guarantee. Your social life could ascend to somewhere close to the sky, or be whacked flat within a minute of unleashing this Problem. Still up for it?
Course you oughta! It’s the greatest bargain ever, take it or you’ll never make it! Then again, take it and you might not make it… but it’s the slight chance you might that drives everyone, isn’t it? Hurry now, we’ve got limited stock and the ships are just waiting to burst forth from the harbour here on our side! What are ya waitin’ for?