Saturday, December 9, 2023

Shopping For Friends

From at The New Yorker.

What a fun night—I had a great time hanging out with you! Honestly, making new friends as an adult can be tough, so I’m thrilled that we got to know each other a little better. I’d love to do it again sometime, but first you’ll need to choose which Friendship with Jeff Plan™ is right for you.

Acquaintance Basic
A popular, no-frills package for people who aren’t looking for anything serious. You won’t have to hear about my emotional problems, and if you try to tell me yours be prepared for a response that could range from banal platitude to meaningless cliché. You just got put on Lexapro? Everything happens for a reason. Your dad got shingles? Easy come, easy go. You got laid off yesterday? That’s a spicy meatball.

Broke Standard
This plan, in which we hang out only when my checking account has forty dollars or less in it, offers unbeatable companionship for the low, low price of my meal. I’ll get you back soon, I swear. Hey, mind if I hop in your Lyft?

Sunday Sports Sidekick
Get ready for beer, wings, and passionate sports chants that provide a substitute for the warmth we never got from our fathers. If our team scores, you score a hug! (The tough-guy kind that begins like a cool handshake.) The starter package covers football, baseball, and basketball, but if you upgrade now we can also discuss that thing in the Olympics where the person skis and then shoots a gun.

Sudden-Wealth Insurance
For a reasonable premium of two (2) funny texts per month and an annual dinner-party invitation, I promise that our friendship won’t get weird if I suddenly start making way more money than you. Sure, I’ll drive a Bentley and have brand-new opinions about truffles, but I’ll still be the same guy.

Straight Shooter (Pay as You Go)
Includes honest, unfiltered opinions about your new haircut (unflattering), your tech-startup idea (unfeasible), and whether our server is into you (did you seriously just ask me that?). Because this Jeff Plan™ can be blunt, you’re free to switch to a more diplomatic package anytime, such as the Have You Been Lifting? Plan, the Anyone Would Be Lucky to Be with You Plan, or the I’m Sure That Mole Is Nothing Plan.

Jeff en Español
We can discuss everything that my Spanish vocabulary permits: types of meat, the numbers one through fourteen, and most of “Oye Cómo Va.”

Enabler Plus
Whatever your vice is, I will fan its flames. Comes with a heads-up that your loved ones have planned an intervention, and also a complimentary lift to the track, bar, or regional hoarders convention. And don’t worry—in the event that you turn your life around, this plan can be downgraded to one in which we’re still friends but I silently think about how weird you’ve become since finding Jesus.

Two-Bud Bundle
Includes a bonus buddy, Gavin, who will invite himself along whenever we hang out. Gavin has opinions on what kind of people make the best drivers. Gavin considers himself extremely good at karaoke. Gavin chews tobacco. By the time you begin to suspect that this friendship plan is a ploy to pawn Gavin off on you, it will be too late. Gavin is yours now. Good luck.

Ride-or-Die Deluxe
This is your top-tier Jeff, the crème de la crème. If you get married, you better believe that I’m giving a speech! Will it be packed with inside jokes that most of the crowd will have to nod politely through? I can answer that with two words: Vegas mechanic. And, if your marriage should fail, I promise to cut your ex out of my life completely. In fact, I never liked that person in the first place! Sorry, was it too soon to tell you that? Just know that I’m here for you, pal. Hey, want to catch a movie tonight? No? That’s cool. What? Your therapist thinks I’m putting all my energy into our friendship to avoid thinking about why I haven’t had a successful romantic relationship in eight years? No way, dude. You’re hilarious.

Friend (with Ads)
Our friendship will be periodically interrupted by a thirty-second commercial for Tostitos.

I’m sorry to report that Andy Borowitz, whose humor brightened these pages for a long time, is no longer with The New Yorker.  But I hope to post his work wherever he lands.  Yuck it up.