Networking Etiquette for my Son Attending His First Fundraiser

Son, it’s not what you know but who you know, which is why I’m giving you my ticket to tonight’s Shriner’s Hospital benefit dinner. You’re sure to make some powerful allies if you follow this advice.

First, ask lots of questions, remember their name for later when you say goodbye and finally never talk about politics or religion.

You may be thinking there’s a thousand topics to discuss that aren’t rife with controversy. You’ll find anything can be political or religious. Here are a few subjects to avoid.

Football, yes football. I know there was a big game last night for the NFC Championship but did you know football teams are comprised of player unions using their shyster agents for bloated multimillion dollar contracts? To any Conservative worth his salt a union represents death to job creators who built this country through their spirit of entrepreneurship. On the other hand don’t forget they’re owned by super rich, white, one-per-centers extorting brain damaged minorities for every penny they can. Even the most modest Liberal would slap one of these owners for hoarding their wealth by not paying their stadium employees a living wage. Just because someone yells “Get your popcorn, here!” for a living doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to own a 3 bed 2 bath rancher in a neighborhood with decent schools. If that weren’t enough to make things awkward these athletes are praying to and thanking their Christian God in front of everybody, even in interviews. Your future employer might be an Atheist-Interspecial-Polygamist. The point is bringing up football could offend someone from ANY political viewpoint.

Now that I’ve taken away something you can actually sound knowledgeable about you may be tempted to fall back on observational chit chat like the dinner being served.

Sorry but food is off limits. How could food, the very essence of life, be polarizing? When you casually point out how delicious the balsamic chicken with mixed veggies and garlic mashed potatoes looks you’ve already sealed your social death warrant. Why? Because amongst your peers there will be mention of the fact that this dinner could contain genetically modified organisms, gluten and artificial flavorings made from beaver rectum that will give you all dermatitis of the nostrils. A veritable Monsanto/FDA cocktail they’ll say. You’re sure to be chastised by any Libertarian at the table. That’s big business and big government combined. They’re worst nightmare. Big things scare them. They want things small and weird. They want to live in a world where they can buy locally sourced hemp post-it notes tax free with bit coins they earned by selling the zip files to 3D printed uzis on the dark web. The nearest “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” will ask if you’ve felt “foggy” or tired and get red splotches on your skin. If you say yes to anything she’ll write down her recipe for a 5 day juice cleanse. Do you know the first ingredient? Apple Cider Vinegar! Side note: don’t drink the water. I’ve been told it hasn’t filtered out the hormone disrupting chemicals from plastics and birth control residue that cause mens genitals to turn in on themselves to form what can only be described as a “folded sock.”

I can see you’re getting worried that we’re running out of subjects to discuss, at this all important fund raiser. The fundraiser that could very well lead to a career delivering wealth and prestige. Something that I’ll never achieve because I said Dick Cheney’s smile is frightening to a man wearing a turquoise bolo tie. Here’s a land mine I stepped on: asking my co-workers spouses about their professional careers, it will only lead to a heated discussion on the wage gap in our country. No one wants to be reminded they only make seventy seven percent of what their spouse makes simply because their ovaries didn’t descend into a fleshy pouch we call the scrotum. Women are starting thousands of businesses each day and their nipples actually work. Our nipples are dormant, confusing, mistakes made by God when he remembered we would reject him and make Kardashian a household name. Or they’re just a byproduct of evolution. Make sure to mention both possibilities for the existence of male nipples. I couldn’t exaggerate this enough. You must ride the fence on that subject!

What does that leave you? Definitely not the old cliche discussing the weather. Any mention of weather will immediately turn ugly if you’re in earshot of a progressive socialist. You’ll be nodding politely as they scream how greedy coal corporations are polluting mother earth with harmful greenhouse gases, causing global warming turning the polar ice caps and therefore polar bears fur into the consistency of a hospice bed pan. Don’t even mention the beautiful sunsets we’ve had lately, full of pink & purple clouds. Those are big brothers mind control chemtrails used by the government to dull the minds of citizens with invisible traces of heavy metals such as nano aluminum-coated fiberglass — according to the Tea Party Patriot I was next to at the urinal at last year’s dinner.

On to the good stuff. Feel free to bring up socks. We’re always losing them! Does the dryer eat them or what? Haha, am I right?

Keep it light. Mention how you couldn’t get through the day without coffee.

You hate Mondays. And in a pinch if anyone asks you’re and independent who is spiritually minded.

Son, just know that whatever you bring up can be political and if you differ with someones political views there’s no way you could accept them or they accept you. You’d be sworn enemies incapable of basic human empathy. It’s best to not have an opinion on anything that matters if you want to climb the social ladder.