Time-Tested Strategies For Escaping Conversations About Elon Musk

Ron Fein
Slackjaw
Published in
3 min readJul 11, 2022

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Artwork by DonkeyHotey

With summer barbecue season here, someone will undoubtedly try to talk to you about Elon Musk. Whether their approach is friendly or aggressive, you have a right not to talk about Elon Musk. Here are time-tested techniques for evading uncomfortable and potentially unsafe conversational situations involving Elon Musk.

Refer to him as “Leon Musk.”

Whether your interlocutor is a progressive concerned about excessive accumulation of corporate power in the hands of a single pompous man-child or a crypto bro salivating over Musk’s latest gibberings, you can drive them away by repeatedly saying “Leon Musk.” Accept their correction, but keep doing it. “Right, right, sorry about mispronouncing it. So, anyway, what do you think ol’ Leon will do next?”

If that doesn’t work: Try “Levon Musk.”

Feign ignorance.

When Elon Musk is first mentioned, ask: “I’m sorry, what’s that?” If your interlocutor insists that this Mr. Musk is a famous corporate executive, respond: “I don’t really keep track of the managers at companies selling male fragrance products.” If they mention “SpaceX,” wink lasciviously and pretend you heard “space sex.” If they mention Tesla: “Oh, Tesla! He invented a teleporter for his top hat.”

If that doesn’t work: Ask them to name the CEO of General Mills. Then smirk and respond: “Well, whatever products this ‘Musk’ fella has invented don’t seem to be much threat to Honey Nut Cheerios!”

Demand legal representation.

As soon as your interlocutor mentions Elon Musk, raise a palm and avert your eyes. “I’m sorry,” you say, “but on advice of counsel, I’m not allowed to discuss that without my attorney present.” When they ask why, lean in urgently and say: “Pull yourself together! If you haven’t lawyered up yet, it’s your own funeral — I’m sure as hell not taking the fall.”

If that doesn’t work: Insist they sign a non-disclosure agreement “for their own protection.”

Insist on tradecraft.

When your interlocutor — can we cut the shit, and stop saying “your interlocutor” or “they”? It’s a dude — first mentions “Elon,” widen your eyes and shush him. Then, in a lower voice: “Not in the open, you idiot!” Gesture with your eyebrows to a distant corner and say: “Walk slowly to that corner, but don’t do anything out of the ordinary. I’ll sweep the perimeter, then meet you there in ten minutes.” Now head in the opposite direction and leave him wondering.

If that doesn’t work: Grab him by the shoulders and say, “We’re too late. Tell Musk it isn’t safe, and for God’s sake watch your back.”

Be Elon Musk.

Smile rakishly. “I’m always happy to talk about myself.” When he clarifies that he wants to talk about Elon Musk: “Like I said, I’m my own favorite subject.” When he insists that you’re not Elon Musk, chuckle softly and murmur: “Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me.”

If that doesn’t work: “If I’m not Elon Musk, then who invented Honey Nut Cheerios?”*

Be Grimes.

“I’d love to talk about Elon Musk, the humanoid father of my children X Æ A-Xii and Exa Dark Sideræl. But first, check out this ethereal nu metal track I recorded during my astral journey to planet Arrakis.”

If that doesn’t work: This has never not worked.

Be yourself.

“I don’t give a flying fuck about Elon Musk, and if you mention his name in my presence again, I’ll get a restraining order.”**

* Yandel Gonzalez.

** This is particularly effective if your interlocutor is, himself, Elon Musk.

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Ron Fein
Slackjaw

Ron Fein is a Boston-area public interest lawyer. In his copious free time he writes humor, science fiction, and whatever else strikes him.