Walking to
class is treacherous. You’re passing through the diag, avoiding the M at all
costs of course, and your path is blocked. An old acquaintance, friend, lover,
professor, squirrel, group handing out flyers protesting the use of flyers,
whatever, it matters not because you have been stopped. The worst part is that
you’re not just stopped; they’re instigating a stop-and-chat.

Coined by
Larry David, a stop and chat is when you pass somebody you only sort-of know
and like a tractor beam they pull you in until it is realized that pleasantries
are rarely pleasant. It’s not that you’re being rude, you’ve got class, or at
least that’s what you said. You go to a University with over 40,000 students
and yet somehow you end up walking past the same fifteen people day after day.

Typical Stop-and-Chat:

“Hey, how’ve you been?”

“Good man, you?”

“Oh great, real great. My club Frisbee team just won the

“You’re on a club Frisbee team?”

“Yeah dude, I’m the captain. I told you this last time we
bumped into each other”¦”

“Right, right, well”¦I’ve got class. Nice seeing you.”

“Yeah, you too.”

right? Well, you should have just kept walking. It doesn’t make you a terrible
person; it just means they’re boring. You’re a PS3, and they’re ball-in-a-cup
boring. There’s only one way to avoid a stop-and-chat scenario and it’s to keep
walking. Don’t turn around, even if they grab you, charge forward. Sure, you
can wave, but at all costs avoid eye contact. Try wearing headphones, talking
on the phone, or even staring into space. Nobody wants to be the asshole that
kept walking, but at the same time nobody wants to be trapped like Admiral

Now so far
this sounds pretty harsh. This article can’t really apply to everyone you pass.
There are your friends, crushes, and an assortment of randos that you want to initiate a stop-and-chat
with, but there are more pedestrians out there that you don’t.

Here’s a short list
of the typical people who will try to stop-and-chat you up, and why you should
just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Why are you stopping?JUST KEEP

The we had
a class together last semester
: Sure, but in all fairness there were about
eighty other students in that class. It’s shocking you were recognized, but
don’t let that phase you. They’re only going to make a joke about some
mannerism you’re ex-professor posses, and then rely on you to carry the
conversation. Wave quickly, and pull out your phone, maybe you actually got a

The I went
to high school with you
: That they did, but this isn’t high school and you
can’t dick around right now like when you were en-route to fifth period gym.
While passing give them a high-school-high-five, and maybe even a coach like
slap on the ass. They won’t try and stop you again.

The we met
at the party last weekend:
She does look familiar, wait, hold up, was this
the girl in the purple dress? No? Maybe? Why couldn’t she be wearing it now?
There’s no way to remember her name, and besides the music was so loud it’s not
like you ever really learned it. What does she want? If you have her number
continue forward and text her later to find out. If you don’t have her number
you may actually want to consider her stop-and-chat, if she really is the girl
in the purple dress.

The I
hooked up with your roommate/housemate/dorm-neighbor
: Well you do remember
their face, but not their name. To you they’ve always been some close to
hilarious coined nickname that your roommate/housemate/ dorm-neighbor despises.
At all costs, do not refer to them by this name. If they try and stop you,
quickly state how your roommate/housemate/ dorm-neighbor was just asking about
them, and that you really do have to run; now it’s your friend’s problem.

The I
hooked up with you a while back:
Depending on how kind a person you regard
yourself as you may actually need to stop. If it’s time to hit the jets the
only real play here is to be invisible. Pray you noticed them first and that
they never noticed you. Pray to whichever God protects you and keep going. Good luck.