Hey asshole, I didn’t book this flight to make friends

The buzz from your eleven-dollar airport whiskey’s already waning and you’re only just now shuffling onto the plane. Sober contempt begins to course through your veins; the reality sets in that you’re going to spend the next three hours of your life confined to this steel tube of smells and anger.

Traveling alone, you’re content to retreat into your bubble of whatever assorted pills and assorted liquors you’ve carried on. It’s not that you hate all people—it’s just that you hate most people. Some strangers may be awesomely quiet, and reclusive, but you always run the risk that a simple exchanged courtesy is going to lead to three hours of feigned interest while they coerce you into looking at photos of their children and listening to their stories centered around coupons and medical procedures.

Your performance, or lack thereof, needs to begin the instant you sit down. First impressions are powerful—it’s why you don’t begin speed-dating rounds with quips like “I’ve been shitting straight butt water on the reg today,” or “Sexually, yeah, I’d say I’m a lot like a flaccid sewing machine,” or “I always vote for Ralph Nader.”

On the plane, you want to cultivate this selfish, rude, and disgusting persona. Yes, this will be easier for some people—there may even be a few out there who don’t actually have to try at all. We’re operating on a time-tested principle that’s at work in every school, office, or public venue across the country. Basically, it all boils to the fact that no one ever wants to talk to, or even meet, the irritable, filthy individual.

Set the tone with a good scowl, particularly if they try to make a joke. A solid, dismissive glare can embarrass as well as effectively crush any hope they had for small talk. If you can add a convincing eye roll to it you’ll have a way to non-verbally state, “Hey, buddy, enough already with this enthusiasm. Go check your fucking extraversion at the fucking door.”

Once they’re situated, it’s always a smart move to tell them you’re feeling “totally barfy, bro,” and ask if they can look in their seat pockets for any spare vomit satchels. Simply put, you’ve stated your intentions without saying much.  Any conversation will likely dry up from here, as most passengers are not eager to converse with someone who may or may not inadvertently mist them with puke shrapnel at some undetermined point within the next three hours.

Food is another good repellant. Try to bring something aboard, like lasagna or spaghetti, that no one looks attractive eating. Bring it in a Ziploc bag use your fingers to eat it, like you’re some sort of feral child fresh out of the forest. Chew with your mouth open, emitting graphically-erotic grunts periodically. Sweat more if you can; sweaty eaters are almost always alone. And, always devour ferociously, like to the point that you’re completely engulfed by a haze of sauce and saliva that scatters flavor and fends off any companionship.

Get creative if these tactics aren’t to your liking or you’re next to a talkative individual with a high tolerance for gross. If all else should fail, always remember that nobody ever likes a farter.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.