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Home: The Toast

1. “I’d like you to know that I’m particularly smart. Here are some subjects I consider myself to be very smart about. There is no question.”

2. “Can you explain why I didn’t understand this presentation?”

3. “This question has two parts, neither of which have anything to do with the other or the subject at hand. Also, this question has four parts.”

4. “Can you possibly speak to an area that is outside of your expertise but is secretly in mine, so that when you can’t answer it, I can try to hang onto the microphone and answer it for you?”

5. “I’ve written a book. Why hasn’t anyone published it? I will not tell you what this book is about. I have already tried all of the suggestions you are about to offer me, so don’t even try it.”

6. “I have some opinions about other ethnic groups that I would like to take this opportunity to share.”

7. “Why aren’t I very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very famous and successful?”

8. “Hi, I’d like to complain about as many things as possible before the moderator realizes I’m not building up to a question of any kind and cuts me off.”

9. “I’m deeply unpleasant, and have run out of friends and family members who are willing to put up with my opinions.”

10. “I used to like your work, but I don’t now. Have you considered doing the things I like again?”

11. “Hi, I have a personal anecdote that I believe completely disproves the central thesis of your research?”

12. “JET FUEL CAN’T MELT STEEL BEAMS”

13. “This is more of an observation than a question – in fact it’s not a question at all – in fact it’s less an observation than an open-ended series of unconnected thoughts wrapped in a thin veneer of criticism – I’ve never asked a question in my life.”

14. “Someone else already asked my question. Make them give it back.”

15. “Thanks so much for your presentation. My own work, I believe, refutes everything you’ve ever done; I’d like to offer you a presentation of my own in the eighteen minutes we have left.”

16. “I noticed there are some things you haven’t done in your career. Can you explain why you haven’t done them, even though I consider them to be more important than the things you personally prefer to do?”

17. “I did something six years ago, and some people criticized what I did. Please allow me to explain why they were wrong to disagree with me, in detail, and then tell me that you agree with me.”

18. “I drifted in and out during the middle of whatever it was you were talking about. Could you please revisit that entire topic? I will not be more specific, thank you for your time.”

19. “I have read a great many books. Please acknowledge how many books I have read. I will not stop listing them until you acknowledge it.”

20. “Uh, yeah…uh, I was wondering…do you, uh, what’s your policy on, uh…lunch?

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