“Well, this has all been one big tease!”
August 30, 2011

A flabbergasted observation to make when you’re headed in a certain direction–you know where this is going–then you pass a sign that says, “This road has no outlet.”

Looking to reduce the time in his shower routine, Kramer badgered Jerry into standing in his shower and acting out what he does in his routine. When Jerry left it at that–no disrobing, no sudsing–Kramer popped the cap on his inflated expectation, deflating with this line.

Not getting what you want. It’s at the heart of both types of teasing: the taunting kind, which we deal with as children (“Quit teasing me! Mo-o-om…”) and the titillating kind, which we deal with as adults (“She’s teasing me! Ma-a-an…”). The man-child Kramer brings both together in one exclamatory statement. Jerry doesn’t shower it up, so Kramer dresses him down, the “hipster doofus” calling his good buddy the “shower doofus.”

In Kramer’s hands, note, it is a silly taunt–that’s the rub. So you didn’t get that raise? Waited for a relative who didn’t show? Offered some champagne to celebrate the big news, then your friend finds he has no bubbly in the house after all? Go ahead. Tell them what this is. Let your voice crack a little, a la Kramer, on the tease–like your voice is changing, indicating a breaking through into maturity.

And that is what you are doing with every Kramer-ian tease: showing some maturity. We can’t always get what we want. That’s just life. So rather than get upset, get a little silly.

A little immaturity, in other words–in this case–is actually the mature thing to do.

From “The Apology”
Episode 9, Season 9
Seinfeld Disc 2, Volume 8
Timecode for the scene: 5:45

“Fake, fake, fake, fake.”
January 30, 2011

A let-it-all-hang-out comeback for letting someone know that what they knew about you, in one particular area, was a lie. But it had nothing to do with them. Honestly.

Elaine and Jerry’s past as a couple suddenly flabbergasted Jerry when he discovered that she had, er, led him on in the bedroom. “You faked with me?” an incredulous Jerry asked. “All the time” a smiling Elaine replied. When Jerry named four things she’d done that seemed so real, Elaine reality-checked them in reply–her index finger poking the air mechanically at each fake like her body was an amusement park animatronic.

Listen to how often people use the phrase “To be honest with you…” and you get the picture: there’s a whole lot of fakin’ going on. So while you could use Elaine’s four-pronged “Fake!” to serve up quite a dish about yourself–you can also use it to poke others right out of their pretenses. The next time, for example, that a friend starts telling you why they couldn’t make it over to help you move, give them their moment…let them describe the “quandary” they were in…then Fake! them out.

Be prepared for them to yelp. Pulling back the curtain on someone’s wizardry right when they’re producing the smoke and lights is like pulling back the curtain when they’re in the shower. Lies, like nakedness, show it all to the world: “Well, here I am….”

And this is you telling them in front of the world: “Man, you’ve had some work done.”

From “The Mango”
Episode 1, Season 5
Seinfeld Volume 4, Disc 1
Timecode for the scene: 2:55

“Because I was goood.”
July 30, 2010

A smiling comeback–or observation, if you like–to use on those so dumbfounded by your talented performance, you can’t help but draw even more attention to it.

Jerry thought he knew one particular thing about Elaine from their dating times of yesteryears. At one admission from Elaine, however–in a conversation with Jerry and George about that “thing”–Jerry realized that all he’d known was jack. “How could a guy not know that?” was Jerry’s unwitting introduction to Elaine’s revelation. 

Waiting for the How could _____? from, say, a co-worker is fine, if being pulled onstage at a concert is analogous to how you like your opportunity to brag. If, however, you prefer your own show–the constant touring, the waiting crowds, the “ooo”-“ahh” pyrotechnics–then set the stage by putting up your own rhetorical question: You know why I _____?

The wide-eyed smile on your face when you play the funky muuusic of this line should make your audience fear that you’re about to start dancing too.

From “The Mango”
Episode 1, Season 5
Seinfeld Volume 4, Disc 1
Timecode for the scene: 3:05

“You know, sometimes when I think you’re the shallowest man I’ve ever met, you manage to drain a little more out of the pool.”
July 19, 2010

A picturesque put-down to use on the superficial people in your life who could stand to be pushed into a pool–clothes and all, unexpectedly, right when they’re making some grandiose point.

Plunging headlong with Elaine into the classic “real or fake?” debate about a certain female body part, Jerry thought he’d ended the discussion with the upper hand. Elaine one-upped Jerry by telling him, in this indirect but illustrative way, to get real.

The analogy takes a monochromatic put-down (“You are so shallow”) and colorizes it with sarcastic flair. Substitute “shallowest” and the “pool” part with any number of similar put-downs that give rise to suitable analogies (e.g., “Just when I think you’re the loudest person I’ve ever met, you manage to stack a few more speakers on the stage”).

Just be sure to properly fit your put-down into the shallow/pool construction, or the analogy for your situation will be the classic throwing yourself from a stage and into the pool of a crowd—who promptly sidestep as you face-plant onto the floor.

From “The Implant”
Episode 19, Season 4
Seinfeld Volume 3, Disc 4
Timecode for the scene: 6:00

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