Two guys sit at a beach café and discuss the word awkward.

1. The word awkward is difficult to define.

2. No it isn’t; it just means that expectations aren’t met.

1. I disagree; I think it is difficult to define. In English, one’s whole identity could be awkward; one can be an awkward person, while in other languages such a state is impossible. In Spanish, for example, one cannot BE an awkward person. One might DO something awkward, but one cannot BE awkward. Part of the issue is that in Spanish there are two forms of being: one can be something today but not be something for the rest of one’s life.

2. No, no, no; for example, if I walk up to that man there and demand he give my towel back, it will be awkward.

1. An awkward situation gives pain. It isn’t necessarily funny, but we laugh to alleviate the pain. Laughter is how we smooth over the situation and continue like normal. If you ask that man to de-towel, you won’t give anyone pain or cause anyone to laugh to overcome the pain.

2. But he’s naked underneath that towel; he just wrapped himself in the towel to remove his swimming trunks, so it would be awkward to demand he remove the towel immediately.

1. No, it would be awkward to first demand the towel and then smell the towel afterward.

2. Haha, and then ask him, “Why do you put sunscreen on your balls?”

1. Haha, or say, “Wow, this smells better than I thought it would!”

2. Haha.

1. Awkward is about wobble and the laugh that smooths over the situation.

2. I still think it is just expectations.

1. If you demand and then smell the towel, you’ve created an awkward situation out of which everyone nearby would have to laugh in order to go on living their life as usual. Awkward situations aren’t just about expectations; the social interactions wobble painfully, but are not completely destroyed, and we laugh to attempt to smooth things over. Awkward is the opposite of charisma. Charisma is how a person solves problems to gets things done; awkwardness is how we create turbulence and do less and less. The awkward person is the antihero; the awkward person is the opposite of the typical man of action who gets things done; in fact, both men are the same, but one uses charisma to smooth and speed up action while the other uses awkward to create turbulence, wobble, and slower action.

2. I don’t agree with anything you just said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

1. Cheers.

They raise their glasses and drink.

The end.