The only thing I remember learning at my undergrad was the art and science of insulting. As you know, insults can be broadly classified as insults with consequences and those without consequences. The former can result in wars where hundreds and thousands of people die (Draupadi Vs Duryodhan). The latter is what I dealt and learnt at my college.
During the course of those 4 years, I learnt to discard any respect or pity that I had to myself or any of my friends. This is the underlying necessary assumption for insults without consequences. Like any other skill, insulting others also requires practice and dedication. One needs good teachers and a great learning environment to become good at insulting others. When I joined college, I have to confess that I was naïve and didn’t understand, appreciate or follow this great skill. I learnt from watching the adept in their acts and was really impressed by the nuances of their skill. For the sake of context and simplicity lets call Pitin the person whom we will insult.
One more important thing that I learnt at college was that insulting is a team game. The role of the audience is as important as the main insulter. Pitin only feels insulted when the audience laughs at what insulter is saying. So, effective insults require a lot of collaboration and teamwork. The magnitude of insult is directly proportional to the amount of laughter an insulter can generate from the audience.
Relying solely on Pitin to provide content for insults is a mark of an amateur insulter. Professional insulters create situations that generate interesting content. Great insulters are always good friends with Pitin and never insult Pitin privately. They usually gain Pitin’s unwavering trust and that’s what makes him all the more susceptible to their play. Insulting is a group activity and you don’t want Pitin to feel cornered. So switching to other members of the group to be Pitins is highly recommended. And remember best insults are those where Pitin is oblivious to what is about to come and is unaware of the trap .
One more important trick that I have seen the adept use is what we call as the ‘PUMP’. A PUMP is an act where you say something to Pitin that he anticipates and desires but is totally untrue. For instance following is a trick that works most easily. You need an accomplice who knows the game. Let’s say you are with Pitin in a bar or anywhere with some commotion and there is a girl. Make sure that Pitin also sees the girl, don’t say anything just make some funny faces and keep him guessing. After some time when Pitin has his back on the girl, your other friend should take the cue and leave you alone with Pitin. I also hope this will work for girls.
When you are alone with Pitin just casually slip in that the girl behind is watching him. Tell him not to turn his back and that he is on fire today. This is the inception of the idea. Now, the second friend plays the part of making sure the idea sticks (This is was what Leo was talking in the movie inception). The other friend should casually whisper to you that the girl is looking at Pitin’s direction making sure Pitin can overhear him/her. After execution of a pump like this, you have Pitin by the neck and he feels pumped up and can be talked into doing exactly what you want. This is a tried and tested technique and its perfect execution will have Pitin at your mercy .
Great insulters have many tricks like these up their sleeve and continuously get better at their execution. To keep all the cards in your hands you should always have leverage over Pitin. Always reserve an embarrassing incident that Pitin dreads. The teachers at my college taught me that once you lose the leverage then the insults are not fun enough.Like when the main weapon in the arsenal is fired the enemy can no longer be intimidated. Remember being a sport and always play pitin once in a while, if your friends are good at this skill you will play Pitin more than you like. I assure you all, all it needs is a jolly group of people and Pitin for you to be a master of the game.