How Not to Be a Dick: In Brooklyn

Way to go, guys
Way to go, guys

While writing my book How Not to Be a Dick, (now available in stores and online!), there were a lot of Brooklyn-centric situations that I couldn’t quite fit in. So, for all my loves reading Brokelyn, who already know how I feel about things like 2 Broke Girls, and firemen, I’m giving you a sneak peak inside the book, and some fancy fun extras that effect us in our very own borough, like my thoughts on raves.

The face of someone who can't split a check
The face of someone who can’t split a check


One of the most nerve wracking things about going out with a group of friends, is splitting the check. When people throw in what they think they spent, they often times leave the host with a big gap to cover. This is crazy frustrating, and kinda dickish. Here are some tips for you to remember:

For the host
If people are spending less, try and fit into two ranges, the high spenders and the low. For example, if some folks aren’t drinking take out the cost of booze, and split it amongst the drinkers, sparing those dry cats.

For the begrudging “even” splitters
When it comes to food, it really doesn’t matter if your dish is a couple dollars cheaper then the person’s next to you. You can consider the extra couple bucks payment for your friend putting this together, and for everyone to be stress free.

For when you’re strapped on cash
If you are super strapped, just take yourself out of the main bill ahead of time. Give your host and your waiter a heads up that you’d like a separate check. It’s best to do this away from the table, or before seating, to draw the least amount of attention to yourself.

For when you’re the big spender
If you know you like to go out and spend big, let your party know in the beginning that you plan on throwing in extra dough for your lobster and vintage wine (you lucky bastard). This will alleviate any unnecessary tension for those of us at the end of the table with a side salad.


We all know the basics rules: step aside, let people out, and if someone needs a seat more than you, get up and offer that thang! But before you have a chance to be so kind, you have to get on. It doesn’t help anyone to stand immediately in front of the door, clogging the exit for those trying to escape that dingy metal snake. When the train comes, step aside, allowing a space for those exiting to get off. Looking at you, L train. I am so glad I don’t live off you.

Don't. Just don't
Don’t. Just don’t

We all like to sit after a long day, but I legit saw a woman snake a seat from another woman mid squat. It was an impressive dive, but bizarre and dickish, nonetheless. If you are lucky to not have a seat snaked from you, do your best to minimize the amount of space you take up so that as many others as possible can also enjoy the pleasure of sitting. Be conscientious. Try to keep the space you use within your shoulder or hip width, whichever is larger.

If you see someone who is pregnant, old, injured, disabled, carrying too many bags, or just looks like they’re having a hard time and might explode at any second, get up and offer them your seat. You’ll have plenty of time to sit when you’re home, you cute birds!

Talking on the Phone
One of the most amazing things about riding the subway, is that it can be absolutely packed, and completely silent. But when someone breaks that nice soothing calm, it gets weird. If you do need to talk on the phone, are a lucky (or cursed) enough to be on a line with service, try to keep the conversations to a minimum. The other riders are filled with their own crap-olla, and don’t necessarily want to listen to how wasted you got last night.

Listening to Music
I agree with you, you have great taste in music, and you know all the words. I am so glad for you, but you don’t need to broadcast it. Put on some headphones, and try to think of those around you.


One thing that a lot of Brooklynites like to do, is claim to be the Lewis and Clark of their neighborhood, before those awful gentrifiers hit them up and ruined everything with their coffee shops and organic markets! Gentrification is an issue, but it is nerve wracking to hear people compete on who’s been living in their neighborhood longer, like a badge of honor, or a pissing contest. Let’s all agree on something, we are all poor, and we live where we can afford, and there will always be someone who lived there longer than you. So, let’s drop this silly competition. It doesn’t make any one more authentic, or brave, or anything. If you moved into a neighborhood, and now reap the benefits of incredibly cheap rent, take it with grace, and don’t put down those who are new. Everything changes.


This goes without saying that some drugs are crazy and you should definitely stay away. Unfortunately at parties, or a bar, you can’t help but run into people who are on the “social” drugs. This section is for those who might be going too hard. So a heads up to you some of you drug doers, here’s what you might look like from the outside perspective.

You are acting really paranoid.

You are acting really paranoid, and you look crazy. Please stop talking, and let me walk away now.

You are acting really paranoid, and your eyes are not supposed to be that big. You look like a woodland creature. I can’t see the shit you’re seeing.

You are acting either too happy, or too strange. My face is not melting. Please find a safe place, and stay there until it passes.

You’re definitely acting too happy. It’s not the 90’s anymore, so stop touching me. And give me back my bag of ring pops, you ass.

Ok. Shut up. That was an annoying 4 minutes that I would like back, please.

The Rave Resurgence
There’s this weird thing you find in little pockets around Brooklyn: 90’s era raves. With horse tranquilizers, fire breathers, and a bunch of grade-A whacked-out dicks. I know lasers in a sprawling loft and crazy pink dreads looks awesome, but if your new best friend is a 35-year-old high school drop out with a collection of alien t-shirts, you’ve got a problem. That guy is stuck in the movie Go, and is never getting out. And in approximately 20 minutes, random people’s clothes are going to start coming off. Get out while you can.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 12.10.36 PM

There are so many more fun tips on how not to be a dick in the book! So please go get a copy. It makes a great gift! You can buy it at Urban Outfitters now, so for all you commenters foaming at the mouth to get through this to type “GAH HIPSTER!” below this article: you’re welcome.


  1. Joey Two Lanes

    This could have been funny. Too bad your summary of the “rave” scene sucks and neglects the fact that Brooklyn is helping America regain its footing on the amazing thing it started called dance music

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