Single-serving friends take the brunt of columnist’s personas

Caleb Bruynes

In the movie Fight Club, Edward Norton explains to Brad Pitt that everything on an airplane is single-serving, including the people. I’ve noticed the same to be true while temporarily interning for the Senate in Washington D.C.

Knowing full well that I’ll only be in D.C. for a short time and that most people I meet will never see me again, I’ve been granted the opportunity to pretend to be whatever and whomever I want to single-serving friends all over the city. This has proven to be more fun than I could have ever imagined.

Obviously, I’ve used some of the moves from Wedding Crashers. I’ve been from Vermont with an emerging maple syrup conglomerate. I’ve been a pimp from Oakland, a cowboy from Arizona and a venture capitalist. Some are more believable than others. One time I even said my name was Tyler Durden and that I make and sell soap, which is directly from Fight Club. The fact that the people I said it to didn’t pick up on the reference meant they have never seen the movie, which let me know we could never be close friends anyway. I mean, you have never seen Fight Club? C’mon.

All of these careers are more interesting to single-serving friends than “intern from South Dakota.” Especially considering nobody out here knows the difference between North and South Dakota. All these fake personalities come with unlimited diverging conversations that let my imagination run wild:

“Oh, you sell soap, huh?”

“Yeah, it’s really rewarding work. Knowing people smell good because of me makes it really easy for me to sleep at night. It’s truly my calling.”

Unfortunately, I can’t keep it going forever. Usually by the end, the truth has come out that I’m not really who I was pretending to be and we’ll have a nice laugh at how gullible they were. But it doesn’t happen every time; there are probably a few people running around the city talking about the pimp from Oakland they met on the bus and how surprisingly charming he was.