How to Declare Shenanigans

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How to Declare Shenanigans. Sometimes, there's nothing like a good old declaration of "shenanigans!" to clear the air and set an intimate discussion or business meeting back on a productive path. What are shenanigans, you ask? Well, this is a multi-syllabic word, probably derived from the Gaelic, by which plucky children defy pranksters or tall-talers (it was also the name of a long-forgotten 1960's game show). Here's how to apply the shenanigans concept to adult life.

  • On the Internet. If you've ever frequented a discussion board devoted to work, sex, sports or any other topic, you've likely encountered what are lovingly known as "trolls"-people who post inflammatory comments just for the sake of heating up the discussion. If you suspect a troll is afoot, simply post a message saying "I declare shenanigans on this thread." All subsequent discussion will immediately cease.

  • At work. All too often, business meetings devolve into idle gossip, useless chatter about matters that have already been decided, and naïve questions from interns who wouldn't know a business plan from a "Maxim" photo spread. When you feel matters have run their course, simply announce "I declare shenanigans on this meeting!" and watch as everyone meekly files out. Your boss will sure be proud of your initiative!

  • At a concert. You didn't pay $75 to see your favorite band only to sit through a 20-minute bass-and-drums noodling session while the lead singer detoxes backstage. The next time this happens, shout "shenanigans!" and encourage other audience members to take up the cry. This will quickly focus the band's attention, especially if they happen to be named "The Shenanigans."

  • On the street. Declarations of shenanigans are appropriate to urban situations. Is that old lady in front of you walking too slowly? "Shenanigans!" Did that SUV just cut you off in the parking lot? "Shenanigans!" Has a stranger hailed you on the street, claiming to be your long-lost college boyfriend and wanting to treat you to a cup of coffee and catch up on old times? "Shenanigans!"

  • In bed. Shenanigans needn't only be declared to end a conversation; they're also effective when a pre-sex (or after-sex) cuddle has dragged on way into penalty time. If you feel you're being put off-or prevented from rolling off the mattress and tuning in the 11 o'clock news-simply call a quick "shenanigans!" and get on with whatever it was you wanted to do.

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