TV

16 vital life lessons we’ve learned from ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

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Sam Diss
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Everyone’s favourite grouchy, bald, retired writer Larry David is back with new episodes of cult HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm coming in October, so we thought it was high time to explore the lessons in life we gleaned from the show. 

In short: Larry is a man of multitudes and a die-hard rationalist but… yeah, learn from his mistakes.

1. Sometimes you have to lie

“A lie is a gesture,” says Larry. “It’s a courtesy, it’s a little respect!”

2. Your best intentions will often be wrong

Like when Larry invited a Holocaust survivor to dinner to meet another ‘survivor’ who turns out to be a guy who used to be on the TV reality show Survivor: The Australian Outback and this fucking guy says his show was tougher than Auschwitz. He was just trying to help.

3. Never try to help

It’s just much safer to stay out of everything. 

4. Always respect wood

"I respect wood,” says Larry when accused by Julia Louis-Dreyfus of leaving a ring on her heirloom table. “I revere wood. I am considerate of wood.” Ask everyone you love: Do you respect wood? Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t respect wood.

5. Do not accept chat-and-cuts

The chat-and-cut: When someone feigns familiarity with a person they vaguely know for the sole purpose of cutting in line. Great attempt; back of the line.

6. And you do not have to accept stop-and-chats, either

Just because you see someone in the street does not mean you have to stop and chat. You have to take stop-and-chats on a case-by-case-basis.

7. But sometimes you have to let people have their moment

If someone offers you a house tour, just take the fucking tour.

8. The Staredown is your secret weapon

Just keep looking. Don’t break eye contact. You’ll see right into their soul.

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9. Always have a glass in your hand at social occasions

“When I'm in social situations I always hold onto my glass. It makes me feel comfortable and secure, and I don't have to shake hands.”

10. And always look after your sweater cuffs

Respect the cuff, otherwise it will lose its elasticity and your day will be ruined. “There are very few subjects I'm an expert on,” says Larry, “and one of them is elastic.”

11. Don’t wear sunglasses indoors

“You know who wears sunglasses inside?” Larry asks Jeff. “Blind people and assholes.” He’s not wrong.

12. Cum is not cum (skip to 1:40)

You might think cum is cum but your cum does not look like another’s, especially if they bring da ruckus.

13. And bowing is not bowing

If someone bends a few degrees, that is not an apology: they are not sorry at all. They are dismissive of you. That is a shit bow. A deep bow: that’s what you want. A deep, almost-90-degree bow, “I’m very sorry” bow.

14. Job interviews are a piece of cake

All you have to do is flip it and start asking them questions. You have to topsy-turvy that motherfucker.

15. You can’t pause toast

Once bread is toasting you can’t interrupt. You interrupt and that bread is dead. “If you put this bread back in the machine,” says Leon, “it’s gonna lose its essence.”

16. The days of elevator etiquette are dead and gone

What's the point? "Let me tell you something," says Larry, "my days of elevator etiquette are over. Over! I'm not holding doors anymore. I'm not letting women out first anymore. That's done!"

(All images: HBO)

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Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

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