Review: The 7th Minute of Emergency Sarcasm

Pictured, the 7th minute of 8 men employing Emergency Sarcasm (ES) with ultimately tragic consequences

What’s being tested?

The situation 420 seconds after the initial deployment of Emergency Sarcasm (ES) in response to perceived adverse conditions in an undefined social context.

What we found

Pros: We found that, in certain circumstances, certain individuals may actually enjoying hearing ES in action. ES is generally a failsafe measure employed by subjects struggling to assert themselves (and, in particular, their own perceived status as relatively more humorous/intelligent than the Benchmark Individual [BI]) in an unfamiliar social environment, and so is still primarily deployed with intent to amuse, albeit at the expense of the opinions and assertions of those within the group deemed less valuable. This is in contrast to the application of the Emergency Aggressive Impression (EAI) (where the subject mimics what an individual or individuals within the group just said in an exaggerated fashion, and doesn’t smile after doing it) or the Emergency Exit (EE) (where the subject gets up and leaves and doesn’t come back). In this case, the 7th minute of ES was found to still be well within the tolerances of those not immediately besieged  by it.

Similarly, ES is often deployed as a countermeasure to an even more unpleasant individual, like the ‘Showboating Sophist in an Unchallenging Environment’ (MUI.018) or the ‘Minor High School Qualification Comparer’ (MUI.008).  In this instance, the ES user may not have been the kind previously inclined to assert him or herself in such a manner, and may only be attempting to do so for the good of the group, as well as the survival of whatever social circumstance the MUI had been in danger of subverting. There is still significant debate as to whether employment of ES in this circumstance actually constitutes Heroic Sarcasm (HS), but our testers felt that, whatever the nature of the sarcasm used, ES at 420 seconds was welcome, and likely to be sanctioned for continuation.

It was generally felt that ES users are still more tolerable than those who are just really sarcastic all the time, and are at least aware of, or have attempted to find, other ways of ingratiating themselves with an established social order, as opposed to just being really sarcastic, all the time. When this comparison is made, even 7 minutes of continuous ES from a desperate man or woman is still infinitely preferable to the Universally Sarcastic Person (USP).


A subject who has employed 7 minutes of ES is recognised as being in serious danger of lapsing in Automatic Emergency Sarcasm (AES) as opposed to Considered Emergency Sarcasm (CES), the category of ES currently on test. AES is defined as a non-sarcastic observation, delivered in a sarcastic manner (in a sarcastic tone, for example) which still does not make it sarcastic, despite the intentions of the subject. While an instance of AES could actually be considered CES under the right circumstances (when an individual, unaware that he or she has lapsed into AES, has their lapse exposed to them by an individual CES-parodying AES, for instance), it is more often than not simply AES. The danger is that an individual who has lapsed into AES is very close to being a USP, and subsequently also an Automatic Universally Sarcastic Person (AUSP) as opposed to a Considered Universally Sarcastic Person (still broadly defined as a USP).

We also found that, at 420 seconds, polite conversation may still be in evidence, and that, in a larger sense, the true appreciation of an individual was generally recognised by most as an unrealistic objective within this timescale. An ES user at 7 minutes is therefore in clear need of a recalibration of personal social expectations, and also, in using ES at 7 minutes, jeopardises the crucial First Impressions phase (FIp), and in doing so disrupts any future attempts by those in the immediate vicinity of their ES to ascertain a True Impression (of the True Impression Phase [TIp]) of the user.


Our testers found that the 7th minute of Emergency Sarcasm represented a crossroads for the ES user, even with the actual active time of ES deployment being relatively short. Despite 420 seconds being too long a spell of continued ES to be plausibly retroactively validated as playfulness or Knowing Ironic Exaggeration (KIE), it was still very much open to the sympathy qualifier of “Sorry, it’s been THAT KIND of DAY.” or “The past seven minutes sounded better in my head.”, though any subsequent sympathy-chat accrued will most likely not be entirely sympathetic.

We feel that our recommendations on the 7th minute of ES are entirely conditional, dependant on whether ES deployment is in the interests of the larger group, or simply the individual subject. If ES is an option in dealing with a rogue MUI, then its application is justified – the 7th minute takes on an almost noble quality, and comes wholly recommended. Otherwise, we would advise that the 7th minute be taken as an opportunity for the subject to change their approach, try Desperately-Sincere Insincere Attentiveness (D-SIA), or employ a stock Unforeseen Enjoyment Condition (UEC) and go home to bed.


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