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Dear Hipster:

I’ve been following your advice about eating all the food in the house in order to make space, but its not been so easy. Why do I have all these cans of sun dried tomatoes in oil? How did I get so much tuna? I could see having one bag of lentils, but four?! These are the questions that boggle my mind on a daily basis of late, and, I must confess, have begun to vex me. What began as a fun project has turned into a chore. I’m nowhere near admitting defeat, but I could use a little further guidance on seeing this thing through.

— Bradford

I’d like to make it three words, like Samuel L. Jackson would do, but I can’t say the middle one here, so, two words it is: Dinner Party.

Why should you eat those undesirable provisions all on your lonesome? Make your friends help! Friends generally appreciate — and hipster friends particularly love — a home-cooked meal drowned in the sauce of creative necessity and seasoned with a hint of social conscience. Because they’ve all been eating freshly procured meats and produce this past six weeks, none of them suffer your same sense of burnout in the face of endless pantry staples. They will scarf down your sixth attempt at lentil cassoulet without a second thought.

In general, whether eating down the pantry or merely eating to eat, you can’t err with a hipster dinner party. Hipsters have combined their love of trendy foodstuffs with an ironic appreciation of Gilded Age social conventions, and breathed new life into the art of entertaining. Where yesteryear’s social elite flexed their might by out-ostentatiousing each other, today’s hipsters show off to their peers by recreating mom’s famous meatloaf recipe... but with homemade ketchup!

A word to the wise if you plan to rope your hipster friends into your pantry-reduction scheme. When they ask what they can bring, stick to “dessert” or “drinks.” If you’re incautious, you might be upstaged by someone not limited by the preordained contents of the cupboard. Hipsters can be wily if challenged to any sort of implied cookoff.

Dear Hipster:

Is it possible to jump the shark in real life?

— Dana

Of course. I’ll venture a guess it’s even inevitable in many cases. For example, we’ve all seen plenty of hipsters jump the shark with their hipsterness. If anyone ever served you a burger on a flip-flop instead of a plate, that would be jumping the hipster culinary shark. If anyone ever brought his self-produced vinyl LP to a party and then got pissed there was no turntable by which party guests might be subjected to Mr. Hipster’s avante garde synthcore, that would be jumping the hipster musical shark.

I’m sure some hipster somewhere once went to a job interview wearing suspenders, wooden clogs, and one of those plastic clown bow ties that squirt water on unsuspecting victims. That would be, well, honestly, jumping the hipster shark with an entire life.

Naturally, that kind of personal shark jumpery isn’t limited to hipsters. Sooner or later, we all embody some parodied idea of who we are, or think we are. It isn’t limited to individuals. Cultures, movements, and styles all eventually jump the shark, followed by a kind of ideological perestroika. Importantly, nobody ever recognizes a shark jump till after the fact. You could be jumping the shark in your life right now, and you’d never know it.

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