How to survive the jungle of Ankeny greetings

Dana Thompson

In a school where everyone has at least a general idea of who everyone else is (and any doubts can be assuaged with some artful creeping), it is critical to know how to navigate the dangerous waters of Ankeny Greetings. I know who you are, and I know you know who I am, etc . . . and we’re walking toward each other across Ankeny . . . what do I do?!?! Here is a quick survival guide to help you figure it out.

  1. Close Friend: Distance does not matter when you are walking toward someone you know very well. You may scream “HEY” or “OI” and even hold personal conversations while still fifty yards apart.
  2. Slight Acquaintance: When approaching someone you have spoken to no more than three times, it is vital that you pretend not to see them until they are about fifteen feet away. Make sure your feet still exist. Only when the fifteen-foot mark is reached can you look up, smile and say something noncommittal (like, “Oh, hey,”) in a surprised-sounding voice.
  3. Mortal Enemy: Ignore at all costs. Possibly whisper veiled threats upon passing.
  4. Complete Stranger: At the fifteen foot mark, use your periphs to gauge if they are looking at you. If so, smile. If not, “receive an urgent text.”
  5. Other: When unsure how to react, look at a point past them and enthusiastically wave to an imaginary friend. Nobody, I repeat,  nobody will suspect a thing.