Perhaps the most important part of any good social blunder is the recovery. To that end, my advice to you Gentlemen Adventurers, is to always be first to the joke. Now, some blunders are so big there really is no recovery from them, all you can hope for is to minimize the damage and get out of the area as quickly as possible. However, when your blunder is something simple such as a spilled drink, stumbling over your own words, or really anything that has a good chance of allowing someone to make you the butt of a (more than likely) inappropriate joke, simply make the joke first. At that point, anyone else doing so will simply seem like a bully at worst or a follower at best. Yes, people will still be laughing at you, but they’ll be doing so in admiration of your joke, rather than your ineptitude… or maybe for both.
Now, sometimes words fail us. This is usually preceeded by drinking a moderate to heavy amount, but even a beer or two can dull your thoughts just enough to allow some miserable bastard the opening he needs to get to the joke first. The first suggestion at this point would be… well, I suppose it would be not to drink… but let’s try to keep grounded in reality shall we? The first real suggestion at this point is to deflect the joke. Most important here is that it is very hard to deflect the joke back on the person who made it. I know, I know… you really want to and he really deserves it, but unless you have something absolutely cutting and appropriate, you’re just going to look petty and small. It’s best at this point to deflect the joke and make some other unsuspecting miserable bastard the one that everyone is laughing at. Maybe it’s that kid with the silly haircut or the “trying-too-hard-to-be-hip” clothes, but whomever you choose, get them with a decent quip that others can run with and suddenly who can even remember what silly little thing you just did? It’s best to scout the social gathering ahead of time so that in an emergency you’ll already have a target and a decent line prepared. If you don’t have that luxury, then pick the first person who catches your attention and let fly with the best you can at the time and/or sobriety.
Finally (and this is important, Adventurers), when deciding on your verbal barb, DO NOT insult someone based on their physical imperfections. Sure it’s easy and the short guy or the fat guy or that guy with the missing leg may seem like easy targets, but making fun of them is risky. Even if you have something great, you can never tell how the crowd may react. You may get away with it, the crowd may turn on you even more for “picking on” someone, or you may get zinged right back by something even better (I promise you they’ve had ample time to come up with some excellent comebacks). Chances are everyone’s already heard anything you could say about them anyway and Gentlemen, you should always, be first to the joke.