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Do you Stine? April 12, 2010

Posted by schlanghole in Uncategorized.

To Stine (definition): The act of vacating an event and/or function without saying goodbye and without anyone realizing you departed until much later.

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably even Stined yourself but didn’t know what to call it. Or maybe you Stine all the time and have a different name for it. We call it Stining after our most excellent friend Eric Holstine. Nobody can pull off a Stine like Eric. He is the master and the rest of us are mere grasshoppers compared to his awesomeness. I started Stining in the mid 90’s and have become pretty darn good at it so I thought it my responsibility to define, document, and share my learnings with you here.

Here are some tips on how to pull off a successful Stine: You’re out with a group of people at any given event or function. It could be drinks, birthday party, work event, concert, etc. After hanging out for an appropriate amount of time and are ready to bail, start forming your Stine-plan. First of all, it is always much easier to pull a successful Stine if your party has consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol. Second, identify your different exit options. I typically do this once entering an establishment in anticipation of pulling off a Stine later. Next, an amateur move I see all the time and a sure way of being caught is if someone catches you paying your bill. It’s a dead giveaway. Make sure to settle up any tabs well before attempting to leave. Paying cash along the way is a good long-term approach.

When you’ve decided it’s time to make your move, one popular tactic that has worked well for me over the years is the “fake-call”. Pretend you just received a call, put your finger in the other ear as if you can’t hear, walk away from the table or group, and continue your way out of the building. When outside you can determine whether it’s safe to leave or not depending on if anyone else in your party is also outside. If they are, you have a couple choices. “Continue” the fake call until said friend goes back inside or abort and start over. Another popular tactic I’ve used dozens of times is excusing myself to pretend to buy a drink at the bar or to use the restroom. Whether an opportunity exists to Stine at this point or not will be determined by a number of factors including whether someone is watching you or unexpectedly blocking your desired exit.

Over the years it has become more and more difficult for me to Stine. This is because all of my friends are aware of the Stine and my propensity to perform it. They are constantly watching me in hopes of catching me in the act, which has forced me to get creative over the years. This brings me to the unsuccessful Stine or as we like to call it, The Kerns.

There will be times, especially early in your Stining career, where you are unsuccessful. We call this a Kerns after our pal Holly Sue Kerns. Holly is the worse Stiner I know and we are constantly catching her. She tries so hard and I will admit she has pulled it off a couple times but it is rare. Remember, it is not a Stine if you’re caught or someone asks, “Are you leaving?” If this occurs at any time during the event, you have failed. This is called a Kerns.

The most difficult and gratifying of all Stines is the Double Stine. This demands a great deal of coordination and I would not recommend attempting it until you’ve got a few successful singles under your belt.

I Stine all the time. I love to Stine. So the next time there’s a bunch of us hanging out and you realize you haven’t seen me for a while ask yourself “Did Tony Stine?” Because I probably did.



1. Brandy - April 12, 2010

WE call this Travis-ing, because Travis (@tgraybeat) ALWAYS does that. Every time, without fail!

But I do it on a rare occasion too. =)

2. kelly - April 12, 2010

I think Stining is reprehensible, Tony. But I will admit I’m glad to know that I’ve been spelling it wrong…

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

You were the catalyst for me writing this post after your very nice and successful Stine last week. Well done my friend ;^)

3. Jason - April 12, 2010

I think this is awesome. Especially since extricating yourself from social situations isn’t always easy. I hate the whole process of saying goodbye to everyone.

I suppose the only time I’ve pulled this off is when the group is transitioning to a new place. “Hey! Let’s all go to XYZ”. me: “Yeah! I’ll meet you all there.” then I go home. But that’s too easy.

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

I agree. I think the whole process of telling everyone goodbye is cumbersome. Especially with very large groups. You inevitably have those who try to get you to stay or lay a guilt trip on you. “You’re leaving? No! Don’t go. Stay for one more drink.”

4. Andre - April 12, 2010

is double stine, when you leave two events? or how does that work? or two people Stining at once?

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

The double Stine is when two of you leave the same event … coordinating your exit plan so neither of you are caught. Tanya and I have perfected this over the years and have even pulled a Group Stine on several occasions which consists of 3 or more leaving.

5. Beth Pitkin - April 12, 2010

Too funny! As a long time co-worker of the infamous Mr. Holstine I am all too familiar with the Stine. Eric is truely a master, and the Stine his great legacy. Bravo.

6. Holly Sue - April 12, 2010

Nice blog post Tony — too bad you told everyone. I thought it was a secret.

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

This way it will make it even harder to Stine. I love a challenge ;^) Thanks for the comment.

7. Stina M. F. - April 12, 2010

Urban Nick is quite good at this, I’ve only caught him in a Kern once… most of the time I’m just wandering aimlessly looking for my small aggressive missing friend.

8. Candace Sweigart - April 12, 2010

Ha! Funny post. :) The only time I think “Stining” is not acceptable is on girls’ nights. When a fellow girl “Stines” on you, the remaining group is left to wonder if she got abducted in the bathroom or worse. Inevitably the worrying ensues. And then when said “Stiner” doesn’t answer her cell phone, even more worrying ensues. Women feel a need to watch out for each other when out together. Stining is only okay if everyone reasonably believes that you are safe and if the group is large enough that no one feels responsible for ensuring your safety.

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

I very much agree. Tanya is hot and cold on the hole Stining thing. She thinks it’s rude and not very nice to just leave without saying goodbye. Other times she initiates the Stine. I think there are other moments it might also be inappropriate: Thanksgiving, parents anniversary party, Grandma’s birthday, funerals …

9. jjsaldana - April 12, 2010

Hmmm I am going to have to try this. I haven’t tried it. I am usually always telling everyone I am leaving. Hmm, maybe that makes me a bit conceited. Ok. I am going to try it at the next gathering I attend.

10. melissarmcgrath - April 12, 2010

Love that I finally have a name for this! Sometimes, you just have to stine. I pulled off the double stine this weekend, actually.

schlanghole - April 12, 2010

Really? A double? Do tell.

11. Brooke Seidl - April 12, 2010

I perfected this at the University of Idaho. Enough said.

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