1. Notepad and pencil. Especially on double dates, you can use this to record your observations about other members of your party, assigning them code names like "Buffalo" and "Walrus Woman." At the end of the night, you can turn these over to the appropriate scientific researchers.

2. A small-print edition of War and Peace. "I can't, I'm reading War and Peace," is always a good excuse for not participating in a given pastime, including but not limited to bowling.

3. A bottle of strongly-scented air spray. At intervals, spray this around you, exclaiming, "Great Caesar's Ghost! Who was that?" Also functions as a smoke cloud if you want to make a sudden escape.

4.Breath mints. Offer these to the other members of your party. Insist that you don't need any because you "brushed on the way over here." Produce a small toothbrush to substantiate your claim.

5. Plastic Obi-Wan Kenobi figurine. If the evening gets really bad, light piles of incensehimand say, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." Like they say, you never know.

6. A hairbrush. Offer this to the other members of your party. Insist that you don't need it because you "brushed on the way over here." Produce the toothbrush again to substantiate your claim.

7. A pocket Bible. If you get pulled over at any point in the evening, produce it, place your right hand on it, and say, "Don't worry, officer, there is/are no booze/drugs/prostitutes/illegal immigrants in this car! I swear it!"

8. A list of back-up conversation topics, such as:

-the falling value of the dollar (along with pertinent statistics)

-the "Gray Dawn," a predicted rise in the number of elderly people that will produce an unprecedented burden on the state welfare system

-your long struggle with bulimia/irritable bowel

-Moby Dick

9. Pepper spray. Just because.

10. A George W. Bush mask. If you're caught when trying to escape, just put on the mask and say, "But, (Date's Name), I'm not (Your Name), I'm the President of the United States!" Produce the toothbrush to substantiate your claim.