You know it when you see it. It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday, and a girl walks by your house carrying her Steve Maddens, make-up smeared from here to next Tuesday, hair messed up beyond recognition and in a black tube top with her butt cheeks just barely peeking out of that small strip of fabric she calls a skirt. Or you look out your window to see some guy strolling by casually. He’s got some nice pants on, probably not flip flops for once, and a collared, button-up shirt that definitely looks too hot to be wearing in the early morning sun. That’s right. These people are strutting the walk of shame.

If you see them, call them out – that’s always fun. However, if you have to do a walk of shame yourself, there are several ways you can approach it if you are trying to save face. Some people choose the duck-out-at-5 a.m. approach so that the public will not be able to scoff at their dirty stumble home. This method is especially effective if you are an upperclassman making your way back from Francisco Torres Residence Hall or, God forbid, from campus. Then again, if you want to stick around with your new freshman pal, I am sure he or she will score some yummy brunch from the dining commons that you two can share in their lair of love. Be aware, however, staying for dorm breakfast is really only a good idea if you prefer food that tastes like a combination of Plaster of Paris, cheap Chinese food and vomit.

The 5 a.m. cutout is also good when you wake up at 4:55 to realize your beer goggles tricked you into hooking up with someone who resembles one of the Jacksons, only you can’t tell which sex. All you can see is their porcelain skin and drool seeping peacefully from between their thin little bird lips. Scary. In that case, you probably leave wondering if there is such a thing as a beer blindfold because you must have been wearing it.

If you are a girl you can always pull the “I’m cold” card and try to borrow a sweatshirt from the person so that the secret of your sequined top is concealed to the daylight of the world outside. However, the combination of a boy’s baggy sweatshirt and four-inch tall Rocket Dogs is rather conspicuous, so that method probably won’t work for many of UCSB’s favored sorority girls. Sorry ladies.

If you’re a guy, you could rummage through the garbage until you find the box from a 24-pack of cheap beer, cut eye holes in it and stick it over your head. This way, when people see you they’ll be laughing too hard at how stupid you look to even worry about the walking or the shame or what high-priced call girl you spent the previous night with.

Another method of the covert walk of shame could include playing a game of duck-and-cover from all moving cars, bikes and people when you leave for home anytime after 9:30 a.m. But if you do that, you are just plain idiotic. Who do you think you are, the crocodile hunter? You could try hiding out at the person’s house until well into the afternoon, but I can’t guarantee that after awhile they won’t start looking at you as if you were a piece of rotting fruit.

Hiding is not the answer, people! Has it ever dawned on you that maybe there’s nothing to be ashamed of? What is so damn wrong with getting your freak on and waiting until morning to venture back home? You should truly be ashamed if you recently wet your pants or get caught walking home the next day with crusty barf all over the front of your shirt. But I hope you’d rather be called out for walking home after getting some play than getting caught doing something like riding a Razor scooter to school. You know when you see Mr. Razor Man on campus, he isn’t getting any ass at home.

I say the walk of shame is rad. If you are getting a piece and the person you hooked up with isn’t decent enough to give you a ride home in the morning, who cares? Only you have the ability to change the walk of shame to the stride of pride – so go out there in your smelly clothes from the night before and own the streets. After all, the people who got it on with their hand don’t have anywhere to walk but the bathroom to wash off.

Daily Nexus sex columnist Kate Rice struts with pride morning, noon and night.