I’m quick to get annoyed in public.
When I’m out, around people, I get frustrated faster than a redneck looking at interracial porn.
I don’t know what it is, but when you get me outside I suddenly lose all pretenses of patience when dealing with The Great Unwashed. All of the small things that people let roll of their backs, or just don’t pay attention to, become great big glaring affronts to my delicate sensibilities.
I grew up as a loner. My father is a loner, as is his father before him, his father before him and his father’s barber’s roommate before him. I come from a long line of autonomous, indivisible, solitary, strapping and handsome men from down the ages.
We prefer sitting alone, reading a book and contemplating the very nature of the universe, over going out to a loud sporting event with a bunch of drunken slobs.
We’d rather recline peacefully, enjoying our favorite recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Scherzo in D Minor, over going to a noisy, sweaty concert with thousands of other poorly-gyrating, screaming fans.
We’d rather chill in the crib, watching “Meerkat Manor” on Animal Planet, over spending time in a zoo, packed in with hundreds of snot-nosed, screaming little punks with no sense of how to behave in public and who are just begging for the back of my hand to shut them the HELL UP FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST!#@$%!
Get my point?
Sure part of it is me. I have very little tolerance for stupidity and oafishness. But also I feel that it’s simply people in general and Americans in particular, (unless I’m at the airport, then I see just how pervasive an attitude of douchbaggery is around the world).
People are so damn inconsiderate! These days it’s very rare for people to think about others around them when going about their daily lives. Everybody is so focused on themselves that they just take it for granted that the rest of the world revolves around them too. How else do you explain cell phone drivers who go 15 miles under the speed limit, straddling two lanes without ever using a turn signal, then give you an evil look when you get around them, as if it’s your fault they’re inconsiderate bastards? Or those people who, in the middle of a crowded corridor, walk slower than a mummy on muscle relaxers, then decide to just stop, causing a ten-person pile up behind them?
At first I would see something annoying, like a person standing in a doorway, blocking foot traffic in two directions, and I’d sigh in my head or smile vacantly as I wait patiently for the chance to walk by. Now I’m just as likely to walk up to that person and punch them in the throat until they crumple on the floor in a heap of quivering pain.
Now I’m probably an embarrassment to the people who go out in public with me. I make a nuisance of myself and draw attention to the folks I’m with even when I’m sober!
Bob: “Hey Josh, I know she took ten minutes trying to pay for her Big Mac with a check, thereby slowing down the rest of the line and causing us to be late for that thing we’re going to, but could you please let go of the submission hold you have her in? She’s turning blue.”
Bob: “And maybe return her Endocrine System to her?”
Joshua: “JOSH SMASH!!”
Bob: “Also, we might want to get out of here before the cops come to check out the wheelchair you lit on fire and threw out the window.”
I can’t help myself. When I see somebody doing something wrong or stupid or just plain asinine I have to say something. I have to draw attention to this person and their inconsiderate ways.
Just yesterday, I was at Safeway, (stocking up on tampons, hemorrhoid ointment and Sudafed*) when I walked out into the parking lot and saw a shocking sight.
Some old person car, (and I knew it belonged to an old person because it was the same size and as well armored as a WWII sub) had taken over a parking space in a half. It made my blood boil. So I sat there and waited until the offending driver (a little old man, stooped and wizened) came out of the store. At which point I addressed him:
“You’re obviously old, and no doubt feeble and with diminished mental capacity, but are you an idiot too?”
The man looked at me incredulously, as if he hadn’t heard what I said. “Excuse me?” he asked.
“I asked if you were an idiot. I mean, who taught you to drive, Ray Charles? That’s the shittiest parking job I’ve seen all day! What’s wrong with you?”
Of course, nobody (especially not ye olde geriatrics) ever believes that somebody would talk to them like that without provocation, so instead of responding he just gave me a look and shuffled off to his Oldsmobile Tank. I shook my head ruefully and went about my day.
I don’t mean to be like this, it’s just my nature. But I know I’m not alone. There are others like me out there. People who still think that we should be considerate for each other in public; holding open doors, saying please and thank you, being courteous, being respectful** and just plain looking out for each other. And I’d like to think that I speak for those who can’t or don’t. I am fighting to make the world a better place!
Or maybe I’ll just stay at home from now on.
*For the Meth Lab, of course!
**And yes, I see the hypocrisy of me advocating respect after relating a story where I tell some old person off. But what can I say? I had to fight fire with fire.