This is why we can't have nice things

by Paul William Tenny

I've been called an asshole before and there's definitely a list out there of people who'd like to see a small space station fall out of the sky and onto my face, but I'm pretty sure I've never done anything like this before, and, in comparison, I feel like a damn saint.

Wil, whose blog I adore for reasons unknown, went to see The Police in concert over the weekend. Thus began his adventure with your typically self-centered, adolescent-minded adult that is oblivious to any other people living in their world who might find their actions not just annoying, but actually interfering with other peoples ability to enjoy themselves in public.
After being asked nicely to pipe down and being blown off, you had to figure it wasn't going to take much to turn what looks like a fully grown adult into the abnormally large child they really are. Now I must admit, I've never given a stranger a hard time in my life and I'm not sure I ever would, but I can definitely understand the temptation to tell someone who won't shut their mouth how you're going to take their cellphone, turn that sumbitch sideways, and stick it straight up their candy ass.

If someone decides that speed limits don't apply to them and try to park their front bumper in my back seat, I tend to slow down somewhat to piss them off. People who pass me at night while I'm doing the limit don't get the common courtesy of me turning off my high beams. I consider these things just punishment because if I'm going to be annoyed for a few minutes out of my day, so are they. I derive a sick pleasure from things like that and so I probably wouldn't have just tried to ignore this woman when she regressed in age from 40's to early teens.

For the next twenty minutes, this woman loudly complained about me to her equally drunk, equally idiotic friends. She kicked my chair. She clapped her hands next to my head. She screamed like a teenage girl in a Beatles concert film.

Wil did the right thing, which was to treat a child like a child by ignoring it until it goes away, and she did, which is great. But it's probably not what I would have done, or at least it wouldn't have been anything close to the many devious plots that would have crossed my mind. A quick snap with a cellphone camera and all you've got to say, really, is that one more word out of them and their picture is going on Craigslist in the escort section.

For someone who likes to avoid conflict whenever possible, it's usually because I can get to be a little obsessive at times, and obsessive people are not the kind you want to truly piss off. No, it's not mature, but what else can you really do? If a 40-year-old woman is living with the maturity of a four-year-old, you're not going be teaching any life lessons here. The best thing you can do (other than what Wil did, e.g. the "right thing") is remind them every once in a while that being a jerk does occasionally have consequences.

Then again, like I said, I probably would have just let it be after the first exchange and moved on. There's less blood that way.
in Feature


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