I’m traveling for a couple of weeks to do book events and I have decided that there are a few things humans simply should not do under any circumstances. How am I equipped to make this determination?
I’m not. I just tend to hate people.
Okay, fine, I don’t hate people. I am deeply disappointed by large groups of them. Or small groups, really.
And I don’t experience them too often. You know, out in the wild.
I live in a small-ish town where I think I know 2/3 of the population. My life is largely driving kids around in circles and looking at laundry. When I go to work, I sit in an office alone, staring at a screen, my only human contact being with other people in the building as they pass by, and the occasional visitor who can’t figure out how to get to the law firm on the third floor. (Take the elevator, guys.)
I just wish there were a few motherfucking GROUND RULES.
Like as a whole, we agree not to do certain things. Maybe we could sign a contract called We Hereby Agree Not to Be Dicks in Public.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- We will brush our teeth.
- We will wear shoes in airports. Actually always. I get that you’re so spiritual you need “constant grounding with the earth against your skin,” but you’re fucking gross and definitely walking in urine.
- We won’t talk loudly on our cell phones about our trips to Nepal because everybody knows we’re purposely speaking loudly to humble-brag about our financial status (e.g. “I can afford a trip to Nepal”). Nobody cares, Karen.
- We won’t gather in large groups in walkways, forcing every other human to walk around us simply because we feel like standing right here, okay, not 2 feet to the left. Or the right. RIGHT FUCKING HERE.
- We will not be mean to customer service people. We will remember that they have to deal with Karen all day.
- We won’t be Loud Funny White guy on the plane “giving everyone a hard time” because somebody, at some point in his life, convinced him he was adorable.
- We won’t eat crunchy food in public. That includes, but is not limited to: apples, corn nuts, chips, ice, nuts, and pretzels.
- Maybe ignore number 7. That’s probably just me being a dick.
- When all the other seats are full, we will not put our purses or luggage on the seat next to us, because we realize that inanimate objects are less important than even Karen, who needs a place to sit to talk about her trip to Nepal. (Life is trash.)
- We won’t be the Lyft driver who tells a woman in the backseat clearly not interested in speaking that she “looks like a dirty margarita type of girl.” That way, she won’t have to respond, “I’m a 39-year-old woman and don’t drink, but when I did, it was bottom-shelf whiskey, so, fail?”
- We won’t let our kids jump on hotel beds and squeal at 5am. Look, I have annoying ass kids too, and my parenting is subpar, but there’s no excuse for that shit.
- We won’t be the person scowling at the overwrought mother frantically trying to calm her baby during the plane landing.
- We won’t eat onion sandwiches or potent vinaigrette-covered salads or anything actually with onions in small spaces.
- Maybe ignore that last one too. I have a bit of a “situation” with public consumption of food and the sounds and smells it produces.
You know who we will be? The dude I saw in Portland wearing short striped shorts, hiking boots, a muscle tee, handlebar mustache, dark-rimmed spectacles and a mesh cap.
He was cool.
Also all the strangers at the airport who laughed when I made eye-contact with them and mouthed “I’m going to kill him” in reference to the over-zealous dude sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME YELLING into his cell phone with his knees apart so they almost touched mine.
And the lady on the plane who asked “Are you alright?” while I sat writhing in my seat because of back pain, then told me to “walk the aisles for a few minutes even though the seatbelt light was on because whataretheygonnado kick you out?”
Look for the helpers out in the wild, folks.
DID YOU KNOW MY BOOK CAME OUT SIX DAYS AGO?
Perhaps you haven’t heard.
You can buy it at any of the places below.
Also, as a side note, let me tell you how struck I am by the responses from readers so far. Holy shit. Thank you for the messages, emails, comments, posts. I can’t respond to them all, but I read every single one and am blown away.