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All day long, we wade through a sea of assholes. From the mundane dickery of the dude who unwittingly cuts in front of you in line to the borderline criminal antics of the utter fuckwit blocking the escalator, it's vital to know how to counter the various types of jerks we bump into on a nigh-daily basis. As Cracked's foremost expert on drunkenly screaming insults at random people in public, I've taken it upon myself to compile a short tactical manual on how to survive the next time you encounter the monsters known as ...

5
The Obnoxious Fanatic

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Last Saturday, I inexplicably found myself conscious and wearing pants before noon. I celebrated this rare accomplishment with a lunch in a nearby place known for its delicious pho -- a dish which you may know relies heavily on a carefully constructed beef or chicken broth. This peaceful dining experience was interrupted by a particularly annoying vegan who started loudly complaining to the cook about the lack of good vegan pho in the world, like it was the cook's fault, personally. The creature also made a point of mentioning that he had a few friends who were "only" mostly vegetarian and would probably enjoy the soup, but he's in the process of converting them to veganism, so he wouldn't tell them about the place.

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"How dare you make things people other than me can enjoy?"

While I'd normally have just have thrown this encounter in my ever-expanding "Fuck vegans, amirite?" pile, there was something about this particular guy that made me realize for the first time (I am not a very smart man) that this kind of obnoxious behavior is less about the school of dieting a person buys into and a lot more about the person himself. The reason people like me think vegans are punchable dickholes isn't veganism itself; it's the relatively small percentage of preachy assholes within the movement. I call this specific brand of jerkwad the Obnoxious Fanatic, and he/she pops up in each and every phenomenon, trend, and philosophy as reliably as Rule 34.

You don't hate hipsters because of the hobo-looking folks minding their own business at the corner of a cafe in Williamsburg -- you hate them because of those couple of Pabst-drunk fuckers you once met at a party, peacocking their sailor tattoos and actively condescending to everyone. You don't treat yoga suspiciously because of the discipline itself; it's because of that one co-worker who keeps sending you links to her blog, "Yogifreek," whose every post ends with the word "Namaste" and features copious amounts of yoga pants buttcrack. The Obnoxious Fanatics worm their way into everything and bang their drum in every direction. Because of them, our general attitude towards most trends can be summed up by a joke I once heard: "A CrossFit trainer, a gluten-free dude, and an atheist walked into a bar. We know this because they told everyone."

And that's the point, really. Unless you're into, I don't know, animal mutilation or Gamergate or something, chances are the vast majority of humanity is completely cool with your little hobby/philosophy/passion. Where you rank on the official Poisuo Asshole Scale highly depends on how little you can shut up about it.

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It can also be used to measure actual assholes, usually right before I force the metaphorical ones to climb in.

How To Deal With Them:

Convince them to avoid dealing with you.

Your average Obnoxious Fanatic is, for most intents and purposes, a fundamentalist. They demand a strict adherence to certain doctrines, ridiculous as they may seem. As everyone who's ever attempted to argue against one can attest, it's ... slow going, to say the least.

So don't argue with them. In fact, don't engage at all if you can avoid it. Their bullshit opinions can't hurt you. They shouldn't even be able to annoy you, much as they try. Just assume your finest thousand-yard stare until they get the hint and wander away to spew bullshit at someone else.

And if push really comes to shove, then remember: Other than their fanaticism about a certain thing, they're more or less like you, which means they hate obnoxious fanatics too. Look deep into your soul and find the most boring, pitiful thing you're passionate about, and unleash it upon your opponent. I guaran-damn-tee that even the most obnoxious fedora atheist will flee within minutes when you start preaching the joys of collecting Pokemon-themed postcards.

4
The Self-Styled Mentalist

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Have you ever met someone who assumed they knew everything about you, even better than you know yourself? Sure you have, they're everywhere. "Don't worry, I'm great with people," they say, while asking you to double-check their math because you look vaguely Asian and therefore are a human calculator. They're almost always butt-clenchingly wrong in their assumptions, but the truly frustrating thing is that they never seem to realize this themselves. What's more, they always, always base their wild-assed guesswork on something wildly inappropriate. Whenever you look behind the mound of quivering, disembodied orangutan butts that passes for their logical thought, you'll find their awesome empathy skills are firmly rooted in good ol' racism, sexism, and the like. They're the people who ask an annoyed woman: "Come on, don't be upset. Are you on your period?" and then take the inevitable angry backlash as proof that they are right.

It's an admirably thick, eternally frustrating, nigh-impenetrable barrier of everyday dickery commonly found in middle management and drunk uncles everywhere.

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"I see your soul, and it looks like casual racism."

How To Deal With Them:

I'm extremely against all violence that isn't strictly dropkick-related, and I've been told that I can't keep offering "dropkick the shit out of it" as a solution to every problem, regardless of how well it generally works. See, officers? I'm cooperating.

With this strictly nonviolent agenda in mind, I specifically tell you not to hire a guy to fly one of those small helicopter drone camera things nearby you at all times. I adamantly forbid you to have him film every instance of these fuckers saying something stupid and uploading it to YouTube with accurately descriptive titles like "Mike Smith once again assumed that one black guy he knows is poor because he's lazy." And I outright order you to avoid giving the drone pilot any driving tips from this article about a TGI Friday's camera drone giving an impromptu rhinoplasty to a customer.

We don't want to deliver a message that these people absolutely deserve to get their noses chopped off by flying robots, after all.

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3
The Petty Thief

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Ah, the humble freeloader -- the human raccoon wading his way through life by sifting through other peoples' stuff and helping himself to, well, everything. He's the reason your pens and staplers go missing at work, and those DVDs you vaguely remember loaning someone a few years ago tend to be found in his bookshelf. He's the one who keeps eating your clearly labeled -- they were clearly labeled, Chad -- sandwiches from the break room fridge. If you've ever had a roommate, there's roughly a 120 percent chance that it was one of these guys.

I have known a few. Fuck 'em.

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Preferably with something that's bolted down.

How To Deal With Them:

Most people who have been subjected to one of these people for any length of time (or worse, loaned them money) tend to be strictly in favor of a method that rhymes with "socks filled with pennies" (things tend to rhyme with themselves). However, there's a problem: Although this habit of constantly "borrowing" other peoples' stuff definitely qualifies anyone as a honorable officer in the Jerk Army, the Petty Thief is often what I like to call a "passive asshole." I don't think I've ever met one of these guys who thought they were doing anything truly wrong.

Sure, there might be a streak of narcissism and/or mild sociopathy there, somewhere. But at the end of the day, lots of them appear to see themselves as just regular Joes. At a former job, I once confronted a coworker who kept stealing peoples' food, and he was genuinely flabbergasted when he saw how angry I was. He'd always been doing shit like that, so it had never occurred to him that it was wrong -- or that everyone else isn't doing it. "Sure, I could buy my own lunch, but someone would just steal it," was a phrase that was actually spoken out loud that day, right after the inevitable dropkick.

On a positive note, there's the solution. If a Petty Thief considers everything fair game, just play by their rules and steal all their stuff. Hell, most of it is probably yours, anyway.

2
The Money Man

I am shit with money. It's not that I don't get how it works, and start screeching in impotent frustration at the cashier whenever I buy groceries (I mean, I do that, but it's for completely unrelated reasons). I just don't gauge my personal worth and well-being based on how cleverly I use money, and definitely not on how many people in my immediate vicinity know about it. Maybe that's why I find the brand of asshole that thrives on doing precisely that so damn grating. This personality equivalent of irritable bowel syndrome values everything they represent with a number and a currency symbol, and multiplies said value with the number of ears he's managed to stuff with his financial horseshit.

The Money Man attitude can manifest in many ways. It could be that dumbfuck who constantly boasts about how expensive the stuff they buy is. ("Hey, dude, you have to see the $15,000 golden cobra cock ring I just bought!") Or maybe it's that cheap bastard who's doing his level best to turn his insufferable frugality into a cult of personality, bombarding you with unwanted information on the awesome deals he has on whatever he purchases and how to get around tipping at restaurants. And may whatever deity watches over your wallet help you if this person has a decent income -- they'll jump at any opportunity to whip their money dick on the table at the slightest provocation and insist on comparing it with everyone present. Whatever the preferred angle of this particular asshat may be, they do their level best to make the most mundane conversations revolve around the concept of money like their ability to reach an orgasm depends on it. Which I suspect is often the case.

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"My penis has touched every single one of these."

How To Deal With Them:

Under no circumstances should you challenge the Money Man, or attempt to one-up him. Even if you know for a fact that you can wipe your ass with his entire checking account, you're not going to shut him up. He'll just viewing you as a threat (or worse, a kindred spirit), and will never ever shut up until you inevitably snap and start handing out really good deals on quality whoopings.

Shutting him out? Now, that's entirely another matter. The Money Man is clinically unable to understand that not everyone's world revolves around the Cash Sun. Provided you can withstand a few lines from him, brushing him off is just a matter of ignoring every single money-related sentence that comes from his mouth until he starts viewing you as some weird alien life form that doesn't understand the concept of currency, and wanders off in search of dollar-minded company.

And if all else fails and you're stuck in a conversation with his guy, you can always amuse yourself by imagining he's really talking about some embarrassing personal ailment.

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"You can't believe the deal I got on [my next hemorrhoid enema], though I have to wait for a week because they need a bigger truck to deliver it."

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1
The Middle Manager

Reading that title, the images running through your head probably feature Michael Scott from The Office, Bill Lumbergh from Office Space, or Dilbert's pointy-haired idiot of a boss. All are decent examples of the kind of jerk I'm talking about in this entry, but here's a thing tons of people miss: The asshole Middle Manager is not a job description as much as it is a mentality. There are tons of perfectly nice and competent people working in middle management positions. Likewise, there are hordes of Middle Manager personalities out there, wandering the streets and making everyone's lives just that little bit more difficult with their rampant, overbearing micromanaging.

There are two central character traits to this particular brand of jerkass: a haughty, needlessly angry air of generally baseless authority, and the need to be (or rather, feel) in control of everything in the immediate vicinity. It's surprising how many seemingly different dickheads fall under this umbrella. Ever been to a junior league game? Every single over-competitive fuckhead of a parent screaming directions (and, more often than not, bloody murder) in the stands is one of these. Ever had a particularly overbearing older relative -- say, an unpleasant mother-in-law? Yep, one of these.

Now, ever looked in the mirror?

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"Hold on, I don't like where this is going."

How To Deal With Them:

The Middle Manager brand of dick is, in my book, easily the most annoying of them all. Its overbearing, overconfidence, and overestimation of one's own abilities are all rolled into a giant cigar made of brain turds. However, acting like the embodiment of every British talent show judge in recorded history nonstop requires you to be very, very dedicated in your assholery. Few people have the energy to go around being complete dripping sphincters 24/7. As such, it's much less of a base state of existence than the other entries on this list. Rather, it's that very specific state of mind that we all have inside us; the ability to become rampant douchebags at the flick of a switch.

Yes, even you. In some particular scenarios, especially you. Said scenarios go by many names. Some call them "pet peeves." Others dub them "finding yourself in a Nickelback concert." Others still get "triggered" by stuff. Whatever the name, the end result is the same: You see your particular red flag, lose control, and spend some time in the Middle Manager part of Asshole County.

Because of this, it's a hard condition to fight against. The most condescending of mother-in-laws may just be acting like a dictatorial ass out of misguided love, and when you leave, she returns to normal. The screechingest of micromanaging minor-league dads are probably mostly sane human beings the other 90 percent of their day. Hell, I'm guessing you're pretty laid back unless one of your prisoners starts criticizing the rules of the erotic anime role-playing game you drafted in your basement to keep them amused. We all have our triggers, and if you push them, out comes our inner Middle Manager like a Jack-in-the-Box made of butts and anger.

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Though if yours actually looks like a clown, you may be less of an "asshole" and more of a "serial killer."

The thing is, we may not be able to control that fucker when it comes to others, but we sure as shit can shove it back in its box when it comes knockin' in our own heads. Just ... keep that in mind, OK? The next time you feel like behaving a jerkass, ask yourself: "Do I really have to do the Middle Manager dance here? Would there be an option that doesn't leave me looking like a complete douchewaffle?" You'll be surprised how often the answer is yes. Also, by restricting your own asshole behavior, you'll encounter fewer assholes, as no one needs to retaliate to your dickery.

Or, you know, you can just ignore all that and dropkick condescending dickheads as they come along. There is always that.

Pauli is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter.

The world is full of scumbags. We went over those who brag about their luxury coffee creamers to those that judge your every waking action. Well gear up, because there's even more jerks in 7 Obnoxious Behaviors That Should Be Punishable By Death and 4 Obnoxious Behaviors The Modern World Made Worse.

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