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
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.
"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.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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
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.
"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.
#3. The Petty Thief
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.
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.