Last week, I realized a lifelong dream of speaking on behalf of terrible people everywhere. It was quite moving. If you recall, I wrote a column that took people to task for offering crappy favors no one wants. (It was also about Romans, but that part's difficult to explain). In any event, the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Only relevant to prior article
Some people, however, shook their heads and looked down on me and the other misanthropes, pitying our sad, hate-filled lives. These people seem to think the purpose of online writing is to convince the world just how earnest, forthright and balanced you are. Maybe they're right. But they're also really boring.
So with a clear conscience and a deadline, I decided to muster everything that is wrong with me to generate five more acts of human kindness that kinda suck. But dear good people of the world, please understand: it's not that we hate you for offering these things, we just wish you wouldn't. Also, yeah, we kind of hate you.
It's typically a lovely gesture to tend to the sick. After all, they're sick. They need help. And I get it. I'm sick all the time because I live in the same house with three Petri dishes of contagion that I like to call my children. Buckets of floating cold viruses and stomach bugs that somehow wear pants and take a school bus.
Me checking in on the kids before bed.
So yeah, heal the sick. Volunteer at a hospital. Tend to lepers and whatnot. It's God's work and you won't get any complaint from me.
But no likes it when you offer your lame-ass home remedies or ancient, magical cures for our common colds and tummy aches. "Got the sniffles," you say, seeing us trying to stop the river of mucus flowing from our nostrils armed only with a post-it note. And we just nod because if we open our mouth we might say something like,"no, jackass, this is actually my friend's snot. He asked me to watch it for him while he's out of town."
But hey, you're just being friendly and inquisitive. It's what comes next that really sucks: "Know what you should do?" you ask.
"Hold you down and blow our nose in your shirt?" we think, but that's not it all. You're about to school us:
Eat an onion, take some vitamin C, take some zinc, don't take zinc, try some Echinacea, dance with a grizzly, try the netty pot, starve a fever, feed a cold, have a light lunch with a staph infection. . .
Given all these remedies that totally work, its amazing that anyone gets sick ever or that there's a pharmaceutical industry. And if this person is from another country? Holy hell, there's no end to it. It's as if no one in Ecuador or Guyana or Norway ever gets sick. "Put away that Sudafed! In my country, all colds are cured by sleeping with a porcupine under a waning gibbous moon!"
We don't care. Your ideas are stupid. Leave us to our medications and mucus. And you can go back to eating the shark fin sandwich that's treating your psoriasis.
Apply twice daily while crying.
It's typically a lovely gesture to help someone straighten up. Maybe they hosted a totally awesome house party and you're that great friend who throws out garbage or mops the floor so that mom and dad (who on vacation in some 80s movie) don't find out about all the wild hijinks that occurred while they were gone. Or maybe your buddy is walking around with a bit of mashed potato above his left eyebrow and you surreptitiously catch it with a napkin before he hits on the girl of his dreams. (Apparently, you're all at some night club that serves mashed potatoes in this hypothetical). Those are selfless wonderful acts. You are a lovely person.
This is what all the kids are doing these days right?
But no one likes it when you just bob on over and start cleaning something we never said was dirty. If you're in our office or cubicle or whatever and we're talking about the big report that's due Friday, don't start straightening the piles of crap on our desk. You're not helping. You're not being polite. Each right angle of paper-based perfection creates an unspoken indictment of the shithole we were apparently OK living in. Your silent dusting makes clear how completely offensive we are to you.
Same thing with our homes. If you go over to Ian Fortey's house, don't take it upon yourself to stack perfect little piles of the Plumpers magazines he's got laying about. Maybe he likes his morbidly obese stroking materials arranged in a certain way. Lastly, don't be picking shit off our shirt as if a stray fuzzball is some contagion waiting to lay eggs in us. We're fine. No one asked you. Go back to your immaculate dust-free home of right angles and quiet desperation.
Don't pretend you read it for the articles, Ian. We've read your column. You're obviously illiterate.
It's typically a lovely gesture to share your wisdom. To reach out to those struggling intellectually and offer a studying aid. A trick. A way to make the facts go down just a little bit easier. I remember my older brother taught me a way to remember North, South, East, West on a map: Never Eat Sloppy Watermelon. Told me once and I never forgot. Or that one for the notes on a musical staph: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. (Favor if you're a Brit and/or an insufferable fancypants).
"I prefer 'favor.' Yes, I'm British. What? I am. Dude, you're so racist."
But no one likes it when you share your devices that suck. Is that subjective? Of course, it is. This is completely a matter of opinion and can only be written down as fact if you own a keyboard and have access to the Internet. Oh, shit. Look at that! I qualify. Moving on. Wanna know a shitty memory device? That one about how many days are in each month. How do I know? Because I've heard that device a million times and I still have no idea how many days are in each month. June has 30 because I just know June has 30. March has 31 because I was born in March so I know that. February has 28 because that's the weird one that has 28 (except on leap year). That's all I know. And don't start singing "30 days hath September ...." or whatever it is. Is it September? I'm not sure. If that's right then I know four months, but it's a crappy device and doesn't work for me and I don't need to hear you sing it. Wanna know another shitty memory device? Well, I can't tell you. Because I don't remember. Proof positive that it sucks.