The 4 Jerks Everyone Has to Deal With
I'm what you might call a freelance social worker; I strive to make the world a better place, one bastard at a time. Granted, this usually manifests in slightly erratic ways, like screaming "Get off the phone, idiot!" directly in the ear of the idiot who is talking too loudly on his phone (sorry, idiot!), and then doing it again at the inevitable crime scene that ensues (sorry, officer!). In fact, when I think of it, half the time the misbehaving jerk I'm attempting to rein in is the one in the mirror. That still counts, right?
So, one day it occurred to me: What if I harnessed my barely existent talent for social problem-solving to correct some of the more glaring everyday flaws of humanity? Let's see if we can counter some simple yet persistent dick moves we face daily, brought to us by people like ...
The Entitled Dick
Let's start sailing the seas of slimebaggery with the most common asshole encounter of our day and age: The Entitled Dick. We see stories about these full-person leaky sphincters on bottom-feeder news sites every day. They are the kids who scream bloody murder when they get a $500 cellphone for Christmas instead of the $550 one, and grow up to be the adults that tell people who help them change a tire to fucking hurry up because they have places to be. It takes a special kind of person to mow down cyclists because they're too busy texting to pay attention to the road, then say they don't give a shit because clearly they're the inconvenienced one, here. The car got scratched and everything! (Perhaps not coincidentally, these people are also pretty much every rich person ever.)
This picture inexplicably brought to you by the search term "entitlement."
While Entitled Dicks do make excellent comedy fodder, in real life they're so grating that most cheese shops file for restraining orders as soon as they roll into town.
With people like this, it's often better to just ignore them until they wander away in search of more evenly fake-tanned people to annoy. However, should someone feel a slight pang of social justice in their black little heart, I guess an alternate way to take care of this shit would be to acquire every piece of nonlethal weaponry you can. Pile up mace, net guns, fart cannons ...
... totally nonlethal giant murder robots ...
Only, absolutely don't use any of them on the Entitled Dick. That shit is illegal as all hell, unless you have a pile of qualifications and there are very specific mitigating circumstances, which, let's face it, you don't have and there won't be. Besides, if their entitlement is purely narcissism-based, they already know they're obnoxious but just don't give a shit. If their upbringing is at fault (and in tons of cases, it totally is) , there's no way you can undo that shit with a Taser, no matter how hilarious and satisfying it would be to give it a shot.
However, if you were to drive to the house of the Entitled Dick's parents and scream at them until they promise to think twice about the necessity of that trust fund, is it really your fault if your trunk accidentally pops open and they see the arsenal you could technically have at your disposal if you were a complete sociopath instead of the morally upright concerned citizen you clearly are? If they reply to your reasonable request with mad ramblings such as, "Our kid is just fine," and, "We're calling the police," is it really your fault if that beanbag gun inadvertently goes off and hurls a round you may or may not have accidentally slathered in habanero sauce at Mr. Entitled Dick's dick?
Yes. Yes, it totally is. Still, as the cops drag you away, you can at least take solace in the fact that you've pretty much guaranteed a fairly serious discussion between daddy and the little turd that is the fruit of his temporarily decommissioned loins.
This picture brought to you by the search term "decommissioned loins."
The Traffic Disaster
When we sit behind the wheel, our heads immediately become entangled in a truly magnificent web of illusions and brain farts that turn us into Autocious, Dark Lord of the Road. You can blame it on a lot of factors: genes or advanced age or the instinctively territorial "my car must be the best car" attitude that causes road rage, but at the end of the day, the truth is simple: We, as a species, are fuck-awful drivers.
We're all just one bad day away from becoming this fucking guy.
But before you start stabbing yourself in the eye with a rusty spork for being unfit to rule the roads, remember that most people do, in fact, realize the tiny metal coffin-on-wheels does not make us invincible, and thus behave like a dick only occasionally. Most people. Some totally believe they are the Road King and everyone else is just a faceless dummy creature that should be driving from point A to point B according to their exact expectations, otherwise they're malfunctioning and can freely be ignored and/or put in their place. Regardless of how they go about it -- traveling at a snail's pace to "show 'em all," rabidly honking and flashing their lights, living out their Blues Brothers fantasies at the expense of your Ford Focus -- that person is the Traffic Disaster, and fuck that guy.
There's no real way of communicating with the Traffic Disaster as long as they're on the road. A honk will be perceived as an insult or, at most, an approving nod to one of their "wacky" bumper stickers. Hand gestures and other responses will be viewed as blatant challenges or tiny victories, depending on how many trolls the fucker in question has pissing in his personal gene pool.
This one has 16!
So wait until they get out of the car.
As the law-abiding citizen that I am, I'm specifically, explicitly not saying you should tail them. However, should you by some strange coincidence (wink, conspiratory gesture, etc.) happen to run by them at some gas station or roadside diner, I'm betting they're much more responsive to your well-informed critique re: how they tailgated seven people in the span of as many miles than they would be if they were still in the cozy leather confines of their Audi.
As an added bonus: If they get cocky, you can just organize some fellow drivers (who have been listening in and are just as mad at the guy as you are by now) and surprise the Traffic Disaster with an impromptu game of Death Race 2000.
The first time you encounter the Stomper, you'll probably just shrug and go about your business. Fast-forward a week, and they seem like some ancient demon that secretly feeds on your pent-up rage and frustration, which, incidentally, is a theory I haven't completely ruled out yet.
Stompers only attack in a home or, occasionally, office setting. If you live in an apartment building, at least one of your neighbors (usually the one living directly above you) is one. If you think you don't know a Stomper, it's probably you. They're most easily defined by their ability to produce massive noise. Every single step they take is a lethal heel kick, meant to murder the ground to avenge that time their puppy tripped. Every door and drawer is closed with a slam so strong, its impact travels back in time and kills the dinosaurs. Staplers and keyboards are smacked around like they were extras in a Danny Trejo movie, and the last time a Stomper went bowling, China actually called to complain. This is all the more baffling because your average Stomper is often surprisingly tiny and frail. The couple living above my apartment are both fairly lithe, yet somehow every single move they make manages to rank on the Richter scale.
I have taken to assuming their powers are granted by the elephant demon.
The immediate problem with the Stomper is also the biggest: What the hell are you going to complain about? Regardless of the hundred Internet Tough Guys who will no doubt disagree with me in the comments, you can't just ring someone's doorbell and randomly dropkick them for walking in their own home. (Everyone knows it's polite to goad them into kicking you first.)
Smuggling a marching band under their bed is also a good retribution idea, until you remember annoying buttmulches always have a futon.
A secondary problem is the fact that the Stomper will probably have no idea what you're talking about, because chances are they're not actively doing anything wrong. It's just a shoe thing. Modern shoes (specifically running and training shoes, a popular cause of argument in the running community) feature lots of padding between your heel and the ground, which encourages us to heel-stab the pavement in a way that would wreck our feet in no time if we were barefoot. When the shoe is removed -- say, at home -- the heel strike habit remains to slowly drive the downstairs neighbor mad. And once our ears are tuned to the heel-stomping upstairs, every little thing we hear from there is going to sound like it's the end of the world. Even sex. Especially sex.
All of this could be easily fixed by convincing your neighbor to adopt a quieter, less forceful forefoot step. However, after you've banged on their door and traded dropkicks for 30 minutes (as your ribs found out, turns out they were worshipping the elephant demon after all), chances are they're unwilling to compromise. Maybe, uh, just keep the whole heel-stomp thing in mind for the next, less possessed apartment building?
The Escalator Blocker
These fucking people.
Seriously, these fucking people.
Nobody likes the Escalator Blocker. No one ever has, no one ever will. The way they awkwardly stop the second they step off and start staring around or fidgeting, despite the rapidly moving machine they just stepped off hauling thousands of pounds of humanity directly at them each passing second, would make Gandhi swear like a sailor and run off to join Cobra Kai.
To make things worse, the behavior is rarely limited to escalators: These are the same (or similar enough) fuckers that turn their mad rush through the subway door into a casual Sunday afternoon stroll as soon as they're through, oblivious to the tsunami of people desperately attempting to brake so they won't stampede this asshole. If they're already waiting at the station, you can bet the left testicle of your favorite uncle they attempt to rush in the second the doors open, regardless of the people attempting to exit. When it comes to moving in public, these people are hardwired to function in a way that puts them at odds with all logical movement. In their minds, the world is a river and they're salmon.
Or, if you prefer, [an analogy about mindless chickens].
Even so, there's a chance not all Escalator Blockers are inherent dickheads. There might even be a sort of scientific explanation for the behavior: Doorways have a habit of messing with our memory, which is why some of us zone out for a bit whenever we enter a new space. Since escalators and subway doors are both technically portals that take you to a new space, the explanation can potentially be applied here, too, maybe. So, as much as my heart aches to admit it, I feel that in this case we should probably fight against our baser instincts and search for a more ... civilized solution.
Straight-up marry them.
Start by walking up to them and starting a conversation. It doesn't have to be about how they just parked directly in front of the rapidly approaching bulk of every person behind them, and in fact you shouldn't bring the topic up at all. Instead, focus on what's good in them. Compliment their pretty eyes. Ask them to coffee at this nice place you know nearby. Turns out, you two have quite a bit in common. The occasional cup of coffee turns into proper dates, dates turn into dating, and two addresses turn into one. Eventually, one of you asks the question during that romantic holiday in the Bahamas you've been saving up for. The rings are a bit more expensive than you could afford, but hey, why not splurge on the things that really matter? You compensate by making the wedding a modest affair with just the relatives and some of the closer friends, tastefully done but nothing fancy.
Years fly by. Your son is around 8, and you're all hitting the big city for a vacation. You carefully steer your path toward the nearest escalator, having long ago chosen it as the site of your endgame. You step on the moving stairs, carefully maneuvering so that your son rides first.
And the kid stops dead right as he steps off the escalator. For a few moments, he stands there completely still with a careful look of confusion on his face -- just like a thousand jerkwads before him, just like you've always taught him to do. Then, just as rehearsed, he turns to point at your spouse with the best Damien look he can summon on his face, and screeches: "THIS IS YOOUUUUUUU." Struck by a mixture of worry and confusion, your significant other turns their eyes at you, only to realize for the first time they're looking at the face of their arch nemesis.
"The boy is one of you now," you should probably scream. Hissing remains optional.
And from that moment on, they'll know better than to block the fucking escalator.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist, freelance editor, and probably not your favorite neighbor. Follow him on Twitter.
For more ways we can help cure idiocy, check out 27 Classes We Wish They Forced People to Take in School and The Sex Ed Lessons You Wish They'd Taught You.