The past few mornings I’ve gotten myself caught up in the snarl of commuter traffic and have decided to use the occasion to act an observer. There’s a handful of things I’ve determined that point to generally lame things that individuals do on the regular.
[Please note that everyone has, is or will be an asshole at given times.]
You’re an asshole if,…
…You drive your own sorry ass, alone, to and from work on a daily basis. This does not apply to car share driving services. They cool.
…You don’t apologize. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s about as human as our lofty self-consideration as something more divine than the lewd animals we are. Grow the hell up and recognize when you’re wrong and say so.
…You do something “because everyone else does it so who cares?” I’m big time guilty of this one. I have a very flexible interpretation of the rules of the road here and exercise it with a heavy hand. It’s still stupid and encourages lazy behavior. Remember to check yourself.
…You decide NOW is a perfect moment to avoid the impending constipation of cars and do a 13-point turn. By the way, you can turn the wheel more than 10º at a time.
…You are honest to a point. Honesty is either all or nothing. Pathological liars are great because you know you’re getting a straight feed (despite it being from the opposing direction). If you’re going to be honest but not completely, be honest about the limitations of your honesty so no one feels like you’re trying to hide something. Psychopaths get a free pass on this one.
…You fail to use turn signals. This one hurts because it means you are too lazy to even lift a finger.
…You consider shopping a hobby. Everyone enjoys shopping but it’s an asinine way of exercising your brain’s reward center.
…You ride a diet high horse. What you eat is a reflection of what parts of you that you want to care for. If a certain diet is working for you, you feel great and it’s healthy (enough), that’s awesome. Preaching the virtues of what ought to go in your body on the basis of pseudo-authoritative archaeology or to feed a moral superiority complex is dumb.
…You enter the bike lane in heavy traffic, then lay your forehead on the horn. The law allows the spillover, and honking is an awareness tool so I’m willing to be cool about it. In this situation I hate getting the horn. I’m aware you’re behind me. You’re in front of me. You’re on my left and my right. You’re somehow on the sidewalk. I’m swimming in a sea of vehicles. Just, fucking, stop.
…You rag on others riding bikes. We’re all family even if we can’t hold a line. Don’t forget that.
…You bitch a lot. Like I’m doing right now. It’s ok if you’re conscious of it. Everyone’s got to open up that steam valve to let a little pressure off. What’s more useful is encouraging positivity. Don’t just be an asshole, but catch yourself being an asshole and correct course. Inspire others to do the same. You’re a solid person if you can do just that.