The Rules Don't Apply to Me
I'm all for putting an end to international terrorism, but I think it's important to discuss another form of terrorism that's on the rise. The kind of terrorism I'm talking about is personal terrorism and it's perpetrated by a very distinct type of person with a very distinct type of personality that I like to refer to as "The Rules Don't Apply to Me" personality. If there was ever a type of person who deserved to be thrown into Abu Ghraib and tortured, it's this type of person.
"The Rules Don't Apply to Me" person is running rampant in our world right now and wreaking havoc. While most of us obey the rules, these people walk the earth believing that there's an exception for every rule and they're it. As a group, these people are responsible for more irritation, more rudeness, and more bad behavior than any other group in the world, except for Hari Krishnas, Seventh Day Adventists, Terrell Owens, and people who host infomercials.
I've been running into these dinkleheads a lot lately and, I swear, I'm about to turn violent. About half of these people seem to own dogs. They bring their dogs everywhere. They bring them into restaurants, into the airports, and into stores. They don't give a shit if there's a sign saying "No Dogs" or if somebody informs them that there are "No Dogs Allowed." They never put their dog on a leash (because "it wants to be free, man") and they always seem to be looking the other way or talking on their cell phone as the dog leaves a big, steaming pile of shit on your lawn. The rules don't apply to these people.
"Rules Don't Apply to Me" people also seem to frequent my gym. I do a circuit workout, which involves using twelve machines in a specified order. The idea is that the workout is quick and involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. The machines are roped off from the other machines. Right above the machines there's a huge sign, in black letters on the wall, that reads "Circuit: Start at Machine #1." The rules are posted in two different locations. Somehow, this isn't enough for the illiterate fuckwits constantly sitting down at the machine in front of me either because they're "in a hurry" or just don't give a shit. Not only do the rules not apply to them, but they clearly think that their time is more important than my time. And what happens when you try to explain the rules to them? They look at you like you're the one with the problem!
However, the most obvious place these sphincter pods seem to frequent is the airport. These are the people who've completely forgotten that 9-11 ever happened. They don't care. They need to get on that plane fast and get off it fast and if you're in their way, you're inconveniencing them. I mean, how many pieces of carry-on baggage is enough? New rule: If you insist on carrying more than the limit of one bag on the plane, then the airlines throw the extra baggage off it mid-flight. And what's with these gigantic carry-on bags, you lazy, baggage-claim-avoiding jerks? If you can't lift it into the overhead, then you should be beaten to death with it.
Two recent experiences I had illustrate this point perfectly. The first involved a guy in front of me, who was carrying a duffle bag that could have housed a tribe of pygmies. This thing was huge. The gate agent told him he'd have to check it. Naturally, he gave her a hard time. "I brought it on last time," he whined. To her credit, the gate agent told him to fellate himself, though she actually used the words "well that was that flight and this is this flight." She tagged his bag and told him to leave it outside the plane. So what does this guy do? Naturally, he takes it on the plane, covering the bright orange tag with his hand. Why? Because the rules don't apply to him.
And okay, so maybe turning off all portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing is silly, but it's a rule. It's not a big deal. Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of sitting next to a fat woman who decided to keep her CD player on during both takeoff and landing, hiding it underneath a blanket so the stewardess wouldn't catch her. What is so hard about following this rule, exactly? Obviously, she thought she was too good for it. What made things a bit more frightening though, is that after we got in the air, the woman took out a couple of prayer books, started taking notes, and ordered a Pepsi, a bag of chips, and two bottles of wine, all while snacking on a bag of M&Ms she had in one of her bags. If there's anything scarier than a religious nut on an airplane who's already on a sugar high and trying to get a buzz, I don't know what is. This woman needed to be tasered.
If these people don't have to follow the rules, why do I? If you're going to use the machine in front of me while not bothering to read the rules, don't be surprised if I decide to wipe my ass with your gym towel. Generally, wiping one's ass with another person's gym towel is considered "against the rules", but you don't seem to care, so why should I? Feel like slowing me down as you try to wrench that second, giant carry-on to the ground? Don't be surprised if I pull it out for you and drop it on your head. And if you're going to insist on playing your CD player during take-offs and landings, be ready to become painfully familiar with the taste of plastic. Seriously, "The Rules Don't Apply to Me" personality doesn't care about the rules and becomes indignant when you try to explain them. What else is there to do? How do we deal with rude people if the very basis for their rudeness is the belief that others are the ones with the problems?
Sartre was right. Hell is other people, and these people are its deepest pits.