So, here’s the thing.
I want the very best for the people I care about.
I do. I really and truly do.
And when I say the very best, I’m not fooling around. I want us all to be riding our jet-powered jaguar-shaped hoverboard through the streets on our way to a) have energetic sex with a hot Spanish secret service agent of the gender of our personal choice, b) pick up the keys to our new carbon-neutral Batmobile, c) enjoy a relaxing afternoon of conversation, massage and fine cheeses at Richard Gere’s house, or d) all of the above.
Yes, I recognise and understand the nature of a supply-and-demand economy, and I know that if these options were available to everyone it would decrease their rarity value, and the bottom¹ would drop out of the lucrative energetic-sex-with-a-hot-gender-non-specific-Spanish-intelligence-agent market, but, if you were given the choice between a), b), c), d) or e) going to work tomorrow, which would you pick?
I’ve come to realise that not all of the people I love currently have the wonderful lives I want for them. Perhaps even more heartbreaking, neither do I. And yes, some of the reason is because life just doesn’t work like that, and Richard Gere gets very busy sometimes, but there’s also another factor at play. And that factor is this:
I’ve heard – and lived – enough stories of terrible boyfriends, cheating girlfriends, dangerous drivers, abusive parents, muggers, murderers, thieves, and people who answer the phone in movie theatres that I’ve been forced to stop and wonder: Goddamnit. Where are all these assholes coming from? Is there some portal to another dimension – an asshole dimension – that someone forgot to shut? Is that where they’re all coming from? Because I’m not that asshole. My friends aren’t those assholes. Who are these assholes?
Well… the truth is that no, actually, we probably are the assholes. All of us². It’s human nature. Everyone, at some point in time or another, has acted like an asshole³. Some more than others, but that’s the way it goes.
Because we’re only human. We get angry and we say things we don’t really mean, or we somehow glide right by the idea of consequences for the split second it takes to think that greenlighting Jersey Shore is an awesome idea, or we wake up in the morning and say ‘You know what California needs? An eighth proposition!’
And I’m not trying to judge, or blame, or make anyone feel bad, with the possible exception of The Situation… it’s just that I don’t think this approach is helping anybody. So maybe we could all tell the demons on our shoulders⁴ to just kinda… take the day off.
June 2 is Saint Erasmus’s Day. He’s the patron saint of intestinal diseases and colics. And that’s about as close as you can get to a patron saint of assholes – so it makes June 2 a fitting time for Hey. Don’t Be An Asshole Today Day. And the wonderful thing about this is that you can do it anywhere you are, and if you bust someone acting like an asshole, you can say ‘Hey. Don’t be an asshole today.’
(Saint Erasmus? He’s that asshole on the left).
I’m not talking about making a play for sainthood. I’m merely suggesting that, for one day – one day! – we could all take a breath and try to restrain our baser instincts. In terms of logistics, these were the first ideas that came to mind.
1. Hey. Don’t Drive Like an Asshole Today.
Yes, sometimes you want to beat the light. And sometimes the perfect gap looks ready to open up if you just drop the pedal a little harder and cut around that guy in front and bam! Made it! Now to drop right back down to the speed limit and coast… all the way to Subway.
Hey, remember every single time in your life when you’ve suddenly hit the brakes because some asshole swerved in front of you with no warning and you spent the next five minutes in an impotent rage because there was nothing you could do about it except hit the horn, which, really, does nothing, and if the horn is whiny enough, actually makes you more angry? And then on the date you went on that night, which was the third date, and we all know what that means⁵, your date says ‘How did your day go today?’ and you snapped and shouted ‘Some asshole cut me off!’ and slammed your fists into the cheesecake, and your date got weirded out and left?⁶
Yeah, that’s you right now.
2. Hey. Don’t Invade Anyone Today.
Just for one day, K? I know, I know, Estonia’s been looking at you funny, and Malta is just begging for it, and no one will notice if you annex Lesotho because no one’s ever heard of it, but still. Just for one day.
3. Hey. Don’t Kidnap Three People and Turn Them into a Human Centipede Today.
Because why would you even do that? Seriously, why? There is nothing that a human centipede can do better than three people who aren’t a human centipede. Literally, not one goddamn thing⁸.
You’re a weird guy, Tom Six.
4. Hey. Don’t Commit Adultery Today.
It’s a big ask. But perhaps, just for today, if you want to have sex with someone’s promiscuous wife or philandering husband, you could just… oh, I don’t know. Not commit adultery?
It’s easy to forget and slip up in the heat of the moment, but if you find yourself engaging in sexual intercourse with someone else’s partner, maybe try stopping, or at least slowing down, and saying, in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental manner ‘Hey! We’re committing adultery!’
You could then maybe watch some TV instead, or play a little blackjack, or even take a walk if the weather is nice.
I’m not going to lie. It’s probably going to be awkward.
5. Hey. Don’t Call Anyone any Names Today.
24 hours without a single nigger, cracker, fag, dyke, breeder, queer, chink, spic, etc., etc… And I don’t even mean just the big ones – any kind of name that might be hurtful, or offensive, or mess with someone else’s head… really, what are you going to lose by not saying them for 24 hours?
Nothing, that’s what.
Still use ‘asshole’ though.
6. Hey. Don’t Collapse and Release an Oil Spill into the Gulf of Mexico Today.
There is nothing funny about this.
7. Hey. Don’t Steal a Bunch of Money and Fuck Every Single Person in the Whole World Today.
Or this, really.
Wait. This line of reasoning insinuates there’s something funny about #1 – #5. There isn’t. There really isn’t. These arguments aren’t mutually exclusive, is the point I’m trying to make.
The point I’m trying to make is: Bernard Madoff, you are such an asshole. I lost so goddamn much. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back.
8. Hey. Don’t be an Asshole Because You Think a Book told you to Today.
No, seriously. If a book – and I’m not going to name names – is the reason why you think that some people can get married and others can’t, or why it’s OK to kill doctors, or kill people in general, or blow shit up, or really, just be mean to anyone and try to take away the rights, the life, or the happiness that you would want for yourself and the people you love, then just stop. Stop for one second and ask yourself: ‘If someone did this to me, would I think they’re an asshole?’
And then ask yourself: ‘And would my own personal God want me to be an asshole right now?’
It’s really simple. He, she, they, or it, totally doesn’t.
Gods hate assholes.
See you June 2.
¹ but not the culo
² especially you
³ but not me, actually, now that I think about it
⁴ the asshole demons
⁵ it means you can start talking about your political opinions now. All right!
⁶ you won’t be having any sexy discussions about Reaganomics tonight.⁷
⁷ or fucking
⁸ except ‘be a human centipede’, and that totally doesn’t count