Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet "A" pinned to her dress to mark her shame, and to warn decent folk that a sinner was approaching. They were pretty tough on adulterers in those days; they certainly didn't get to their country's highest office. But enough about Bill Clinton. Ba da bum bum. As we became more tolerant of adultery, the need for scarlet "A"s diminished. I wonder if there's a warehouse full of them somewhere in New England, because if there is, I think I have a use for them.

As you know if you have any contact at all with the outside world, our society is plagued by a**holes. The problem is we usually don't know when an a**hole is approaching until they engage us, and by then it's too late. (Can you see where I'm going with this?) Wouldn't it be nice if these people could be identified through their behavior, and forced to wear the scarlet letter "A" to designate their status? We could set up a hotline, I'd suggest 1-800-A**HOLE, so that those of us who encounter them might be able to report in. After three hotline calls identifying you as an a**hole, guess what: Here's your "A".

What if the a**holes don't want to wear their "A"; after all, they're a**holes! Don't fret, I have a backup plan. Up until now, without the scarlet letter to tell us, we are hard pressed to distinguish an a**hole from a normal person. They often pass for one of us until they open their mouths or do something stupid. In the interest of helping humankind recognize the a**holes among us, I have drawn on years experience as an observer (and endurer) of a**holes, and have compiled a list of telltale signs that tend to give them away. There are exceptions to be sure, but be on your guard if you see any of the following:

Baseball cap on backwards, especially on persons over the age of 40. This is someone unsure of their "coolness" and desperate to be seen as a happenin' dude. Unless the individual is a baseball catcher or a naval officer peering into a submarine periscope, beware.

Guys who drive Hummers or Cadillac Escalades. Ah, ah, don't fight me on this one. Any guy who needs to drive a vehicle the size of a small building has issues with other "small" things, if you get my meaning. There may be rare exceptions, but I haven't found one yet.

People whose time is so much more valuable than yours,,,you know the ones. They make their own exit lanes on the highway when the normal one is backed up; they walk to the head of the line at the store to ask the clerk "just one quick question"; or they get in the express check out lane with two wagon-loads of stuff.

People who are incredibly stupid and unaware, yet who have the exact opposite opinion of themselves. The condition is exacerbated by the fact that they are often loud, pushy, and never wrong. They never pick up on hints from others that their behavior is offensive, and honestly, I just want to bash their heads in! Sorry, but I do.

Don't say you haven't been warned. A**holes are everywhere and you need to be on the lookout or suffer the consequences. I am thinking of carrying around a pocketful of scarlet "A's" so that when I encounter one of these morons, as a non-violent way of coping, I can simply smile and say: Here's your "A".


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The Whiner said...

DOn't forget those who continually bray into their cellphones about personal business, such as which one of their friends is $#%@! who, or the results of their colonoscopy.

Oh and those people who think they have a gifted child, when they themselves have the IQ of a fencepost.

Jim Pantaleno said...

So many a**holes, so little time.