Saturday, June 19, 2010
On Being Nice
Fuck you guys!
How did that feel, friends? Did it feel like a hug in the face, or a kick the soul? My bet is whatever it is, it didn't feel good. You know why? It wasn't very nice.
Hey Max! Dat wah'nt vewy nice!
Last Wednesday evening, my friend Josh K. and I arrived at a local bar to enjoy a couple of Ice Cream Sundaes after doing an hour of fantastic two-man improvisational comedy. We were famished, and really wanted to kick back and enjoy the success we had accrued with each other, in front of each other. As we approached the bar, which I'll pseudonym-ly call, "The Red Factory," Fortune delivered us two early Channukah presents. The first was that it was a beautiful, clear evening. The second was that The Red Factory had comfortable outdoor seating.
Josh and I decided that the best way to enjoy ice cream success was outside, our feet kicked up, enjoying the summer breeze and each other's continued company. Calmly and inquisitively, we sought the simplicity of a table and two chairs. We scoured the Factory's sidewalk seating, searching for even the smallest nook where we could park ourselves. I remind you, just the two of us. Looking for one table, two chairs, and a couple of Ice Cream Sundaes.
Curses! All tables were occupied.
Up and down the street we walked, searching for a spare chair here, an unused table tucked away there. No luck. We were about to give up and accept an indoor air-conditioned fate when low and behold appeared two tables set up side-by-side horizontally. On the left-hand table sat two apparently lovely women. On the left hand table (with accompanying chairs), no one!
Hmmm, so one might think. We had encountered a somewhat awkward situation. Social norms prevented us from simply parking it at this table, since it was technically connected to the table these two ladies occupied, and thus the whole apparatus could be considered "their table." However, given the circumstances and our strong desire for outdoor Sundae Time, we decided to throw caution to the wind and offer a compromise. Assuming the second table was unoccupied, we approached cautiously and offered this:
"Excuse us, ladies. Would you mind if we moved your table slightly over and sat there? We promise we won't bother you, we just really want to sit outside and noticed that no one is sitting at your adjacent table."
I want you all to closely read what ensued, because it was hard for me to believe as I lived it.
"We won't make it awkward," I said half-jokingly.
The girl with the purple hair, half-smoked clove cigarette, and bad attitude replied,
"You already did."
This was, proverbially, not the half of it.
What followed was, I can honestly say, the greatest, boldest, most honest move of pure dickery probably since Brutus decided to gather his buddies and fucking kill Caesar.
Looking down and with disgust in her beaty little eyes, she kicked the table towards us, reminiscent of how one would throw a quarter at a begger's feet out of pure spite. She fuck you-ed us not with any words, but with a simple and complete motion of undistilled assholocity. Kicked the table at us, folks.
Her words and actions are best illustrated by a combination of this:
Nothing more was said.
Josh and I were so astounded, we could say nothing but walk away.
(from here on out, this post will include alerts)
Almost immediately, the couple seated directly in front of these girls, with the same empty-table situation, offered us seats at their empty table.
"You can sit with us, guys!"
Once we were situated, our server, Kathy, asked for our order. We ordered two Vanilla Sundaes with chocolate sauce and cherries.
"Sure thing guys. We don't have chocolate sauce or cherries, and we might not have ice-cream."
"Oh, really. Well, that's fine, we'll just have-"
"But I'll make you them. Don't worry, I'll find something and make you a couple of Sundaes."
NICE! NICE NICE NICE!
They were so delicious, we ordered two. And gave her a huge tip.
And so I am led to the thrust of this post:
people can, should, and must, be nice.
people should be nice.
people should be nice.
people, nice, should be.
be nice, people. Ya should.
Why did the first woman at the table treat us the way she did? What struck her, at that moment, to make the choice towards the dark side of social interaction? Was it something that we said? I can't possibly believe that, since I am neither exaggerating nor embellishing the politeness of our inquiry to them.
Was she having a particularly bad day? Perhaps. Does this excuse such behavior?
Is this how she was raised? Did she grow up in a family of dicks, and she knows no other way? I suppose, but I noticed that she had a friend with her. She has a friend! At least one, perhaps one who shares her interest in being an absolute fuckwad, but a friend nonetheless.
Antisemitic? She didn't know our last names.
simply enough, I just believe she wasn't being nice. for the sake of not being nice.
The energy she expended being not nice in that situation greatly exceeded that which was required to be nice. A simple "sure", or even a head nod, would have been a nice gesture, and we would have sat down and enjoyed our evening, separately and on good terms. Instead, she pressed the Turbo button on her bitch reserves, shifted into high gear, and kicked that fucking table perilously towards my Birkenstock-clad, and thus vulnerable, foot.
Please allow me to pause and present an historical list of individuals, in no particular order:
Ghengis Khan. Jay Leno. Hitler. Nero. The dude who came up with The Middle Passage. Richard Nixon. The dude whose idea it was for the Vietname war. Alex Rodgriguez. Sarah Palin. Judas.
Henry VIII. Carrot Top. Joseph Stalin. Andrew Dice Clay. Ashton Kutcher. Ivan Drago. Stephon Urkell. Scar. The dude who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to LA. P. Diddy. Celine Dion. Mother Theresa.
All huge, throbbing dicks. Assholes. Cocksuckers. Cunts. Bitches. Fuckwads. Douches.
I know what you're thinking. I know, I know. Maybe not Hitler.
Why are people assholes.
People should be nice.
I've been called an asshole a lot in my life. A lot of people think I'm not a nice person, or haven't been nice in the past. This I accept and probably would agree with sometimes.
You know what, we're all human and sometimes we just are not nice.
But we don't have to be, and should never have to be. I've been making a conscious effort in my life to be direct, clear, blunt, but nice. Polite. Considerate. Friendly. With a smile on my face as much as I can.
Oftentimes my not-nice-ness has been assumed due to my being from New York City. This is an incredibly off-base stereotype. From personal experience, I say to you that not all New Yorkers are assholes. In fact, most aren't. There is nothing inherently asshole about New York, or New Yorkers. We are as nice as the general population. Are we in a hurry a lot? Yes. Are there aspects of living in that city that make us grumpy, like traffic and chronic poverty due to overpriced everything? Yes. But I've known lots of nice New Yorkers, some mean ones too. But it's not, NOT, a New York thing to be not-nice.
And, of course, I'd be remiss in not addressing this whole "Minnesota Nice" thing. That too is an incredibly off-base stereotype. Simply doesn't exist. Minnesotans are nice, and Minnesotans are not nice. All in the same ratio as the general population. The passive aggressive thing is also a stereotype, as that trait affects the population as a whole as well.
In fact, I hate the notion of geographically associated moods or levels of friendliness. It bothers me that because I'm a NYer, it is assumed that I'm a jerk and because you're a Minnesotan, you're assumed to be nice or passive. Come on!
My friend Jill Bernard posted here a few weeks back that something she likes about living here in Minnesota is that people smile at you when you pass them in the street. I enjoy this as well. Everywhere. It's a nice thing that some people do.
I like it when people smile. I like it when people give you compliments, and offer to hold the door for you, or carry stuff for you, or understand but don't say anything when stuff goes wrong.
I like helping people out. I like putting my hand on someone's shoulder just cuz I like them. I like encouraging people, telling them honestly when I think they've done something I disagree with. I like listening and being listened to. I like when people make eye contact with me.
Big hugs are nice, and kisses are nice.
Having sex with someone is a nice thing to do; of course, under a highly restricted set of circumstances.
Being a dick is so easy and so mean.
I hate it when people ignore what you're saying. I hate it when people disregard what you say, or enter conversations with assumptions or stereotypes. I hate when people look away when you're talking with them, when they make stupid jokes at someone else's expense. I hate when people don't say thank you.
This is getting long. Let's all try and be nice, even if we're faking it. That's okay with me, actually. I'd rather you fake being nice than actually be a fucking dick.
All of this being said, these are some of my favorite asshole things that are said:
go fuck yourself.
blow it out your ass!
blow your ass!
go blow your ass!
lick my balls.
stick it in your ass.
shut the fuck up, you.
i'd love to. but i hate you.
you suck at that.
go shit in your hat.
(that thing you just said)...my ass!
you can blow me.
suck a nut.
The iPhone sucks and I don't have one but I still just know it sucks and AT&T sucks. I know all of this but I don't have one.
suck a bone.
We only have Pepsi, no Coke, sorry.
suck a hole.
eat a dick.
piss on your (thing).
go bake a cake with that.
what do you want me to do with this (usually a piece of paper), wipe my ass?
I'll wipe my ass with this.
Seriously, you only have Pepsi? I'll just take a water, then. Go fuck yourself.
i politely disagree with you.
you, sir/madame, have erred.
i believe you're wrong.
quit bein' a douche.
quit bein a douche rag.
you're a dick.
You're so awkward.
You're so random.
You are ridiculous.
Do you know how fast your were going?
you're being a dick.
fuck yourself in the ass.
Oh, you do improv? Do some improv for me right now!
i really, really just fucking hate you.
That's about it, I think. For now.
Thank you for reading today.
I've now seen these "party buses" driving up and down Hennepin several times over the last three weeks, and here's what I've noticed:
1. You need to have passed an MCAT-level difficulty exam of Douchebag Studies in order to ride on one of those things.
2. You must be fearless in shouting out stupid shit at people trying to drive or walk on the street while reading one of those things. Probably covered in the training course for #1.
3. You must have the worst job in the world to have to soberly be paid what must be minimum wage to drive those douche-mobiles around. Probably a pre-requisite is auditing one of the classes of #2.
4. I seethe with anger just looking at one. Even parked, with nobody in it, because I know those guys were in it at one point and will be in it again.
5. Some buses should Suddenly Explode sometimes.
I love my new job. More on that later.
At Chino Latino, they legit cook and serve Guinea Pig. Putter says, "Fuck you, Chino Latino!"