• author
    • Kelvin Wade

    • May 27, 2014 in Columnists

    10 easy ways to not be a jerk

    My major pet peeve, which incorporates many other pet peeves, is people being inconsiderate. There’s a saying that life is short. Well, inconsiderate people make it a lot longer, but in a bad way. You know, those jerk-wads who walk around like they’re royalty, like the rules don’t apply to them. There are just some people you want to smack upside the head. I may sound a little cranky delivering these nuggets of consideration, but it’s just that I loathe entitlement. So I’ve come up with 10 things people can do to not be inconsiderate jerks and actually make our time here on the third rock from the sun a more enjoyable stay.

    1. Don’t play stupid car tricks while driving. If someone needs to get over into your lane, let them in. Is one car length going to make or break the time it takes you to get to your destination? And if someone is on your tail in the fast lane, move over and let him by. Which brings me to my next point – stop riding people’s bumpers when you’re driving. If you’re driving 60 mph, it’s going to take you nearly 7 seconds and 300 feet to stop. The problem with being a jerk while driving is that it’s contagious. “Ride my butt? I’m slowing down to 15mph.” Cue road rage. One time an idiot was riding my bumper on the freeway and I slowed down to punish him. He swerved around me, pulled up next to me and waved a big revolver. Those games aren’t worth your life. And hey, don’t wave revolvers at people!

    2. Control your pets. I love dogs. I’m a dog person. I’m Cesar Milan on steroids. But I wouldn’t walk my dog and let it crap on someone’s yard and keep stepping. Clean up after your animal. Keep your dog on a leash in public unless you’re at a dog park. If your cat is leaving footprints all over your neighbor’s car or always pooping in their yard, then do something about it. And if your dogs bark all day or night, figure out how to keep them quiet. If you can’t control your dog or cat, then get a friggin’ goldfish.

    3. Control your kids. The other day I watched a 5 year old have a meltdown in Target because his mother wouldn’t buy him candy. He stood there screaming at the top of his lungs and his mother ignored him. Duct tape sounded really good to me at that moment. If you have a baby or toddler and can’t find a sitter, but you want to go to the movies, it’s simple. You DON’T go to the movies. I once told a kid to stop running in a crowded restaurant and he went to his table and told his parents what I said. They stared daggers at me and I stared cruise missiles at them. They told their child to sit down and stop running.

    4. Turn your car stereo down when you’re in a residential area, especially at night. I get it. God shortchanged you on your penis, so you’re compensating with the loudest stereo on the block. Your car stereo shouldn’t wake me from slumber. It shouldn’t drown out my TV in my house. I was once behind a guy at a fast food drive-thru who was booming loud music while trying to shout his order over it. It was like it never occurred to him to turn the music down. I like loud music when I’m driving, but when I’m in a residential area or I pull up to a light, I turn it down because I don’t want to be that thing God shortchanged you on.

    5. So you just watched the season finale of your favorite TV show or a great new movie with a twist ending and can’t wait to discuss it on social media. That’s cool. You want to compare notes with your friends about plot points and whatnot. Do it. But put SPOILER at the beginning of your Facebook status, tweet or wherever else you plan on posting. You can’t unknow something once you read it online. Watching the “Sixth Sense” with the knowledge that Bruce Willis’ character is dead turns a great, suspenseful film into…well, into any other M. Night Shymalan movie. And don’t accuse me of breaking my own rule. The movie’s 15 years old! There’s a time limit.

    6. If you’re sick, don’t go to work. Why get everyone sick? I know, you may not be able to afford missing work but what gives you the right to make other people miss work too when you infect them? And if you work in food service, definitely do not go to work. One Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law Patty was sick, but she managed to produce a delicious holiday dinner. Later that evening, she and three other people who ate that dinner ended up in the ER. That’s how she got the name Typhoid Patty. I don’t want your bugs on my bacon cheeseburger. Stay home. Don’t let your sick child go to school, either.

    7. If you’re a smoker, don’t throw your cigarette butts down on the ground. I hate when I see smokers flick their cigarettes to the ground right before they walk into a store. Do they think it’s going to evaporate into thin air when they flick it away? For one, you’re throwing something on fire to the ground. Second, you’re littering. And it’s not just you, it’s your fellow smokers too, so there’s not just one cigarette butt on the ground but a whole colony of them. If you’re bound and determined to turn your lungs black, play Russian roulette with your health and pollute the air, the least you can do is not litter.

    8. When you’re talking on a cell phone in public, can you talk softly or better yet, just remember that we can all hear you? I can’t forget the time I was sitting in IHOP having breakfast with my 6 year old grandson while some dirt bag two tables away was blathering on his cell phone about cunnilingus and his girlfriend’s lax vaginal hygiene. I gave him the death stare and he made an excuse and hung up.

    9. Unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model, I don’t want to see your underwear in public. Pull your pants up. Get a belt, suspenders, a length of rope, safety pin or whatever you need to hold your pants up and not show me your britches in public. It’s not cool. It marks you as an idiot. I believe people who wear sagging pants should be ticketed and forced to donate their pants to the homeless.

    10. Smile at people. I’m not saying you have to have the faux smile a Safeway checker displays as she hunts for your name on your receipt so she can thank you by name and give you the illusion that she knows you and actually cares whether or not you have a good day. Just smile. It costs you nothing but just might makes someone’s day a bit brighter.

    There you have it. Ten easy steps to a better world. What are some of your pet peeves?

    • LOVE this!!! We agree on EVERYTHING!!! I can just imagine your “cruise missile” stare, and I’ve also had a chuckle at Safeway, watching them search the receipt and pretend to know my name. It was even more hysterical when I still had my maiden name – LoGuercio – because they stumbled over it every time… Logerko, Logreesio, Logecko…. LoGRRRR-see-oh, dammit!

        • Kelvin

        • May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm
        • Reply

        LOL That reading the name thing is dumb. I mean, why make them pretend like they know us? I’ve used Cathi’s Safeway card and they say, “Thank you, Mr. Barrett.” Uh….no.

    • Great list. Number one is hard for me to follow but I will try.

      • Maralee Carlin

      • June 1, 2014 at 10:53 am
      • Reply

      Great article I agree on every point. I believe the whole scenario come down to one thing and that is the selfishness of our society. No one cares anymore about anyone else but themselves it seems. Not everyone of course, but the ones described in the first 9 of your points. Number 10 is just natural for me…lol I’m almost always smiling (make people wonder what I’m up to)..lol

      • Maya North

      • June 1, 2014 at 8:49 pm
      • Reply

      You covered a hell of a lot of my peeves. As a former starving single mother who went hungry so my child could eat, I do have to admit I went to work sick. We lived on almost nothing and I wasn’t going to starve my kid, which was what was left after I stopped eating so I could feed her. What I did do was warn people not to get any too close to me — after all, there was a good chance they gave it to me! We also need sick kid childcare available for poor single parents who could even lose their jobs because they have to stay home with their kiddos. Homelessness should not be a consequence of missing a day or so of work…

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