“Life is a bad neighborhood.”
–Tom B. Taker
Oh, out on a lonely stretch of road
Beware o’ that unwritten code
Make an illegal pass again
He’ll leave you a fucking road stain
‘Cause the asshole is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighborhood
He’s in your highwayhood
An asshole is an asshole in your neighborhood
A person that you street each day
Life is hard. We all get that. Some of us, though, are a bit more proactive. We take that knowledge then go out there and do what little we can to make it even harder.
There are people who walk among us who do shitty things. Unimaginable assholes. In the old days they’d get away with it. But now, because lots of us cover ourselves with video cameras when we step out of the house, every once in a while one of them gets nabbed with their dirty mitts in the cookie jar.
Meet William Crum, age 68. Angry. White. Elderly. Texan. While out driving a two-lane blacktop with a double-yellow line he was illegally passed by a motorcyclist. We know what happened next because another motorcycle rider who was following behind got the entire thing on video.
As the motorcycle attempted to pass, Crum’s vehicle sharply and “violently” swerved and sideswiped the motorcycle, sending the two people on the bike to the ground. The motorcyclist suffered cuts and road burns. His girlfriend passenger, however, was airlifted to the hospital with more serious injuries. After spending time in intensive care she was moved to a regular room and is now in stable condition.
Confronted at the scene, Crum was recorded on video making this statement: “I don’t care. Double yellow stripes. I got stung by a wasp.”
Crum refused to apologize to the motorcyclist, saying, “To her [he would] … but to him, no, because he was doing something illegal.”
I now break out my Asshole Decoder Ring and offer the following analysis:
- Crum. Probably the best-named human of all time.
- “I don’t care.” Hmm. This statement reads on the meter as sincere. We’ll take him at his word.
- “Double yellow stripes.” This goes to state of mind. What’s the most important notion stuck in his craw after wreaking violence on other human beings? Apparently he was fixated on the criminality of illegal passing. This is a solid piece of evidence that his swerve was intentional.
- “I got stung by a wasp.” Now this is an interesting non sequitur. I can find no news coverage confirming if this has been medically confirmed. My guess? It’s a little self-defense tip he picked up from the book Always Blame Road Rage on Our Friends the Bees.
- “He was doing something illegal.” There you have it. Judge. Jury. Swervecutioner.
- Irony: While swerving to take out his victims, Crum crossed the double-yellow line himself, thus literally crossing the line from brooding hero vigilante to rabid criminal scum.
What do you think? Was it intentional? The police seem to think so. Crum has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
Sorry, Mr. Crum. I don’t dance.
Yesterday, on July 4th, I tried my hand at a little experiment. Most everywhere we went, when we bumped into folks, I’d offer up a typical social greeting that was germane for the occasion. “Have a great Fourth,” I’d say. Or, “Happy Fourth of July to you.” This was a departure for me. Normally when I’m out and about I keep my mouth shut and scowl a lot at everyone I see.
The results are in and they are a bit eye-opening for me. In each instance my greetings were warmly received and usually resulted in something similar being said back at me in friendly fashion. I found it quite odd.
For example, we had gone to the park. We arrived before noon and the park was less than half full. When we returned to our car about an hour later the lot was full. My wife was predicting that we’d have problems because our car would be blocked. Sure enough, we arrived and found some kayaks and gear behind our car. I eyeballed the unruly lot of ruffians, a lot that I normally wouldn’t speak to. This situation had classic Abyss confrontation written all over it, possibly ending with yours truly keeled over from a heart attack caused by anger. Instead I tried a different tack. As nicely as I possibly could, I said, “We’re taking off. Could I get you to move your gear, please?” And then I added, “Happy Fourth of July!”
The stuff was moved in no time and we received a hearty “Happy Fourth of July to you, too!” in return.
In our town this year there was no officially sanctioned fireworks display. Apparently there wasn’t money in the budget or it had something to do with insurance or something. Out of the blue we also realized that our town doesn’t even have an escalator. We have to drive 30 miles to a bigger town and visit “The Mall” for that. Yeah, this is a bit of a small town.
Most fireworks are also illegal here, too. But that doesn’t stop all the fireworks vendors from setting up shop right outside of the city limit boundaries. Bastards. I hate fireworks. Dangerous and noisy, fireworks are decidedly not one of my favorite things.
Most of my neighbors, however, are little closet pyros and demolition nuts. They really seem to get off on showing their love of country by making things go boom. Personally I’ve never understood the attraction.
July 3rd was a Saturday night and the fireworks started early. My wife and I were minding our own business. We were inside our home and watching a movie. Suddenly we heard something hitting our windows and house. I sprinted out the front door like John Wayne ready to kick some ass but I couldn’t find anything there.
Then, on July 4th, we got a lot more of the same, and we realized that what sounded like something hitting our house was actually the impact of sound waves caused by fireworks. Illegal ones, it turns out, in this case. Argh.
It freaked out my kitties and was extremely irritating. The night of July 4th ranks very low for me every year. It is not one of my favorite nights.
I’m now about to head to work. (My wife has the day off but my company, of course, refuses to recognize this holiday. Profits are more important than patriotism.) I’m sure I’ll see the garbage and burned out debris scattered across parking lots around this town like I do every year that these amateur pyro-bug criminals left behind. They never seem to be able to pick up their own mess. And thus they unwittingly demonstrate the grand principles behind our great country which has become a society of assholes…
I received an email today about how to handle illegal interview questions. According to the email (always a very reliable source) the questions below are are “illegal.”
Of course, what is “illegal” in a job interviewing type of situation? I think it goes without saying that one person’s “illegal” is another person’s “get yer ass out the door because you won’t be working here!”
Right on. People abusing other people. You know, now that I think about it, they ought to base an economic system on that.
According to the advice in this unsolicited email there are three ways you can go when responding to an illegal question during an employment interview:
- Answer honestly if you want.
- Tell the interviewer their question is illegal thus blowing any chance you had at the job.
- “Base your answer on the requirements of the job and your ability to perform it.” (Whatever that means!)
I feel their advice is incomplete. In an attempt to be helpful here are more options I came up with on my own:
- Keep a video camera in your baseball cap and sue their asses. (Dressing like a pimp is optional.)
- Lie through your teeth. They just broke the law – one good turn deserves another.
- Say, “I love you.”
- Casually mention, “You know, sex is still in play.”
- Distract with your “Basic Instinct” move. (This also requires wearing a short skirt.)
Also, be forewarned that your interviewer may employ a technique known as “probing” during the interview. The best advice I can offer is relax as much as possible and lean into it. With most interviewers this is usually a very brief process, but some might be able to make it last 45 minutes or more.
So here are the original questions from that email answered by yours truly with my own special flair. Enjoy!
Q: Does your family mind the travel required for this position?
A: Let us dispense with the petty mind games, shall we? We’re all adults here. We all know that I’ll be forced to eat your ass on a regular basis. Let us not pretend that I’d refuse to sell my children to the devil for this “opportunity.” Travel is the least of my concerns.
Q: Are you religious? Will your religion prevent you from working extra hours or on weekends when we have a big project?
A: It probably won’t be a problem, unless I am displeased in any way, shape or form. Then I may draw a pentagram around your desk, sprinkle some goat blood, and burn some (mostly) harmless incense while chanting your name.
Q: You have a very unusual last name. What is its origin?
A: Doin’ your mom.
Q: Are you planning a family in the near future?
A: That depends on you. If I may, I’d like to answer that question with a question of my own. Are you available Saturday night? I rarely wear underwear and when I do it’s usually something unusual. I also always forgo protection because, let’s be honest, that just makes it so much more fun.
Q: How many more years do you see yourself in the work force (before retiring)?
A: Difficult to see is the future. Always clouded with emotion. How long does it usually take to get access to the company checking account around here? – or try this alternate answer – Oh please oh please oh please! I want to do nothing but work for you and clean your boot heels with my eager tongue until the day I die. Pick me! Pick me!
I hope these answers come in handy at some point during your career. It’s amazing, I know, but I’m offering them completely free of charge! Just another of the many perks of reading this blog.