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  A guide to not being a jackass.

AUGUST/2011 Ė What I really wanted to write was a guide to being a good person. But, I didnít think anyone would read it because everyone already thinks theyíre a good person. It reminds me of a study I read that found that 80 percent of the population thinks theyíve got above average intelligence (statistically, that isnít possible Ö and if you think it is, chances are you are below average).

Now, I should probably have some sort of disclaimer here that the steps below probably wonít cure chronic jackassery. If you already donít want to be a jackass, chances are that you already have the capacity for good. Unlike, say, the person behind you at a light that honks at you .5 seconds after the light turns green like you should have already been revving your engine and popped the clutch the second the light changed. Someone like that probably has to go into some sort of jackass rehab program.

Hereís my 12-step program that will help you travel down the road to jackass recovery (patent pending, etc., etc.):

  1. Whilst in heavy traffic, there is no need to tailgate. Avoid this behavior. Unless youíre participating in the Indy 500 and are drafting. Although, if you are participating in the Indy 500, youíre probably automatically a chronic jackass anyway.
  2. Checkout at the grocery store takes time. While youíre waiting for the person in front of you to be rung up, do not pace around like youíre a caged animal. Also, try avoiding muttering stuff under your breath. You cannot be in that much of a hurry unless youíre buying medical supplies to save the lives of your entire family. If this is the case, you probably should have driven them to the emergency room instead of leaving them out in the car while you shop. Also, if youíre in a hurry because youíre running late, this is your fault. Sub step: Leave earlier next time.
  3. Avoid doing anything stupid just so that you can put it up on YouTube. I can think of a million things that fall into this category, but there are two that must be mentioned. Planking is stupid. Donít do it. Itís not funny. I wish I could punch your YouTube page in the face. Also, you are not a daredevil and/or stuntman/stuntwoman. You cannot magically jump your bike off a two-story roof nor can you suddenly defy gravity because a camera is pointed at you.
  4. (Unless youíre my neighbor a couple blocks over, this step probably doesnít apply to you. But, one can never be certain.) Fireworks are for the 4th of July. Not the 3rd, 2nd or 1st of July. Not the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th of July. And certainly not the 30th, 29th, 28th, etc. of June. And just because itís a holiday weekend, Labor Day is not a day for fireworks. The fact that you shoot them off after 11 p.m. on a weeknight only adds to the shear insanity. Stop this.
  5. If Iím not already a religious fellow, you will not change my mind. Keep it to yourself Churchhead Biblepants.
  6. If you wouldnít say it to someoneís face, donít say it in a message board post. The anonymity of the Internet may have given you keyboard courage, but it certainly hasnít curbed your tendencies for shenanigans. If you post whatever terrible thoughts come to mind, then you, dear sir, are uncouth and I bid ye ďgood day.Ē Uncouthness leads to jackassery which leads to fear which leads to hate which leads to the blah, blah, blah.
  7. Get out and see the world. Or, at the very least, wander around your neighborhood. People that get out and interact with others tend to be more compassionate and empathetic (okay, this last statement is wild speculation as I have no facts or figures to back it up). I think this is why the people that live out in the middle of nowhere have a higher proclivity for racism and bigotry. Itís hard to be bigoted against people you interact with on a daily (or semi-daily) basis.
  8. Donít watch Fox News. Now, before you label me as a commie pinko liberal, Iíd like to add: Donít watch any, ahem, news program that relies on the opinions of talking heads over facts and reality. Itís just that, well, Fox News tends to be the biggest perpetrator of this. Getting your news from talking heads makes it too easy to weigh opinion move heavily than fact.
  9. Donít be a talking head. Under any circumstance. Seriously. Donít do it. Itís a one-way ticket on the douche-bag express speeding to douche-town, U.S.A. (On a related note, it is okay to be a Talking Head. That band still rocks.)
  10. Be flexible and realize that it is okay to change your opinion. If opinions were meant to be permanent fixtures theyíd be called ďopinstonesĒ or ďconcrenionsĒ. Er, maybe. Theyíd probably have a cooler sounding name like ďunmovable-mass-thingiesĒ. Or, not. At any rate, if youíre willing treat your opinions like free-flowing thoughts, then youíre more likely to have an open mind and are less likely to punch someone in the head if they disagree with you. Unless you think that kind of thing is fun.
  11. Realize that the world is an awesome place (thereís a rainbow above my head and unicorns frolicking about as I type this). Take some time to look around. Left. Right. Up. Down. Itís awesome out there, isnít it? Itís nearly impossible to submit to the ways of jackassery if you enjoy the world you live in.
  12. Donít be a blogger. Under any circumstance. Seriously. Donít do it. (EDITORS NOTE: Caruso Deluxe is a chronic jackass and cannot be turned good with any 12-, 24- or 48-step program.)

-Caruso Deluxe


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