We’re told pretty much from the nanosecond we complete our violent escape from the womb to do unto others as we’d want done to us and all that jazz, which is all well and good, but sometimes we need to indulge our mischievous side in an attempt to stave off the darkness that threatens to swallow us whole.
In other words, sometimes it’s actually healthy to channel a little Leary.
#41: Being An Asshole.
Up to a certain point in my life I was a choirboy (minus the priest diddling, of course) and so I always played by the rules society laid out for me. I was respectful, calm mannered, even-tempered, and ever-reluctant to speak up when confronted by bullies.
Then I acquired a job as a bellman at the Comfort Inn in Niagara Falls.
It was over two decades ago and the world was a different place: people were nicer to one another in public (privately they still talked all kinds of shit about each other) social media wasn’t a thing so they kept their dirty laundry where it belonged (in bars and post-coital conversations with hookers) and they were less hostile to service personnel.
But that changed in a hurry once I became a bellman, naturally.
It quickly became evident that being my old self was going to lead to my being chewed up and spit out by the hospitality industry in a Niagara Falls minute, so I found a way to develop a persona that was snarky yet respectful and truthful yet close enough in line with the big hotel chain mentality to keep me employed. It took some time but Robert Hookey eventually became The Hook, both in and out of uniform.
Becoming The Hook was the best move I ever made, with the exception of that one move I made with Cynthia Kowalski in elementary school. She had to renounce Judiasm after that move. At any rate, I had to learn to embrace my inner-asshole (which sounds exceptionally weird) in order to survive encounters with:
- Newlywed brides who have coitus with hotel staff on the hood of their new husband’s car.
- Guests who bring their dead frozen cat on vacation with them rather be separated from “Lucky”.
- Hardcore gamblers and the hookers that love them. For an hour, at least.
And many, many more! I’m not suggesting you become a full-blown jackass who drives slow in the ultra-fast lane and who walks around in the summertime saying, “How about this heat?”, but it never hurt anyone to indulge their naughty nature.
Well, except for Tommy Burnes, a minuscule kid I knew in high school who, after a lifetime of ridicule, decided to fight back against his many oppressors. Unfortunately for Tommy, his plan backfired when the captain of the football team parked in the wrong spot. And so Tommy dropped a sack of dog shit mixed with raw eggs, cut grass and God knows what else on the car of the biggest, blackest high school student in the city of Niagara Falls at the time.
Every once in a while people still find chunks of Tommy in their backyards.
Don’t be Tommy but be fearless when it comes to staving off depression. Try to live a full life instead of dying by your own hand.
Joke around with your fellow motorists the next time you’re stuck in traffic; stop beside another car, pull out a metal travel mug marked “driving vodka”, and take a few big swigs.
Cut in line at Wal-Mart.
Cheat on your taxes by declaring the ghost children in your house as dependents. (This tactic has never worked for me, but you never know.)
Direct a guest to park their stereotypical Redneck RV, complete with a deer corpse strapped to the back, outside the kitchen entrance to the hotel’s Denny’s. (This was arguably my greatest asshole move ever.)
Don’t go too far, but accept that not being the best you can be all the time can feel pretty good.
See you in the lobby, A-holes…