There are people who are in no way responsible for their mistakes, lack of skill or any other shortcoming. They had the misfortune of being raised by ‘feral cats’ (incompetent or doting parents), or those who were denied education, and those who have suffered brain injuries through accident, drug abuse or illness.
The ones I have a beef with are the thoughtless ones who believe they are the chosen ones, the only ones deserving of being ‘Number One.’
I think it all starts in the home, with any little one who is taught that the Universe revolves around only her (or him) and that they deserve everything be handed to them on a silver platter. When a work shovel is handed to them, they insist it’s someone else’s job, not theirs. If a lunch room monitor draws their attention to litter that they, or someone else has left behind, they protest, “Who, me? That’s the janitor’s job!” That’s the child who is never taught to clear the table after dinner. That’s the teen who says, “Put the toilet seat down: why?” That’s the ‘adult’ who a dozen years later cranks down the car window, then fires what’s left of his ‘happy meal’ onto the road.
To allow a maximum number of vehicles to make a left turn at traffic-lights, the correct procedure is to advance to the middle of the intersection, then make the turn when opposing traffic allows. However, the self-centered driver advances only as far as the line, preventing the one or two cars immediately behind from also making the dash when the coast is clear. ‘Mr. The Universe Revolves Around Me’ gives no thought to those behind him.
He’s the driver who misinterprets the purpose of the parallel lines in a parking lot. He parks as if his hood ornament should be centered on one of those lines. Or diagonally (“Don’t ding my gorgeous new car.”). The result: two precious parking spots are occupied by ‘Mr. Me’. In a hurry, he occupies a handicapped parking space – it’s near the door, so convenient.
After his shopping is done, he doesn’t bother returning the cart to the corral. As he drives away, it’s just jettisoned beside his car, to be yet another nuisance to others.
Now he’s in a hurry to get to work. On highway 31 from Morrisburg or 138 from Cornwall, he tries to make up the five extra minutes he spent lingering over his second cup of coffee. To make up those precious minutes it’ll take going 20 kph over the limit and making five reckless passes on those two-lane hilly highways.
There’s a place for such people. It’s on the MV SHIP OF FOOLS, the shambles of a cruise ship that I’d like to charter, where attempts would be made to re-educate and rehabilitate characters such as those I’ve just described.