If I were a middle-aged white guy, I would lease a nice car. Having a nice car makes a nice impression on others. And I would keep the car pristine. Whenever I parked outside Walgreen's or Wal-Mart, I would straddle the painted white line and take up two spaces. That way, you don't get dings. I hate dings. Dings bring down the value of the vehicle.
If I happened to be making a quick stop at the 7-11, I would ease into the handicapped spot, because eighty percent of those people are faking it. This one guy I heard about had asthma. That's how he got the handicapped plate. I would leave the engine running, partly so it wouldn't get cold, and partly so that, if some actual, no-kidding-around handicapped person were to pull up in their specially made handicap-mobile, they would figure I was coming back shortly.
If I were a middle-aged white guy, I would work hard at my job. No one likes a lazy person. And I would smile at my coworkers, because no one likes a sourpuss. I would also be sure to ask my colleagues how their day was going, and I would talk about TV shows and football games with them, and I would perhaps mention that I hadn't seen them in church lately, which is a funny thing to say nowadays, when there are so many people who haven't accepted the Lord Jesus as our savior.
If I were to see a coworker slacking off, I might remark, in jest, "Some of us have work to do." And if they told me to fuck off, I would call human resources and report them, because middle-aged white guys should not have to be subjected to such abusive talk. I would also discuss the incident with my immediate boss, and if he were to tell me, "You just need to worry about your own work and let me take care of the rest of the floor," I would probably say, "It's funny how you asshole liberals are always talking about 'it takes a village,' but the minute someone steps up to point out that one of the 'villagers' is slacking off, you get nothing but shit for it." And if he were to reply, "Are we done here?", I would probably just say something like, "Yeah, I guess we are. I guess nothing's ever going to change around here," and then I would walk back to my desk, muttering to myself. For a little office humor I would make sure a coworker or two heard me use the word "shotgun."
If I were a middle-aged white guy, and my children were doing poorly in school, I would smash things in their rooms, the lamps and vacation souvenirs and such, and I would inform them that the stuff I had just broken to bits had been gained in exchange for a certain thing known as money, and you get money in this world because you have skills, like computer programming, and you acquire those skills only after you earn halfway decent grades in school, and then you offer those skills to an employer who will pay you for your services, even if they never take it seriously when you make the slightest remark about how you're the main guy pulling his weight.
If my kids were to start crying when I did my demonstration of the value of a good education, I would tell them to knock it off, unless they really wanted something to cry about, and then, if my wife comes into the room and asks me what the hell I'm doing here, when the court said I was to remain at least 500 feet from the place that I once called home, I would remind her that the man is king of the castle and, last I checked, I was the one whose salary had paid for this piss-poor, split-level excuse of a palace, even if I did happen to be behind on the payments, partly because Hooters gals expect gifts in addition to the tips, or else your basket of wings is going to have spit in it, although I probably wouldn't mention the Hooters thing to my wife, but would make my point all the same.
And then, if she turns to me and says, "I don't know what happened to you," I will say back to her, "This whole country is a bunch of freeloaders," and I will leave the house, allowing my wife and kids to put everything I had said into their pipes and smoke it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.