If you act like an asshole, you become magnetically attractive to all other assholes (as well as other celestial bodies filled with hot air and bad smelling gasses). Only assholes will think your jokes are funny. Only assholes will drink with you in the bar, especially after you try to stiff the bartender for your tab. In fact you will find the same group of assholes seem to migrate to all the other bars you wind up in as you gradually get banned from every bar in town for trying to grope the waitresses, getting in fights with out-of-towners who happen to stop in for a beer, or getting so drunk you pass out in the men’s room and the barkeeper has to drag you out to the curb before he can lock up for the night. The other assholes you hang out with will exhibit similar behavior and after a while no one else will want to have anything to do with you but the other gasbags.
Your girlfriend will also be an asshole, if you manage to have a girlfriend at all. Even if she doesn’t start out being an asshole she will wind up being one after hanging out with you long enough, if only in self-defense. She will steal money out of your wallet while you’re busy looking at porn on the internet. You might get introduced to her because your mom or sister sets you up on a date, hoping that, if only you would meet a nice girl you’d stop being such an asshole. But more likely you will find her outside a bar after she gets thrown out for flinging her beer at some guy who dated her once because she looks cute until you find out what an asshole she is. She’ll have a lot of baggage. She might have several children with different fathers, none of whom pay any child support because of course they’re all assholes, too. You probably know many of them, but they stay away from your place because if they showed their faces she’d probably clock them with a frying pan.
Of course, you don’t have to be poor to be an asshole. If you’re lucky you might be a rich asshole. Most rich assholes are born that way. (Rich, not assholes. No kid is born an asshole. It takes a great deal of effort to become one, significantly more effort than it takes to become rich. But if you’re an asshole you’ll never figure that out.) Rich assholes tend to think that they deserve to be rich because they are so much smarter than anyone else. They treat other people as if they are personal servants who only exist to cater to their needs. They threaten employees, no matter how much they may earn, with the possibility of being demoted or fired if they don’t do exactly what Mr. or Ms. Big tells them to, and pronto. They have little patience and frequently cut in line, claiming “executive privileges” or “frequent flyer club membership” or “my Daddy owns this building, do you want to have your lease renewed?” Rich assholes usually get anything they want, but it never makes them happy. They are perpetually dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the world. They often jet from one potential paradise to another, always disappointed in what they find there, as it never lives up to their expectations. Because their expectation is that they are the most important person in the world and everyone, and I mean everyone should recognize that and kowtow to their every wish and whim.
There are plenty of rich people who aren’t assholes, but just like their brethren, poor assholes, the rich assholes usually find that the only people who will have anything to do with them are other rich assholes, along with a lot of poor people who really need a job and outwardly put up with their bad behavior while secretly spitting in their food or dropping ticks in their bedclothes. Rich assholes get stock tips from uncles or cousins who are on the board of some company and know something that will make the stock jump up or down. Then when they make a killing in the market, they’ll brag to anyone who will listen (paid employees or other rich assholes) about what great investors they are. They buy sports cars that they never drive just so they can show them off and try to make other folks jealous. When they do drive their cars they often crash them, because that is something of a badge of honor among assholes, how many cars they’ve crashed, how many big game animals they’ve slaughtered, how many drug overdoses they’ve survived, how many near death experiences they’ve escaped. They want to be the biggest, the fastest, the richest, the best at everything they do, but unfortunately all they’re good at is being assholes and becoming the biggest asshole in the world really takes work, and most of these rich assholes never worked a day in their lives.
The bottom line: If you are an asshole, you eventually get what you deserve—a life filled with people who are exactly like you.
2 thoughts on “Ray’s Theory of Assholes”
Your editorial is amazing and wonderful, as your entire paper has been for, how many?… 32+ years? I first saw an edition in a rural lock in France, of all places. It was an epiphany! I subscribed forever and gave subscriptions. Now, I live mostly in Canada, but still go to France every year for months to work on my barge. I haven’t subscribed because it’s more expensive and because I’m not around for months at a time. But, now, with private and real journalism disappearing like mist, I must support organizations like yours which, in your own way, contribute real news, legitimate articles and yet are darn funny! I need funny! Thanks to you both for your years of devotion to making our lives better!
My first thought was “You’ve worked retail.” and “Sounds like my brother in law and his family.”