#32 - Don't Be A Dick

If I were ever to write a book (Hello? Publishing people?) about my theories on life and thriving in the world, the title of the book would be: Don't Be A Dick.

The simple sentiment "Don't Be A Dick" could replace about 94% of all the laws and regulations in the world. I mean, for certain things, Air Traffic Control, Alternate Side of the Street Parking, we need to actually go ahead and write down some rules. But for the majority of real, human-to-human disputes, Don't Be A Dick more than suffices.

Rather than having expensive lawyers stand there in court summating and arguing and precedenting, the judge could simply apply Dickem's Razor: He who is being more of a dick is wrong. How simple is that?

I've been all around the world. All the continents and almost 50 countries and what I've learned is, no matter where you are, if you Don't Be A Dick, you will probably be fine. Now, being a dick can be either interpersonal, or extrapersonal. So: Not Being A Dick might mean eating the pickled reindeer the nice Finnish Eskimo has offered you; or it might mean not using a streetside ATM in Columbia at 3 in the morning.

Surprisingly often, Not Being a Dick will actually require you to be a bit of a dick. So, if you're on the train going to Moscow and some drunken stinky fellow starts yelling at you because you don't want to share his bottle of bathtub vodka, the Don't Be A Dick principle does not require you to sit there grinning and enduring the abuse. In fact, in that case, Not Being A Dick might mean changing cars, or kicking the guy in the knee.

One of the coolest examples of Not Being a Dick By Being A Dick I ever saw occurred on one of those ex-Soviet trains. There was a drunken father and son sitting there yelling and drinking and smoking those filthy Russian cigarettes that I think are just filled with wood shavings. The smell was awful and the noise was awful, but they were two big burly guys, so nobody wanted to do anything about it.

Also in the car was this enormous, hard looking farmer-type with a flattened nose and huge hands who was sitting next to his, I'll guess, eight-year-old son. He looked like one of those Men of the Land whose lifetime of labors has diminished his relationship with pain to the extent that he would tear his arm off in a baler, but finish the bale he was working on and turn out the barn lights before seeking help.

I could tell the farmer was fighting back the urge to smash these two knuckleheads into oblivion because he didn't want his kid to get covered in blood, but when the drunks lit up two new smokes off the ends of their last ones, he snapped.

He exploded out of his seat and dropped an awesome simultaneous open-handed slap on the two drunks. This was an amazing move, so let me make sure you understand exactly what happened: In about .2 seconds he got up, crossed the car and using both hands smacked the two guys so hard on opposite cheeks that their heads whacked together. You very rarely see an in-game use of the two-handed slap/headknock so I was pretty happy to be there.

Then he got angry.

He said something in Russian, which I didn't understand, but which I assume was frightening, then he grabbed the drunks' lighter and tried to throw it out the window. He missed the window, but the end result was even better. I guess the spark wheel of the lighter must have hit the metallic window pane at the same time as the plastic gas container broke apart. This resulted in the two drunks being momentarily consumed by a massive fireball and then peppered by molten shards of near vaporized plastic.

To his eternal credit, the farmer/slayer didn't even react to the explosion. He just gave the drunks a pointed stare--as if he routinely cast balls of fire at people who annoyed him--and then went and sat down with his kid who looked up at him like he was Thor.

I couldn't understand what the two drunks said after that, but I assumed they discussed, in hushed tones, the black luck that landed them in the same train car as the world's angriest and least tolerant warrior mage.

So what I'm saying is, Don't Be A Dick.

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