It’s my birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday to me, let the gluten-free cake and the pipe bands commence! Mostly the cake, frankly. No offense, but a listening to the lambeg can get old but chocolate cake never does!
Anyhow, back to the article. I write about assholes a lot– in both of the widely accepted uses of the word, but in this case I mean the pejorative. Sometimes people ask why I don’t write about people who are, you know, NOT sleekit, sullen, or sidelong. Or ‘nice’, I suppose.
The answer lies in Cards Against Humanity.
Thing is, how many of us are nice all the time? I mean, I try and be a good person, but nice? My sense of humour is too black for that. Right from the off, I’m assuming I’d have to stop telling jokes about the music teacher at my school who got his willy out in class and played Chopsticks.
However, even people who are nice more than 50% of the time have that secret asshole side that comes out when they are thwarted, get competitive about something, or have a nasty scare on a country road. Look at my friend Withaney*.
Withaney is socially conscious, politically active, and liberally inclined (actually a big red, raging socialist). Yet in the middle of a game of Cards Against Humanity (the UK version) the urge to win overcame her and she played the bad cards. I mean, she was ashamed of herself but she still did it.
“Oh god, I’m nice, I swear,” she wailed, as she stared at the ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ question. Then she played her card. (Although, to be fair, she was the only one at the table who elevated things at all, countering a stream of poop and dick jokes with a clever, if quirky, comment on Greek Literature on one question).
Withaney is one of the two nicest people I know. Yet there she was, trying to work out the worst thing she could make out of recipe of ‘Genghis Khan’, ‘two pricks’, and ‘Scouts’.
I was doing the same, but I didn’t really have to try as hard. My cards were full of poop jokes, and frankly you didn’t have to make sense for those to win a round. Poop is almost always funny.**
Plus, of course, nasty people can be nice sometimes! It isn’t necessarily a redemptive thing (maybe your serial killer is a good tipper because why not!), but sometimes it is. Honestly, there’s at least three of my cousins who’d be very lonely if assholes didn’t deserve love too.***
*Names changed to protect the naughty!
**Even that time a kid pooped in my garden. I didn’t laugh at the time, but looking back it was HYSTERICAL!
***Good people! Not always nice.