What do you deserve?
The exploding engine in your car that’s going to set you back a few grand? The way you keep getting called to come to work on your day off because someone’s sick and they’re short-staffed?
The endless abuse from telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople?
You have my sympathy on all of the above, and more. But there is a fine line that we all risk crossing, when we begin to feel we’re entitled to certain things.
Okay, we’re all entitled to some things. We have a right to expect to be treated with respect, for example. I’m not talking about stuff like that.
I’m talking about people like this, who use a fake baby in a car seat to get away with driving in designated carpool lanes.
I mean, lady, what makes you more special than anyone else?
The woman got a fine for $110 and 3 demerit points on her driver’s license, which affects car insurance premiums and once you accumulate a certain number of points, your license is suspended.
And officers say they write a few hundred tickets each month for abuse of carpool lanes.
Going so far that you buy a car seat and a doll, as this woman did, to pretend to have a second occupant in a vehicle… Wow.
Now, perhaps I’m coming off with a bit of a harsh opinion here in the eyes of some. But any of us who’ve lived in a city and experienced gridlock understand the reasons for carpool lanes. The majority of us not only respect the efforts of cities to address traffic problems. It isn’t a perfect system - what is?
But people thinking they’re entitled to do whatever the hell they want leads to anarchy.
These are the people who just walk across a busy highway and expect everyone to slam on the brakes. These are the people who fight over toys in stores because they damn well want one for their kid.
These are the people that sue when their very common first name is used for a bad character on tv. Does that give me grounds to sue a certain author for using my first name in a short story? Uh, NO!
I mean, geez people, get a grip. I’m reminded of something Laura Lippman said when I interviewed her, about the idea of parents advocating for their kids and causing more harm than good.
“I am fascinated in how something inarguably good -- the love of one's child -- can have bad consequences. The thing is, one doesn't advocate for one's child in a vacuum. If you fight to get your kid away from the notorious teacher everyone loathes, or if you angle to get him on the "better" Little League time, other kids are affected.”
Everything we do has an impact on others. By pushing for our child to have better, we might ensure another child has things much worse. By sneaking into a carpool lane you might slow legitimate traffic that keeps a man with a heart attack from getting to the hospital in time.
I mean, don’t even get me started on that. My good friend Steve reads my blog when he’s working at the fire hall in New Westminster, BC, and the stories he tells about people who won’t get out of the way when they have the lights and sirens on…If there was justice, it would be their house on fire, burning to the ground. (Do you know most houses burn beyond retrieval in less than 7 minutes? And these knobs are puttering along, refusing to move…)
Not to mention that a certain MIL I know parks in handicapped spots because she wants to park close to the doors. Doesn’t need to, doesn’t have a little card authorizing her, just does.
Oh, and those people who park across two spots so nobody will ding the doors of their new vehicle.
And now I see thatPamela Anderson has asked our prime minister to talk about the seal hunt.
Her and a list of other celebrities.
Because having big boobs and making lots of money qualifies her as special enough that she should have an audience with the prime minister to promote her cause?
You know, I have a lot of respect for Bono. At least U2’s lead singer consistently meets with political figures in all sorts of venues to address poverty, and he speaks out to the media, and he speaks out when he performs on tour. He is nothing if not consistent. And his cause is selfless. It isn’t a promotion stunt, so it isn’t celebrities being activists that bothers me, just the way that some celebrities expect that when they suddenly decide something’s a good trend to pick up a placard for, they expect the politicians to come running.
And, of course, the media loves it. They’re there, lapping it all up. It’ll make for good headlines when Pamela sulks in her tight t-shirts about how wrong the PM is to ignore her, how this is evidence of “conservative” evil.
Like the seal hunt hasn’t been going on for hundreds of years and been preserved by the Liberals time and time again…
I hope Mr. Harper tells them all to rot in hell and get real jobs.
But in thinking on this topic, it has brought me right back to mysteries.
You see, when I assess motives for murder, when I read about crimes, when I read confessions, I see some similarities that crop up. Not universally – let’s not generalize – but enough to notice the trend.
And it goes to the sense of entitlement.
That I “deserved” to be rich. I “deserved” to have her. I “was meant to” have that job and he got in the way.
The world is complex. Modern trends see us encouraging people to be all they can be, to strive for whatever they want.
Good encouragement in principle. But there are always a few nutjobs out there with enough screws loose who take it too far.
Sometimes, I wish there was a course people had to take so they’d be reasonable. But I have to admit it – these wackos give me all kinds of ideas for writing.
And somewhat related, but not 100%
I once had someone ask to have me kicked off a committee because they were afraid of me, that I might be a stalker.
Which was really hysterical, because the person phoned me, invited me to participate in the committee originally, even invited me to their birthday party…
But when one issue came up and they didn’t like it, I might be a stalker.
I mean, I’m nothing if not passionate about the things I love. Like you all haven’t guessed that, seeing me gush about writers and books and such. Don’t even get me started on The Wire.
But a stalker?
I’ve got to tell you: I can email anyone about virtually anything. I’m of the mind that you don’t have to read it, you can delete it – I’ll never know.
But in person, with someone I don’t know? To follow them around everywhere and impose myself? Damn, there are people I am acquainted with that, if they were in town I’d invite them to dinner or to tour the area – there’s an open invite for authors coming here, though I expect they’d say no - but show up at a public venue and expect to have a big chat with them?
Not bloody likely.
And to smile or groan…
A little boy comes down to breakfast. Since they live on a farm, his mother asks if he had done his chores. "Not yet" said the little boy.
His mother tells him no breakfast until he does his chores.
Well, he's a little pissed, so he goes to feed the chickens, and he kicks a chicken.
He goes to feed the cows, and he kicks a cow.
He goes to feed the pigs, and he kicks a pig.
He goes back in for breakfast and his mother gives him a bowl of dry cereal.
How come I don't get any eggs and bacon? Why don't I have any milk in my cereal?" he asks.
“Well," his mother says, “I saw you kick a chicken, so you don't get any eggs for a week.
I saw you kick the pig, so you don't get any bacon for a week either.
I also saw you kick the cow, so for a week you aren't getting any milk."
Just then, his father comes down for breakfast and kicks the cat halfway across the kitchen.
The little boy looks up at his mother with a smile, and says: "Are you going to tell him, or should I?"