You don’t think you’re an a-hole. But has it occurred to you that you might be wrong? Well, it occurred to us. So we’ve gathered up a little collection of clues that you might not be the mellow, cool guy you think you are. Check ‘em out. But relax. Being an a-hole isn’t like Herpes. It’s curable.
You Micromanage Tips
If leaving a tip takes any more than 5 seconds, you have a problem, okay? And your problem is that you are a money-grubbing jerk. Here is a moment for a karmic slam-dunk, which you need badly, and a chance to earn the ever-lasting devotion of the waitress (or waiter, if you’re dumb enough to choose a table without checking who is working it first). And everyone knows how that “ever-lasting devotion” can play out, right? Uh-huh. That’s it: the elusive, near-mythological, buy-back drink or dessert. Oh. And if you keep giving big tips, you might get laid. Which is cool. Though possibly less so if you had a waiter (depends on the waiter).
So over-tip or tip generously every time, no matter what, and especially when service has sucked. Now, you don’t have to be Alex Rodriguez, who once told ESPN that he tips 20% and then 5% more because he’s a pro athlete. But you should be able to look at the bill, double the first number(s) and add a buck. That takes all of 2 seconds and covers just about every check in a healthy way.
And, yes, these are tough economic times. But if you can’t be generous with your tip when you know much it matters to those working to serve you, then you shouldn’t be spending your money going out at all. Stay home. You don’t have to tip yourself for that glass of water or the tuna melt you’re about to burn the roof of your mouth on. Bon appetit!
You Know Exactly How Much You Weigh
It doesn’t matter if this is because you have a scale at home (stop claiming it’s your girlfriend’s) or because there’s a scale at the gym (stop going if you go, start going if you don’t). If you know how exactly much you weigh, you’re too vain. And vanity is a sin. The kind of sin that ends up with Kevin Spacey showing up at your door and doing something god-awful to you as payback for whatever abomination happened to him when he was a child. Or, possibly, because he’s simply angry that no matter what he does to his hair, it always looks bad or fake; again, the evils of vanity. Insidious, eh?
So, sure, keep yourself in shape for health reasons and because women – make that most women – don’t like fat, Jabba-like men. But don’t become obsessed. The world is already filled with enough insecure weaklings. Don’t add yourself to their numbers.
And, another thing: you’re probably an a-hole if you know how much your girlfriend weighs. Like she doesn’t have enough to worry about. What’s that? You don’t have a girlfriend? Then you may not be an asshole, but you’re definitely one of two things: The Man or a loser. Probably the latter.
You Roll Homeless People
No, potential a-hole, this doesn’t mean that you get them drunk, sleep with them and then steal their wallets while they’re snoring innocently beside you. Though that’s not good behavior, either, and if you do find yourself doing that, stop immediately.
What this means is coming to a light in your car — probably a white Mercedes, knowing you — seeing a homeless person, and stopping so far behind the vehicle in front of you that when said downtrodden individual approaches, you can roll forward past them, bopping your head as you crank Howard Stern or the latest Radiohead, thus eliminating the homeless person’s ability to ask you for help. That’s just rude, potentially dangerous, and only medium clever.
Don’t do it.
You Unretire From Pro Sports
Talking to you, Favre. You, too, Clemens.
You Never Invite People Over
Sure, it’s always been more fun to have play dates at other people’s houses because they have toys you don’t have that you can break and then just leave behind for someone else to clean up or weep over. And they also usually have delicious snacks and beverages that you don’t have or that someone (your mother, whom you still live with, or your girlfriend, who you can’t avoid living with much longer) won’t allow you to have very often.
But never inviting people over to your house or apartment, no matter how much the rats frolic beneath your sagging, now-brown couch, or how big the roach colony is in your kitchen, is just plain obnoxious. Be a host every once in a while. It’s like picking up a check or helping bury a body – you’re not a man until you’ve done it at least twice. And, besides, it’s also like oral sex: the more you do it, the more you get it.
You Communicate with T-shirts
It doesn’t matter if you’re begging for a kiss because of some marginal connection to the nation of your grandfather’s birth or documenting all the hip cafes you’ve read Nietzsche in, if your T-shirts are supposed to say something about you or provoke any level of interaction from those nearby, you are very likely a total a-hole. Especially if the T-shirt has been purchased within the last two years (no, it’s not okay just because you were on vacation when you bought it; and doubly-so if the trip was to the Pacific Northwest).
In a world that accepts sneakers as art, playing ping pong at work, and electronically publicizing every thought one has, it’s easy to forget that there is something admirable, and even necessary, in good old-fashioned “growing up.” This includes sartorial decisions. So, wear a shirt with a collar, and even possibly buttons. Or, if you find that you must go out in a T-shirt, try not to make it one that features Japanese toys or any message meant to be read. Unless, of course, the message is an honest “I’m an asshole.”
You Feel Qualified To Judge Who May or May Not Be an Asshole
It takes one to know one. If you’re spending your time observing what makes other people seem like a-holes, chances are extremely good (girls with daddy issues good) that you are the one who is an a-hole. A well-documented corollary to this is if everywhere you go, you run up against a lot of a-holes, you’re the a-hole.
It may be hard to hear. But it’s true. Trust us. We’re a-holes.