Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Social Irresponsbility

In Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees, there is a story about how in both Heaven and Hell, there is an identical giant pot of food with a giant spoon that is too big for anyone to use. The people in Hell all mope around starving, but the people in Heaven are full and content. The idea is that those in Heaven are willing to help each other by holding the spoon while another eats; to those in Hell, however, this thought either never occurs or is never acted upon, as it is so contrary to their self-centeredness.

Well, I've discovered a third type of person in this little parable. This person, although unable to eat from the pot, somehow manages to wash his feet in it, much to everyone's chagrin. As the others stand there, mortified, this person shoots them all back a nasty look, as if to say, "What's your problem? My feet were dirty."

I am sad to report that a few of these socially unconscious individuals have yet to see the fire and brimstone or the pearly gates, and are still living among us. When you gently tap your horn when they're stopped in front of you at a green light, they flip you off. They are the ones who can't be bothered to turn away from the buffet table when they have to sneeze. They are uniquely responsible for most of elevator flatulence, and although I can't prove it, I'm pretty sure 90% of public bathroom ectopic urine (PBEU) is their doing as well.

I've recently discovered a new variant in the species, the Library Cellphone Talker. Seemingly oblivious to traditional library etiquette and obviously illiterate given the number of "No Cellphone" signs posted everywhere, the Library Cellphone Talker's inconsiderateness knows no bounds. Not only will she take calls while sitting at your table, she'll leave her ringer on and treat you to "Brass Monkey" every time someone calls! And he (LCT may be male or female) won't stop there. He'll call up his buddies and ask them what they did last night. If he keeps his handset volume as high as I think he will, you'll get to hear, too!

This is all very bothersome to someone like me, a hardworking, unassuming student who uses the library to study. I do most of my studying at UCSD's Biomedical Library, which has recently become infested with LCTs. What to do with them? I've thought of a couple options:

  • The stare -- Try to bore holes in their head. Usually ineffective in my experience.
  • The snitch -- Report the LCT to the library authorities. I'm not sure if you're familiar with librarians, but they're not the most intimidating of people. This usually results in only a temporary interruption in the undesirable behavior.
  • The swipe -- Haven't tried this one yet, but it would consist of stealing the offender's cellphone out of their hand, running into the bathroom, and dropping it into a puddle of urine, which, like as not, they themselves created 15 minutes ago. Sort of a karmic justice thing.
Call me if you have any suggestions. I'll be in the library.



Lauren Ricci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Ricci said...

I agree 100% with this post. The things you notice crack me up! Too bad I can't clone Mike the study nazi. That would rid the library of LCT's in no time!

CRIN and PAUL said...

hi matt, saw your blog on the oly blogsite and thought i'd check it out. congrats on being a dad! hope med school is treating you well- at least you get to enjoy being in sunny sd while you do it. last time i was in utah i drove by leslie's bakery and almost went in to get something...maybe next time. keep up the ranting!