Another Day for Jerkitude*

The young father urged his
son forward in line up to an
open register. Unfortunately,

they passed the next person
in line. All dad had to do was
ask, “Are you next in line?”

But no, he just plowed through
when he heard, “Excuse me, I’m
next in line.” With a huff and

a puff the dad pulled his son
back. No apology. Just a huff
and a puff. The transactions

at the two registers ended at
about the same time and dad
was addressed, “The simple,

courteous thing to do is ask
the polite question, “Are you
in line?” “Are you admonishing

me?” dad asked with another
huff and a puff, escalating
to — and I’ll blow your house

down. “Aha.” “Who the hell do
you think you are?” “Well,
for starters, I am the guy

who was next in line in front
of you. By the way, nice example
for the kid. He’ll remember

this long after you have
forgotten it. He might even
remember it as ‘The Day My Dad

Was A Jerk,’ but then again,
he probably already has had
days like that. Be careful on

the way home that you don’t
cut anybody off, pass in a no
passing zone, flip somebody

the bird or curse them out.
The kid is watching.” “Go to
hell.” “Point made.” As the

man walked to his car, he
thought, in all honesty,
about all the times, over

the, years his own, now grown,
son probably said to himself,
“Ah, another day dad is a jerk.”

*idea from the article A Theory of Jerks
by Eric Schwitzgebel.

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