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August 09, 2017

When Your Business Is Everyone's Business [Warden]

Last Sunday was a perfectly gorgeous evening with temperatures in the high 60's. My 11 year old son started football last week and had a 6pm practice scheduled, so I decided to stick around, enjoy the weather and watch him play.

On Friday I'd bought a cigar, my first one of the year. I used to smoke them fairly regularly, but high taxes combines with spotty quality have made them a once-in-a-great-while type of thing for me. This one was an Arturo Fuente. A mid-range cigar that ran me a little less than nine bucks.

Cigars don't do well outside of a humidor, so I decided that Sunday was the perfect time and place to fire that thing up. So I positioned myself about 40 yards from the football team and lit my smoke.

I was about 5 minutes into this rare treat when an obese woman approaches me with a smile and says, "Excuse me. Do you mind not smoking that in front of the kids?"

I pause. Did I hear that right?

In front of the kids? What the hell does that mean? I'm 40 yards away and they're busy practicing. How can this possibly be an issue for anyone?

"What's the problem?" I ask, "You worried that the smoke is going to drift all the way down there and somehow get into someone's lungs?"

"Well, I can smell it all the way from my car, and I just don't think kids should have to smell that while they're trying to practice."

I'm a pretty low drama guy. I don't enjoy conflict just for the sake of it, but I also have the kind of temper that can send me from zero to WAR in seconds. I don't want a scene. It's not worth a scene. But I'm also pissed off that this woman is using kids as a shield to deflect from the fact that it's her who has a problem with the cigar, not anyone else.

I smile--no way am I starting a drama--and then slowly, with an edge of contempt say, "I'll move down a little."

I move off another 30 yards, finish my cigar 40 minutes later and then ask the coaches if they need any help. They do and then, just to fuck with her, I start working one-on-one with her kid.

Did I mention he's obese like his mom? He is. The coaches are working with the line and a couple of kids keep jumping the snap count. When this happens, they punish everyone with grass drills. Except this poor kid can't do them any longer. He's too out of shape.

So now he's sobbing.

I feel bad for him. True, I was messing with his mom's head, but I was also legitimately trying to help him because 1) I love football. 2) I like an underdog. 3) Kids don't get to pick their parents.

His mom? She's a progressive. I'd lay my last dollar on it. My wife and I often play spot the leftie and she's definitely got the look--that sloppy, ratty haired, no makeup, I-demand-you-think-I'm-beautiful-even-thought-I leave-the-house-wearing-grey-sweatpants-why-should-I-have-to-even-try look of the modern day, middle class, feminist asshole. Add the self righteous, busy-body behavior and it's a lock.

And now I want to wring her cow-like neck.

This useless waste of space has an 11 year old son who is so unhealthy that physical exertion makes him wheeze and cry and she's taking MY INVENTORY on smoking a cigar?

She's trying to shame me? A grown ass man enjoying a perfectly legal product and minding his own damn business? And then she's so goddamned gutless that she pretends it's about the kids? (I asked my son later if he could smell it and he said no.)

Here's what's going on. It's the same thing that's going on with all of these leftists. This woman's house isn't in order and she knows it. But she's too gutless and dishonest to face the fact that she's got some shortcomings that need to be addressed, so she busies herself with trying to fix someone else's perceived shortcomings.

She has a pre-diabetic kid who's a few years away from blood pressure meds and a couple of bad knees and she's responsible for it. He doesn't do the grocery shopping, prepare the meals and set the lifestyle example; she does.

The coaches are calling the boy "Big Nick." Being overweight is already his identity. On this course, he will literally never know what it's like to be healthy.

Oh, but the cigar and how I'm harming those kids. Let's put a stop to that.

So she got her big victory for today, the deflection that lifts all the guilt from her shoulders. Meanwhile her kid is standing there sobbing while everyone around him hits the dirt.

Mine certainly isn't. I worked out with him all summer to get him in shape for the season and the coaches are praising him.

Not that this makes me the perfect parent. But here's what I do right: I mind my own store instead of spending all my time snooping in the stores of others looking for health code violations that I can report to the authorities.

Because that's how you improve. That's how you make the world better, by being better yourself. You don't do it by spending all your time criticizing others.

Mote, eye, beam, eye... you get the idea.

And this, I think, is at the very heart of the social dysfunction we're seeing today. If people threw a fraction of the energy they spend on "correcting" others into improving themselves, the world would look very different indeed.

Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer, bitingly observed that "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

It's as true today as ever. Maybe more so because it's encouraged from and rewarded by a virtue signaling Cult of Self that has made I'm Good and You're Bad the very glue that holds its adherents together and binds them as one.


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posted by Open Blogger at 08:47 PM

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