Let me set the scene for you. I'm at a standing room only concert last night by one of those good indie bands with an unmemorable name. I thought they were Dakota Blue, then Fun Candlestick, but they're called Hey Rosetta. Have you forgotten the name already? I have. But they were good. Not really a beat I could dance to, but lots of fun. They were rockin', but they had a cello, which I support.
What was not good was the weird girl sitting behind us. Did I mention the concert was standing room only? I did? Because she was sitting. We stood close to the bar and she sat at the bar and whined the whole night to my friend Lewis, standing in front of her. "Get out of the waaaay! Why are you so talllll! Why the fuck are you so tallll! I can't seeeee!" Lewis tried to accommodate her, but she increasingly became a bitchface. He moved so as to improve her field of vision, but then she would move herself behind him again so she could smack him (like literally smack him) and go, "Get out of the waaaay!" Then, as my friends Dan and Lajya looked back to see what was going on, she said, "What the fuck are you looking at?" And then, to Lajya, "You wanna roll?" She was, apparently, not offering Lajya a roll (which was my first thought), but challenging her to a fight. She declined. We gave her an even wider breadth, which she did not deserve, then another girl approached weird girl and they started making out with each other and then weird girl zipped up her winter coat, put her hood up, and started crashing into me. What? WHAT?
I ignored her, as did my friends, but she only became louder, and more aggressive. Dan ordered another drink and gave the briefest of head-jerks towards the offending party. Kind of a, "Check out this cracky gal" to the bartender. Bartender checked her out and within minutes, two security guards approached her, and kicked her out! I can't stress enough how supremely satisfying this was. She wasn't breaking bottles, or hitting people, or really breaking any rules beyond common courtesy, so I think we all expected to deal with her for the rest of Cable Tree's set. So the fact that she was kicked out just for being super annoying was fantastic, it was heartening, it was justice.
Dream: Justice for discourteous people.
Goal: Unachievable, for now. As much as I'd love vigilante justice for line-cutters, joke-stealers and people who smell like piss all the time, I know there's no way to actually police such behaviour. Best as I can do is offer suggestions and hope that those fat-cats on Parliament Hill take notice. If any political candidate adopted the following platforms, I bet they'd get a lot of votes.
Plan: Create a system of checks and balances that appropriately punishes shitty behaviour. For instance:
All of those so-called "medical experts" who spend their time talking to Star magazine, speculating on how much weight Jennifer Aniston has gained or lost, should be forced to spend their time watching hidden camera footage at restaurants to catch bad tippers. If someone receives good food and service and leaves a tip of ten percent or lower, they should have their picture taken as they leave the restaurant, like those people who run red lights. The medical experts should circulate the pictures to various restaurants (and send a copy to the offender) along with a photocopy of their bill and the tip they left. Consequently, bad tippers will be banned from whichever restaurants feel like banning them. Justice!
Dental hygienists who are all high and mighty about your brushing should be forced to spend one shift of their workweek installing dummy seats in buses. Then, from behind a two way mirror or something, they will watch people waiting for a bus. When the bus comes, if somebody cuts the line and insists on getting on first, the dental hygienist has to make sure whatever seat they choose instantly collapses beneath them. Justice!
Telemarketers should have to use the technology they've created to auto-dial numbers to install an iphone app (am I saying that right? App?). This app will be able to sense by proximity, I guess, when you are standing close to someone and having a conversation with them. Should you continue this conversation and try to text someone while you're talking to me, this app will shut the iphone down instantly. If you are a repeat offender, the iphone will start to vibrate so vigorously it drops from the users hand and shatters. Justice!
Bros who are still doing Borat impressions (the movie is five years old, bros), need to obtain the phone numbers those bored mothers who drag their awful children through the store. You know the mothers I mean. The ones who bring their obviously tired, obviously cranky kids to a store, regardless of the time of day or night, and take their sweet time buying junk food while the kids scream and run and knock stuff over and mother offers only the occasional, "Settle down, Brexler. Do you want another coke?" Anyway, the bros need their phone numbers so they can call the bored mothers in the middle of the night to do their Borats.
Bored Mother (sleepily): Mmph...hello?
Bros: Issa niiice! Issa niiice! Issa niiice!
Bros: Issa niiice! Issa niiice! Issa niiice!
The downside with being a justice vigilante is that, while people support you in theory, nobody actually likes you very much. My very favourite story of the manners police comes from a few years ago when I was working the till one night. A rowdy but harmless drunk was buying scratch tickets from me. He grabbed his tickets and moved aside and the uptight older businessman started unloading his cart. Then the drunk said, "I won! I won five bucks! Can you put this through for me?" and gave me the ticket. I took it to run through and give him his five bucks (which would have taken my ten seconds) and Uptighty goes, "Hey hold on here! There's a line and you've had your turn! You need to go to the back of the line!" And Drunky pauses a moment, steps back, and says, "Why don't you go fuck yourself?" Ohhh man! Even though Uptighty was in the right and Drunky was in the wrong, isn't that still Justice! So while we can't police everybody's behaviour, can we just agree to all be a little bit more polite to each other, applaud justice when we see it, and sometimes tell Uptighty's to go fuck themselves? That's the kind of beat we can all dance to.