The Douchebag Option

Posted: March 17, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Me & Mine
Tags: , ,
Yesterday while speaking to my dear friend and editor, I had an epiphany.  I love having epiphanies and I also love the word ‘epiphany’ and try to insert into conversation wherever and whenever possible, even and especially when I am using it incorrectly. 
“So, Mr Swenson, what makes you think you’d be a good member of the McDonald’s team?”
“Well, I have a lot of experience and my epiphanies in regards to fast food are truly second to none.”
Anyhoo, yesterday’s epiphany was a disturbing bit of self discovery that acting in a well adjusted, pleasant and adult manner is almost never my first impulse.  In fact, it is seldom my second impulse.  My first impulse in any given situation is literally always, what I now call “The Douchbag Option.”
The friend I was sharing this bit of insight with understood immediately, and came up with a great little pop culture analogy as to how my sick little brain functions.
“It’s like that bit in The Terminator.  She said.  “Where they show all of the possible replies that the terminator could use as a response, and his computer chip immediately settles on ‘Fuck You, Asshole’.   She had totally hit the nail on the head there.  I am, in fact, The Douche-inator.
Here is a good everyday example of my thought process and the douchebag option(s).  Let’s say for example that I have just left the subway and I am walking down or up the stairs to leave the station.  Inevitably in front of me will be a glacier slow little old lady keeping me from reaching the exit in a timely manner. In my little douche-inator brain here are the options, in the order in which I come up with them.  Remember that this happens in a split second and is happening all day, every day.  My life is a series of 16-18 hour segments of me trying to refrain from being a complete and utter asshole. Couple this with my poor impulse control and you have a disagreeable, albeit colorful type of person.
Option A: Kick the little old lady down the stairs, then act like it was an accident.
Option B: Yell “Move it you old bag!” at the little old lady.
Option C: Roll my eye’s. Heave a loud and obnoxious sigh in hopes that the old lady hears it, turns and apologizes and get’s out of my way so that I can get out of the subway station 3 seconds earlier only to become angry and irrational with who ever is up there.
Option D: (The adult and well adjusted option)Step aside and wait for 5 seconds for the elderly woman to move along, or even ask if she needs some help in getting up the stairs.
Anyone who knows me would know that I would generally choose option C, which is still well within the douchebag hemisphere.  I am certain that this is a good epiphany as I am very pro self awareness,  but it’s also more than a little bit depressing.  Having an epiphany that “Hey dude, generally, you’re kind of an impatient, childish asshole.  In fact after contemplation, you still chose the douchebag option”
Now, I don’t kick old ladies down stairs, and if I were to see an old lady kicked down stairs I would help her out and administer a beat down to the person who did the kicking. I don’t even use the term “old bag” directly to elderly women who aren’t close family members. The very fact that it even enters my mind, and enters my mind first and foremost is what upsets me.
Maybe I’m not alone.  Maybe the whole world thinks about kicking slow old ladies, or telling the homeless “No, I don’t have any change, and you smell like an anchovy’s asshole”.  I’m honestly uncertain and I don’t think many people would admit to having such a horrid response mechanism.
Perhaps the pharmacological community should get involved.  There are all kinds of medications now for depression, OCD, levels of attention or lack of. and other conditions of the mind that keep life interesting.  Maybe we should find the neurotransmitter that is responsible for restraint.  I can just hear the commercial now.  “I used to get drunk at T G I Friday’s and go home with a different reptile two or three times a week. But after my doctor suggested Restrinal,  I now pause and ask my co-workers opinions before sharing a ‘Shuffle off to Buffalo Wings’ platter with a hairy backed missing link prior to going down on them in the parking lot.”
Maybe it’s a good thing that I am aware of the ever present douchebag option and that I seldom act upon it.  I also need to think of the difference between restraint and self awareness.  Surely people restrain themselves all day, everyday.  Or at least some of us do.
  1. Tallkronan says:

    Funny and interesting. I often think how awkward that stage will be (if it occurrs to us) when dementia still hasn’t really taken over ALL the time, but enough to keep us from doing just what you describe here- and instead has us saying and doing all those inappropriate things, only to in the next hour be painfully aware of what we have just said or done. Scary!

  2. […] the most rewiring. I wrote about it to a small degree in another piece awhile back called “The Douchebag Option“. I didn’t say word one. I pasted a smile on my face and shut my yap. I resisted the […]


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