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Cut it Out

I have a problem with people. And it’s not just with a scant few, but with lots of people. I mostly have a problem with people who commit social crimes, like driving on the shoulder, vandalism, arson, anti-environmentalism, ultra-consumerism, etc. Not all of these things are the fault of the people who do them. Arson, for one, can be psychological. Consumption on a massive scale (what some may call “greed”), can be cultural (the American culture, for instance).

Not that these things are right, but sometimes we just can’t help it. However, there is one action I believe can be helped: cutting in the lunch line. If you buy your lunch, you’ve seen them. Generally, they travel in packs, numbering between two to four individuals on average. Upon seeing a friend in a lunch line, they proceed to swarm, greet and join, making the line even longer for those of us behind them.

How do I know this? Besides the fact that I’m not (completely) mentally incompetent, I stood and watched the filthy heathens do it. Over two days, I observed the first line in the cafeteria and made a mark for every act of “cutting” that I saw. I can’t say the numbers are foolproof, but I saw enough fools in the line I watched to say they’re accurate enough for me. On average, 12 people will cut the line every lunch. Now, 12 isn’t that much, given, but if you go from being number 10 to number 22, you might not like it too much.

These gutter people don’t see themselves as equal to the rest of those standing in line, they think themselves better. I even had the privilege to watch a friend of mine try to fend them off once. For the sake of privacy, I won’t use their real names. One girl, standing behind him, tried to move in front of him, and made no effort to hide it. My friend, Gangles, wouldn’t let her pass. She said she was going to “stand with her boyfriend.” She then out maneuvered my lanky friend and proceeded to stand with the guy in front of him. “He’s not your boyfriend,” said Gangles. “Yes he is,” said the cutter. “Then kiss him.” Needless to say, Gangles won this round, but he still lost his place, despite his best effort.

But this isn’t the end of Gangles’ story. Moments later, two more stumpy she-cutters tried to pass him. But he blocked their way with his outstretched arms and body. They inquired what he was doing and he told them simply that they weren’t going to cut in front of him. Over the next several minutes, the two dull witted cutters tried to get around him, and every time they did, he would sway in the direction they intended to go, completely fooling them.

Eventually, the process of elimination provided the simpletons a way around Gangles, as they passed through the metal barrier and joined their group, several people ahead of Gangles. Personally, I found their frustration quite funny. The looks on their faces mirrored the look that an infant might have as they struggle to fit a round peg in a square hole. I find it bizarre that they were frustrated and confused. Gangles was there first, and they clearly didn’t have any right to be in front of him.

Maybe this confusion is genetically based. I think it possible, indeed, plausible, that their parents are silverback mountain gorillas. And, while there are many positive attributes to these simple primates, respect for others simply isn’t one of the things they put emphasis on when raising their children. They prefer teaching such things as “might makes right” and “how to pick lice out of your hair,” instead of respect for those who were in front of you in line and other things, such as simple math and other higher cognitive functions.

Now, if you haven’t picked it out via my word choice, I’ll tell you that I just don’t think these are the “smartest” people on the face of the earth, and I think because of their very nature, they can be overcome.
How? If one of them moves in front of you in the line, just move in front of them. Confront them on what they’ve done. They may furrow their brows and look confused, and the more primitive, ape-like ones may even hoot and pound their fists on their chests, and maybe even try to move back in front of you.

Training a stupid person is much like training a dog. A really, really stupid dog. They know it isn’t right, so just look them in the eyes, wag your finger at them, and say “bad half-wit, no cutting.” The best part is, if everyone in the line does it, no one loses their spot.

The only way to beat stupid people is to confront them, not by letting them win.

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