Summer Loathe

By Andrew Herold

In case you failed to notice, summer is almost here!

For many of you that means s'mores, wine, camping, and vacations. But before hopping into your palatial fifth-wheel and tooling on down to the boonies (at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit), take a moment to think about the people who live in your vacation wonderland. I know, thinking about someone other than yourself is taxing, but bear with me. This wonderful season where you get away from it all is a season of hell for the people of whatever small community you're invading. They don't see your return as you do (the swallows returning to Capistrano, or some equally poetic, generic bullshit, no doubt), but rather as a whole sea of unwashed assholes drifting up on the shores of their unassuming little hamlet ready to cover everything they love in shit.

Statistically not everyone coming into the area can be an asshole, of course. In fact, most are probably pretty decent people, but this doesn't matter. The locals don't give a shit how nice of a person you are, how much money you pump into the local economy, or the fact that your family has been coming to the area for the last hundred years. Most of us still hate you. And while there might not be a way to prevent this hatred entirely, there are ways to staunch the flow a bit.First and foremost, STOP ACTING LIKE AN ENTITLED DOUCHE. Yelling at the old man who runs the produce stand because he doesn't know exactly where the local asparagus was grown is a no-no. If you're over the age of, say, five, any emotional outburst in public (with the exception of extreme joy) should result in a smack to the face. We locals don't care how much your car costs, how many people you have working under you, or how much money you're prepared to spend. If you act like an asshole, we will treat you like an asshole.

A lot of people think that raising their voice will enable them to get a better deal, which in some cases is (unfortunately) true, but most of the time being a squeaky wheel will get you exactly dick. Speaking as someone who wasted a good deal of my life in customer service, I can honestly tell you that when someone had a legitimate complaint and treated me like a human being, I did what I could to make them happy. If, however, they acted like an entitled douche and screamed at me, I went out of my way not to help them, even if I knew there was a way to fix the problem. And don't think I'm unique in this respect; there are a great many people exactly like me who will purposely fan the flames just to watch you self-destruct to the intellectual level of a four year old. We get off on it.

Second, BUY A GODDAMN GPS. I know you're not from the area—your out of state plate gave it away, along with the fact that you have one of those nauseating novelty abbreviation window cling abortions—think OBX, QKA, NY, VA and WTF. I know that you aren't going to have the best handle on the roads you need to take to get you from your multimillion dollar cottage to the nearest organic, locally grown, non-dyed, non-bruised, non-waxed, soy based, made in the USA, no preservatives added, drug-free, bug-free fruit stand, but you can get a good GPS for under $100. Problem solved.

Figure your cottage cost a million bucks. A GPS works out to be about one ten thousandth the cost of your fucking part-time home. Invest in one, plan your route ahead of time and don't drive ten to fifteen miles under the speed limit because you're enjoying the scenery. Some of the traffic on the roads is the year-round residents, and we have to get to our jobs working at your perfectly darling little restaurants for minimum wage—you know, the places where you undertip us because you had to wait five minutes for a breadstick. So do me a favor and stay the fuck off the roads. Only drive when necessary, and when it IS necessary, at the very least map your route in advance. It's so simple it's almost logical, isn't it?

Third, STOP GETTING WASTED AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND THEN DRIVING. Just because you're on vacation, doesn't mean that drinking at ten o'clock in the morning has magically become socially acceptable. And it certainly doesn't mean that you won't be arrested, thrown in jail, or commit senseless vehicular manslaughter. What is it that makes people believe this is acceptable behavior for an adult? Do they think that since they're on vacation the laws of nature are suspended just for them, and that having four "vacation beers" is the equivalent of one "home turf beer"? This wholly stupid (not to mention immature, asinine, and dangerous) behavior leads to an increased police presence on the roads. On the surface sounds like a good thing, but it also leads to increased tickets to year-round residents for driving a few miles over the speed limit because the cops are so fucking fed-up with all of the vacationers, they have no patience left. So chill the fuck out. It may be five o'clock somewhere and beer o'clock now, but show a little restraint, act like an adult, and drink a fucking lemonade. There's a time and a place to get loaded and make a complete ass of yourself and it's called your grandfather's funeral.

And finally, probably the most valuable piece of advice you'll ever receive: STOP LETTING YOUR FUCKING LITTLE SHIT CHILDREN RUN WILD. Just let me give you an example of what I mean: I went on a cruise once (ill fated, but we didn't end up on the island from Lost, so a total waste of time), and when I was trying to sleep one night, I heard two prime candidates for sterilization encouraging their two children to race up and down the corridor. If I had been just a little more tired or cuntish (because let's face it, I'm always a little bit of both), I would have opened the door into them as they ran past instead of just threatening to do it.

And I don't blame the children. They are, unfortunately, only as smart as the people teaching them what's right and wrong. Just because you aren't in your home town, it doesn't mean that you can let your kids run around the grocery store, or climb on displays in front of businesses, or run unsupervised in a parking lot, or push the shopping cart (inevitably into the back of someone's legs). Just because they're young and you think they're cute, doesn't mean anyone else does. There are plenty of people like me in the world who don't give a shit about your entitled brat that is growing up to be an asshole just like mommy and daddy. We don't think your kids are cute, we don't think they deserve special treatment, and more often than not, we believe whole heartedly in survival of the fittest—the kid that runs out in front of my Toyota won't raise any assholes of their own. So remember, when you bring your whole ill-conceived brood on vacation, some of us, the best of us arguably, are out there just waiting to teach you a lesson...except it's less teaching and more shoving it down your throat.

So what does it all boil down to? Well, that's simple. Let's say the moral of this tale is ACT LIKE A DECENT HUMAN BEING BY TREATING OTHER'S THE WAY YOU'D WANT TO BE TREATED. That's it. No moment of epiphany, just be decent. You don't even have to be nice, just don't be an entitled gas-bag who treats other people like shit because it elevates your sense of self-worth. And while you're at it, try applying this rule not only while on vacation, but in your day to day life as well.

You never know where people like me are lurking...