We all commit crimes. Some are against the law and the punishment (should we be caught and convicted) is laid out in the law. Most crimes, however, have no clear cut procedure for punishment because they are crimes against feelings or sensibilities.
"Officer, that woman is annoying me."
"I have no jurisdiction over that, ma'am."
Wouldn't it be nice if there were clear cut consequences for people who were all those things we hate: annoying, egotistical, ignorant, self-involved, moody, or just plain jerks. Oh, what a lovely world that would be. Let me lay out a true yet fictionalized account of a phone call I received today:
"Oh my God. You're working as a lunch monitor at the school. You couldn't pay me enough to do that job. But then again, you only have one child so you've got the time. Speaking of which, I have some great ideas for the decorations for the Valentine's party at school. Since you're already there, it shouldn't take long for you to put them up before the party. By the way, I saw you bought a ton of books at the book fair. I don't waste money on books when we could just go to the library. Why do you need the book after it's been read? You must have spent over $100. Wow! Guess you've got money to burn."
At this point in the conversation (if you could call my listening to her, a conversation) she had yet to bring up my daughter or my weight so I was just going to let it go; let her keep talking until I found a break to get off the phone. But she couldn't stop herself:
"So the teacher told me that my son is the only one now doing 4th grade math in 2nd grade. Your daughter was doing so well. What happened?"
Let me first clarify by saying the same teacher told me that my daughter was excelling at the 4th grade math so this mother is either misinformed or just a lier. But before I could reply, she finished her thought.
"You know, I took a yoga class today that was so great. I'm feeling energized and more flexible. Do you workout? You should."
Oh baby. The gloves are off now...
"I'm working at the school, because the principal asked me personally and I can't think of a better job for a stay-at-home mom then to get all the same time off as my kid. Speaking of time, since I'll be working up until the party, why don't you just take those ideas and run with them. They sound great. Much more than I had planned to do so by all means YOU should do it. As for the books, I did buy a lot. Some are gifts, some are to keep. Most importantly, it was a fundraiser for the school, and I try to do my part. Speaking of school, the teacher told me that my daughter is the only one in the class applying the 4th grade information to her work without having to be reminded. But I don't push; she's a 2nd grader after all."
I paused for a moment, realizing that she was only half listening since I wasn't saying anything she wanted to hear. It was then that my dog started crying to go out so I had to excuse myself and I hung up the phone. Had I had the time (and the nerve), I would have continued by saying...
"That yoga class sounds great. Let me know if it helps with that huge ass of yours. Too bad it won't do anything about that chinless jawline or that crow nose. The real shame is it won't do a thing for your personality."
Now, in a world where all crimes had punishments, what would be the consequence for this woman inflicting her opinions and insults all over me during the course of a 30 minute phone call.
"You have been convicted of egotism in the 1st degree,
not realizing that you are an ass in the 1st degree,
and continuing to throw opinions and insults even after you've sensed that the victim is unresponsive in the 1st degree.
For all these crimes, you are sentenced to...
endure the same from someone else and learn from this experience."
... and grow a big ol' wart on that thing you call a chin.
Ah, I like it. It's a good world.