By Johnny Apocalypse
Now I know that if I saw a title like that, Iíd automatically assume that the author has a problem with authority. But I can assure you that thatís not the case here. I realized a long time ago and thereís no way out of answering to somebody. As long as Iím employed, Iím going to have a boss. If Iím self employed, Iíll still have to answer to my customers. So no such problem here.
No, the title refers to my being tired of listening to everyone telling me that I ďhaveĒ to do things that I really donít. Thereís pretty much only three things that I absolutely have to do, thatís eat, drink and sleep. These are the things one must do to survive. Beyond that, the things that I will say I have to do are actually optional, just not a very good idea to do without. I have to work, so I can have money. I have to have money so I can pay rent and purchase various goods and services.
Anything outside of these lists are the things that I really donít have to do. Ever. Unless I want to. The most common one I hear? ďYou have to care about the environment!Ē Really? Says who? What if Iím trying to destroy the earth like a comic book villain? I want to lead us into nuclear armageddon, but I should still recycle. Now Iím not saying that I actually want to destroy the world (although IĎm not strictly against it either), but since Iím never going to have kids, my stake in the environment really isnít that big.
ďYou have to get a tattoo!Ē No, I donít. Getting a tattoo will do me no good in any way, shape or form, and there really isnít anything I want marked on my skin forever. People will tell me Iíll get more women if I have tattoos, but if those women are really that shallow then I donít need them.
The tattoo thing actually came up with a woman I dated for a very brief period. On the second date she told me that she only dates guys with tattoos. I said I donít have one, and donít want one. This led to a discussion that I wonít take the time to repeat here, but needless to say, I havenít married this lady, and I still have no tattoos.
ďYou have to get a better car!Ē Why? Whatís wrong with my car? ďWell itís not a sports car!Ē So what? Itís a Ford Focus, it gets me from point A to point B. I donít need to get from point A to point B at a pace of two hundred miles an hour. Plus Iíve had the thing for a few years and the upkeep has been minimal. Iím surprisingly happy with it, even if youíre not.
ďYou have to watch such and such an episode of Star Trek!Ē While this is a bit rare for me to hear, itís always said by guys with glasses who assume that Iím a trekkie like they are, just because I wear glasses. Iím not a trekkie. Star Trek is really pretty boring, and youíre being prejudicial based upon my appearance. And if you start speaking Klingon to me Iím going to stab you.
ďYou have to be a trekkie!Ē While also rare, Iíd get this a fair bit in high school from the guys who didnít wear glasses. This is the same prejudicial crap, just coming from the other side. If I was black, would you assume I listen to rap music?
ďYou have to stop lighting fires or youíll go to jail!Ē Okay, you make a pretty good case on that one. Iíll take it under advisementÖ
ďYou have to get a Hi-Def TV!Ē While I have ended up with a high definition TV due to circumstances outside of my control, I have continually refused to spend money on one for ages. I consider hi-def TV to be the most overrated invention in the history of mankind. For decades people watched regular low-def TV without complaining about the picture quality. Why? Because they didnít know the picture quality could get better. If they did know, it wasnít available so they didnít complain about it. Now that itís available, no one in the world is willing to go without. Me, Iím keeping my old tube TV stashed away as a backup, in case the hi-def one breaks.
And now we come to a related category of things, those that people tell me I ďcanítĒ do. Now maybe this is just my mindset, but to me the word ďcanítĒ denotes that something cannot be done due to it being an impossibility. I canít run faster than the speed of sound (I can barely run faster than a snail). I canít purchase the company Microsoft, because I donít have anywhere near the required amount of money.
But of course, some people use ďcanítĒ where it just doesnít belong.
ďYou canít cross the double yellow line to pass cars!Ē Actually I can, and have done so numerous times (some drivers take that really personally). Itís physically possible for me to direct my car over painted lines, apply additional pressure to the gas pedal to speed up, and pull back into the appropriate lane. Thereís nothing stopping me from doing this, except the possible presence of a cop.
What you mean to say here is I ďshouldnítĒ cross the double yellow, and Iíll give you that much. Itís illegal and not exactly the safest of practices. But some people are such bad drivers that breaking the law seems justified.
ďYou canít teach your niece to say that her balls hurt!Ē Oh yeah? Watch me!
ďWe canít let (insert politician) take (insert political office)!Ē Oh sure we can. Itís called getting enough people to vote for them. Iím not helping you rally for or against anything, just leave me out of it.
ďYou canít write an article and leave off a concluding paragraph!Ē Oh yes I can. I hate writing conclusion paragraphs. The fact that Iíve written as many as I have is surprising. All those ďand there you have itĒs and ďin closingĒs, bah! Who needs them?
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