I am no role model nor would I like to be considered one. But, there are a few habits and practices of mine that should, nonetheless, be adopted universally. I've compiled a list of a few of these universal maxims.
I am not the only one who does these things, but I am the one who is about to list them for you so the history books will one day give me the credit. I beat you to it, so there.
1. Pay at the Pump
Welcome to the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen! We have a lot of amazing things here in the 21st century, not the least of which are credit cards and gas pumps that take them. Truly, inserting one's plastic into the slot of a pump and quickly withdrawing it is nothing short of capitalist intercourse. There is no reason why one should ever have to leave one's car sitting at the pump while one goes inside to pay. There are, in fact, only two reasons why anyone should ever enter a gas station: a. to use the restroom during a long car trip and 2. to purchase cheap candy to smuggle into the movie theatre. And when doing either of those things, one should pull into a parking spot at the gas station, not leave one's car sitting at the pump.
2. Reusable Bags
Yes, it's ecologically responsible and blah blah blah but really the best reason to do it is because nothing quite beats the feeling of superiority you get when you go through the checkout with reusable bags. Regardless of what you are purchasing, people will actually look up to you for using reusable bags. Even if you're purchasing nothing but a tray of sushi and two silk ties (true story) they will think you are a good human being. I'm fairly certain that you could purchase a stack of porno mags, a case of batteries and a box of Toaster Strudel while using cloth bags and the cashier would still say "How responsible of you!" And, of course, you get to look down on everyone who isn't using them*! It's awesome. You may be inferior to them in every other way (as I usually am) but when it comes to the grocery checkout lane: You are officially their better if you are using reusable bags.
I don't care what it is: money, time, blood, other bodily fluids . . . Whatever. Just give something you don't have to** to someone you don't know.
4. Listen to Radio Lab
This isn't a matter of opinion here, people. I'm not just trying to tell you that this is a good show. It can actually be objectively proven to be the best show ever created. I mean, I really like This American Life but that's an opinion. It is a scientifically verifiable that everyone in the universe should be listening to Radio Lab.
5. Do Not Turn In To The Center Lane
Turning in to the center lane does not solve any of your problems, it just delays them. Having a hard time turning onto the street? That sucks. But you know what sucks even more? Trying to merge into busy traffic from a dead stop with the potential of someone going the other direction coming into your lane at any moment. Just don’t do it.
6. Take a Course in Logic
Why is Gym Class required but Logic optional? And sure, PE has its merits but I truly believe that if everyone took a course in Logic the world would be a much better place. Think of how much better equipped people would be to deal with difficult problems if they had a background in Logic. This should be a core class along with Science, English and History. Middle school, high school, college . . . people should even have to take a test in Logic when applying to work at a video store.
7. Make an Ass of Yourself
I don’t expect everyone to take to it quite as well as I have, but I do think that everyone should do this at least once a day. It doesn’t have to be a large scale “Mission Accomplished” kind of self-ass-makery, it could be something as small as using the phrase “self-ass-makery” in a blog. At any rate, the world would be a better place if everyone made an ass of themselves from time to time.
So there you go. These are seven rules that I live by and, though I would not recommend living as I do under any other circumstances, if everyone were more like me in the above ways the world would be a better place.
*I realize that if this were universally adopted the feeling of superiority would be moot. That is why it is ever so important that you start this practice as soon as possible, that way the early adopters will always be able to rub that fact in the noses of all the Johnny Come-Latelys. And for the record, I beat you to it, so there.
**Giving to a church, while technically a donation, doesn't really apply for this particular rule since the threat of damnation for not giving is an act of coercion and therefore it's not really giving something you don't have to.