I stole that headline from Tim Ferris’ fantastic post: Why I Started Punching Jerks Again. No other title made sense to what I’m about to write.
In as many weeks I’ve managed to ruffle some feathers with a couple of goons in the gym (which it seems is somewhat festered with these unique personalities, thankfully not all of them and nowhere close to the previous gym I used to go). I asked the management to take some action after reviewing the video footage as one of those morons did push me.
Could I have retaliated? I’m not sure if pushing back or taking a swing with your back pinned against the smith machine was a good idea. So, I didn’t. And yes, it’s against the rules of membership anyway and this is the best gym I could get into within the whole freaking district. So, it mattered that I play a docile lamb wait till I get through the scene. But that push came from nowhere! You can imagine how miserable I felt in the locker room. Felt like smashing my fist through those wooden lockers (or the wall, which I wouldn’t recommend… I’ve tried it, nothing really happens to the wall). But I did.
After a weeks’ worth of intensive meditation, this morning I felt I’ve got myself over that ugly incident and was determined to move on with my life. Alas, that wasn’t meant to be. And this time, it was an Uber driver! He accepted the request to ride, made me wait for 19 minutes in the hot and sweltering Indian summer and as I opened the door and was shoving my duffel in he asks, “where do you want to go?” I said, “to the airport.” He responded, “Won’t go. Book another cab!” I was dumbstruck! He said, “I didn’t know and you should’ve called me anyway!”
And my mind went, “WTF?” But didn’t say anything. I canceled the ride, accepted the “waiting fee” that I’m supposed to pay for making this dodo wait and booked another. The moron didn’t even bother to move! He was right there!
I heard a beep, looked down into my phone… and god almighty! This moron accepted the invite again! I was annoyed! I walked over to the car and asked him why he’d accepted the request. He said, “I didn’t know.” And I lost it! I asked him, “why the heck he wouldn’t know while accepting a request? The name and pickup point clearly flashes on screen!” He didn’t like what I said and yelled, “I’ve been very patient with you, shut up and get out of my face else you won’t reach the airport!”
I have no clue how I managed to get over that rush of blood to my head and not trash this guy to a bloody pulp. I really wanted to, but I didn’t. I don’t know if it was a wise decision. In retrospect, yeah it was but I’m still thinking about it. An infinite regression of sorts. Something that psychologists call “meta-states.” I know I’ll be fine by morning tomorrow but it’s weird that plain folks like myself have to bear the brunt all the time just because we’re nice or civilized or be the “bigger” person.
I like what Tim says in his article:
Now, I don’t get in street fights and I don’t recommend looking for them. But how do you uphold a certain basic standard of respect and gentlemanly conduct when the Jericho-like instigators seem to be multiplying faster than “u r a douche” comments on Digg?
Is there a chance that we would have fewer AK-47-toting high schoolers if it were socially acceptable to take of a glove, slap it across an offender’s face, and issue the good ‘ol “Sir, you have insulted my honor” challenge? I think a little fisticuffs would do most men a world of good, giving options to the masses who put up with too much, consequences to loudmouthed idiots who would then think twice, and a release valve to a gender that otherwise comes up with far worse things to do to men, women, wives, and children.
It sure is something to ponder on. Or perhaps we all should hit the bed or get going with our lives. For what its worth, we’re probably better off saving that aggression and channelizing it elsewhere than get into occasional “fisticuffs.”