I have never once said thank you.
I never say please. Or excuse me, or pardon, or sorry.
I’ve never said hello, goodbye, I love you or I’ll miss you. I have never remembered anyone’s birthday or sent a Christmas card.
I fart, belch, pick my nose, chew my toes, put my hand down my trousers, urinate, and empty my bowels whenever and wherever I want.
I never queue. In fact, if I’m in a hurry and someone’s in my way I’ll just push past them. I ‘don’t do’ waiting. I’m impatient. When I’m hungry – whether it’s a meal time or not – I complain loudly until the food arrives. And when I’m done with the dish, spoon or drink I just throw them on the floor. I steal food from other people’s plates by the handful whenever I’m within arm’s reach.
You think that’s bad? I also have a history of petty shoplifting, helping myself to the contents of women’s handbags, breaking people’s spectacles, twanging women’s underwear and dunking small children’s heads in the swimming pool.
I truly am “B-b-bad to the b-b-bone”.
Alright, I will admit that I’m also capable of being nice; I’ll smile enchantingly at people I’ve never met, greet those I like with more enthusiasm than a big, bouncy dog; laugh and scream with delight when people talk to me. But I’ll do it on my terms and only when I’m in the mood.
It’s safe to say that I lack social graces. I don’t have any time in my life for good manners or politeness. I should point out that none of the above is done with any intention of malice – I simply don’t care to observe society’s rules.
But why would I? I see people everywhere I go saying “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me” and “I’m sorry… no, I’m sorry, no, really… it was completely my fault”. But where does it get them? People torture themselves with guilt over a missed Mother’s Day phone call or forgetting an anniversary or stepping on someone else’s toe.
But what would happen to you if one day you suddenly decided to give up on all the pretence? Haven’t you ever – just once – wished you didn’t have to conform with social niceties? Would you be universally despised and hated by everyone you know? Would an angry lynch mob follow you through the streets, hurling abuse and rotten fruit?
In my experience I’m loved and adored wherever I go. People bring me food whenever it’s demanded and cater to my every whim. They bathe me, dress me, change me and keep me warm. If I can’t be bothered to walk they carry me or push me in a buggy. If I can’t be bothered to stand they hold me up. And although I never acknowledge birthdays and other celebrations I often find that cards and presents have been dispatched on my behalf.
I am not sworn or shouted at when I push my way to the front of a queue – in fact people often seem amused and gladly give up their places for me.
Why should this be? I’m handsome, undoubtedly, but I can’t really believe that people are so awed at my looks to forgive all my rudeness. Is it my undeniable charisma and charm? Possibly, but half the time I might ignore people (even those I know well) in favour of a squeaky toy. Does this offend them?
Not at all. It’s very odd.
So if you’re fed up with conformity why not give rudeness a go? I can’t recommend it highly enough. Trust me, life’s too short to spend it saying please, thank you and sorry.
But it begs the question: what exactly do I have to do to offend someone?