Day 14: How To Human 101

You don’t have to be a stable genius to pass for a decent human being.

All it takes is a little consideration for other people. Even fake civility will take you far. It’s enlightened self-interest – the very very best interest, believe me.


Don’t spit your gum out in the water fountain. I try to believe that people are inherently good, and then find a glob of Juicy Fruit glistening in the drain. I lose the will to live.

Second, but related:

Pick up after yourself, unless you employ an undocumented worker from some shit-hole country to take care of that for you. You have no right to leave a trail of messes in your wake.

If you do employ undocumented workers from shit-hole countries, learn their names and pay them well. Don’t expect them to handle your cast-off gum.


Be polite. Say “please” and “thank you.” Before speaking, ask yourself whether you sound like an arrogant ignorant ass. If you can’t tell, the answer is yes. If the answer is yes, stop! Don’t, for instance, call the leader of some foreign country “Little Rocket Man.”

If you MUST do so, do not add the words “short and fat.” Don’t expect world leaders to pick up your gross gum, either.


Smile pleasantly. Do not scowl. Do not spew spittle and invective and get all puffy and red in the face when dealing with others. Spitting out your gum falls under this category. So does slavering over the opposite sex. Put a cork in it.


Don’t be a dick; it gives them a bad name. This may be the best advice I ever gave Sons #1 and #2 — and they continue to follow it. You won’t catch them belching gum into water fountains.

Or you’d better not.

4 thoughts on “Day 14: How To Human 101

  1. But… but… how else will I prop up the meager advantage I’ve eked out for myself in this American shithole? I’ve don’t act a dick, who will notice I’m better than them? Asking for a friend…

  2. Larry

    I try to assume that gravity accidentally pulled the gum out of their body when they were bent over with their mouth open to drink. Then they were too grossed out to touch it again, much less put it back in.

    • You’re a better human being than I, Larry. Me? I can hear the deliberate plooshing sound as they blew the gum out into the fountain (this was at the high school where I work). I imagine lots of snickering and “Yo, Dudes” too. Maybe a couple farts. And yes, while I was careful to use the neutral “they,” I’d bet my eye teeth it was a guy.

  3. Mary M

    Great advice for world leaders. Especially the gum part, which is just at “their” level!

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