Note: Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...
And now we have an international query:
Dear Dr. Brian,
Why am I living in the only country in the world that sees fit to drive their cars on the left instead of the right side of the road. What this means is that I have to pay attention while driving and I don't like it. Please help.
And Dr. Brian responds:
We will dispense with my impulsive need to ascertain why you choose to name yourself after an expulsion of natural gas in a manner that is considered rude and offensive. We have more pressing issues to address. Another session, perhaps?
Now, this driving thing.
First, are you certain that you live in the only country in the world where people drive their cars on the left side of the road. I’m assuming you live in the UK, based on the crudely-drawn image of the Queen’s bum on the back of the envelope, the aroma of fish and chips wafting from the stationery, and the packet of matches from some pub known as “Ye Olde Snog and Shag”.
I must confess that I was a bit thrown by the matches. Why include such? Instinct tells me it’s a cry for help from one of your alternate personalities. But to be fair, there could be a less sinister explanation for you having placed weapons of fire inside international correspondence.
Perhaps you are just absent-minded, and the check covering our last session, which should have been included in this fish-reeking submission (ahem), is instead lying near an ashtray in your game room. Maybe the children have been playing with fire again. (Please DO read that pamphlet I sent you last month, “Adolescence and Arson: Kiddies Who Kill“). Anyway, I’ll assume for now that the matches were a gift. I have no use for them, but thank you.
My point being, we have established that you are in the UK. As we all know, the British have a history of being a bit pushy, running around the globe, conquering things, and turning Australia into a giant penal colony that eventually produced Mel Gibson and vegemite sandwiches. Lots of little colonies everywhere. So surely, other folk in burghs here and there drive on the left as well.
In other words, don’t be self-centered and act like you are the only one forced into inane vehicular situations. It’s fairly common. Most people survive with mental health intact. Even if it does look ridiculous, is pointless, and is the result of the English once again clinging to things that have outlived their usefulness, like figgy pudding and royalty.
And then comes the real whining: “What this means is that I have to pay attention while driving and I don’t like it.”
That, dear expulsion, is the root of your mental flatulence. It’s not that you have to pay attention, you don’t mind paying attention at all, it’s that you have to pay attention to something other than YOURSELF. This notion completely gets under your skin, causes you to snap pencils, makes your face crinkly, and you redirect your anger to innocent targets like dumb-ass local driving rules and how many steps it takes to get to the loo at the Snog and Shag.
We knew it was coming, this eventual conflict with how much you crave attention versus what anyone else in the world might be interested in at the same time. There are warning signs all throughout your files wherein you voraciously tried to steal the spotlight. Let’s review a few incidents, shall we?
Did you really think it was necessary, during your school’s third-grade Christmas production of “Mary, Joseph and a Barn”, to suddenly start turning cartwheels, naked, singing “I Will Survive”, just as they were bringing out the Baby Jesus?
I still have 4 members of that audience as clients to this day.
During that fateful presidential election, at the final debate when it was down to the wire and evenly tied, and you somehow finagled getting to ask the final question, did you think it was appropriate to ask George Bush about his stand on the pending legislation to declare May 28th as International Beaver Emancipation Day?
There was no such pending legislation, even though his staff spent several months trying to support it. Sadly, analysts have since confirmed that this staff work was viewed with great praise by certain segments of the population. In fact, George won the election simply because some people were excited about the prospect of free beaver in the future.
You changed the course of a nation just because you thought it would be fun to talk about beaver on live television. Any guilt there? Just a little?
No. You indirectly set the stage for Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Dick Cheney, but you’re going to whine about having to drive the Jag on the wrong side of the road. Childish twit.
It’s time for an intervention.
I realize that, with someone so self-centered that they can see out their own butt, your recovery is going to take some serious time and dedication. Your ego wasn’t built in a day. So we’ll start small. I’m going to give you a few exercises.
The next time one of your relatives does something stupid and requires immediate medical attention, please put down the microphone you always carry with you, and at least dial 9-1-1. Do not, as you usually do, consider this an evil attempt to steal your audience. Do not pretend that your cell phone is dead. Do not ask the screaming injured person to tone it down a little so you can continue your interpretive dance about the Stonewall Riots.
The next time you are at the grocery store, and the manager asks you to refrain from singing, kindly do so. Most patrons prefer perusing the produce department without accompanying vocals. This is just human nature. The request for you to cease and desist is not, as you usually assume, due to bitter jealousy over the fact that you can warble a tune while juggling melons. They just want you to shut up.
I understand this will be difficult for you. These are baby steps for most, giant leaps for Razzkind. But I want you to work on this. Try really hard, every day before taking any action, to think about whether the action is appropriate in daily life, or might possibly be a little self-serving. Or in your case, completely self-serving and could possibly result in injury, mass suicide, or World War III.
Please try very hard.
Otherwise, I will have you arrested in the interests of national security, world peace, and biblical pageantry everywhere…