what the hell is going on with these places like the DMV, the phone
company, my so-called Internet Service Provider? Do these places take
out a patent on rude and unhelpful or what? Do they actually enjoy
making other people's lives miserable? Am I wrong to expect decent,
courteous treatment from companies that I AM PAYING?!?!
you are wrong. And what the hell is going on with them can be explained
very simply by a number of trademarked Crackpot Theories only found
here at the pretty fucked up website. Although the resulting theorems
are simple, elegant, satisfying and will improve your life, there
is a bit of math and technical jargon involved so brace yourself.
like the DMV, the phone company, ISPs and so on belong to a class
of objects known as 'Institutions'. Institutions are the offspring
of two complex phenonema commonly referred to as 'Capitalism'
and 'Society.' (For the moment we are going to leave out the
confounding variable of 'Government' to simplify the math,
but the calculations apply equally well.) Capitalism and Society are
made up of tiny units known as Other People. They both belong
to the broad category of stuff we like refer to here at the pretty
fucked up website as 'Fucked Up Shit.'
when Fucked Up Shit and Other People interact they produce an outcome
known as Fuckedupness. In this particular case, Fuckedupness
will express itself as rudeness, meanness, general unhelpfulness and
obstinacy, items that we will collectively refer to here as Grumpiness.
(I warned you there would be technical terms.) It is a widely observed
but little understood reality that Other People are frequently grumpy
and mean. We can't do anything here at this website about the widely
observed part of the preceding sentence but, using the glories of
mathematics and the intricacies of my own brain, we are going to do
something about the little understood part.
of the universal laws is that human Grumpiness arises when People
encounter Fucked Up Shit. Since Institutions are the offspring of
the Fucked Up Shit of Capitalism and Society, using the laws of Mendelian
genetics we are able to deduce that Institutions themselves are Fucked
Up Shit. The Other People involved with the Fucked Up Shit of an Institution
you are dealing with will display Grumpiness according to formula
that can be expressed as 'Amount of Fucked Up Shit multiplied by
the Inherent Propensity Toward Grumpiness' factor of the particular
Other Person involved. Using a standard bell curve distribution based
on a statistical sample of self-reports from Other People, we see
that between 40-60% of Other People report an Inherent Propensity
Toward Grumpiness factor in the range of 'Occasionally' Grumpy
to 'Fairly Frequently' Grumpy. Everyone else is lying.
by rapidly executing a dazzling array of mathematical calculations
in which we factor in every Other Person's amount of Fucked Up Shit
they have to deal with times their personal Inherent Propensity Toward
Grumpiness factor, we come out with the startling result that Other
People who work for Fucked Up Institutions will be Grumpy at least
40-60% of the time! Amazing but true! It's a mathematical law.
Which leads to the following simple but elegant explanation for the
behavior of Institutions (made up, as we previously saw, of Other
summarize: The people who work for Institutions are Grumpy because they
don't like the goddamn phone company or the DMV any better than you
How can I use this amazing mathematical insight to better my own
personal life? Is it advisable to attempt to blow up the phone company
or the DMV since I always seem to hit that 40-60% Grumpiness factor
when I deal with an Institution? Will that help? Why do I always get
the Grumpy Other People anyway? Are they just picking on me personally?
By odds, shouldn't I get Ungrumpy Other People sometimes? Not that
I'm paranoid or anything but everyone is out to get me.
questions. First, it is NOT advisable to blow up anything these days.
Actually, it's never been a very good idea. It's a pleasant fantasy
but a bad practice. And you are paranoid but yes the world
is out to get you. And here's why: It all has to do with your personal
Expectation of Grumpiness Correlate.
see, the default settings for the human Expectation of Grumpiness
Correlate are: 1) re: My Own Personal Grumpiness - I will be
Grumpy any time I have a damn good reason to be, thank you very much!
This coincides with a Grumpiness Frequency of .5, which as we saw
above is well within the limits established by reality. 2) Re: Other
People's Grumpiness - Other People have no reason to be Grumpy
unless I say so! This coincides with an expectation for a Grumpiness
Frequency of 0. Which as we saw above varies significantly from the
limits established by reality.
your personal Expectation Correlate varies negatively with reality,
you will encounter an experience known as an Emotion. In the
case we've been dealing with the applicable emotion is Sudden Indignation.
Sudden Indignation causes your blood pressure to rise, your eyeballs
to bulge slightly out of your head and sarcastic remarks to vie vigorously
for a chance to come out of your mouth. Sometimes your Social Inhibition
Mechanism will catch the sarcastic remarks and beat them up before
they can leave your lips but not always. But it doesn't matter whether
they get beat up or slip out successfully, once you are in the throes
of Sudden Indignation you are now what is technically known as All
Other People, particularly Grumpy Other People, quickly realize that
you are All Fucked Up and become keenly interested in making you miserable
whether you say anything sarcastic or not. There is nothing like being
All Fucked Up to bring out the blood lust in a Grumpy Other Person.
You are now not only Suddenly Indignant but vulnerable, and the Grumpy
Other People will move in rapidly for the kill, erasing your bank
records, disconnecting your DSL service, or even sending you to
wait in another long line, all while hiding an evil smirk. You
become a stand-in for the evil Fiucked Up Shit of an Insitution which
they hate and against which they are powerless due to the extortionary
device of a paycheck. Quickly you become powerless against them and
the Grumpy Other People revel in your powerlessness, gloating and
frolicking and mocking you as the hapless projection of their own
repressed and hated powerlessness against the Insitution.
This leads immediately to a Vicious Cycle, such as Hassling
Endlessly with My Insurance Company, or Completely Unable to
Get Technical Support to Fix the Problems with My Goddamn Fucking
Computer, and so on. These kinds of vicious cycles are incredibly
common and you must avoid them or suffer terrible, terrible
ongoing bouts of Sudden Indignation.
had no idea it was so serious. How can I avoid this terrible prospect?
are three easy ways:
Adjust your Expectation Correlate. Expect the Other People
who work for Institutions to be Grumpy. Slyly manipulate them with
clever weapons such as politeness, sympathy, patience, and understanding.
Align yourself with their silent struggle against the Fucked Up Shit
of an Institution they work for, subliminally encouraging them to
strike a satisfying yet useless blow for personal freedom by subverting
the Institution in your favor by giving you a driver's license, or
submitting your claim for reimbursement, or actually fixing your computer.
Make your cause their cause - now that you know what their cause really
is - and manipulate the holy living fuck out of them until they are
whistling happily and handing out freebies like an extra month's service
at no cost. This kind of ruthless manipulation and steely-eyed confronation
with reality makes everyone happy and improves the overall health
of the world.
the surprise and admiration of your friends when you GET EXACTLY WHAT
YOU WANT from a gigantic Insitution like the IRS. You'll become unexpectedly
popular in no time! (By the way, consistent practice of this technique
does lower your personal Inherent Propensity Towards Grumpiness
Hide your Sudden Indignation. Sometimes you don't feel like
dealing with reality and you'd much prefer to become Suddenly Indignant.
This is fine. Simmer, stew, boil, and steam (cooking metaphors go
naturally with Sudden Indignation) but LIE ABOUT IT. PRETEND you are
being very nice to the idiot you are dealing with. Make your sarcasm
so subtle that even you can barely understand it and it whooshes right
over the head of the luckless Institutional employee you are dealing
with. If you are good enough at lying, this works just as well as
adjusting your Expectation Correlate. Except that instead of experiencing
happiness and whistling and all that other perky sunny crap you get
to experience Self-Righteous Malicious Glee at outsmarting
the dreaded Institution. Your call.
Tip: Silent Self-Righteous Malicious Glee is often even
more fun than Loud Self-Righteous Malicious Glee which
often sounds a lot like Defensively Self-Righteous Malicious Glee
and makes all your friends think you are defensive, self-righteous
and malicious. Just a thought.
Just become Suddenly Indignant, get frustrated, and then slink
away defeated before any serious damage is done. This is, in some
ways, the most practical and commonly used technique. Sometimes you
can't be realistic and ungrumpy or even be Grumpy and lie about it,
because your own personal level of having to deal with Fucked Up Shit
is so high that even with a low Inherent Propensity Towards Grumpiness
factor you are all the way over into the red zone and you're just
going to have to get All Fucked Up. When this happens, don't panic,
just flail helplessly, give up, go wait in the other long line, and
mutter to yourself about how if there were a fistfight between you
and any of the idiots at the DMV you could easily take them all out.
No harm done.
Bonus Tip: If there is anybody at the Institution you are dealing
with that is oh, say 6'4" and 250 pounds of pure muscle or who
looks like they might be carrying a weapon, mutter your remarks about
fistfights and taking people out very, very quietly.
it. Go now, and conquer the Insitution of your choice.
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