Tips for the Modern Consumer
In one of my favorite episodes of “Seinfeld,” George is waiting for a payphone when a woman snatches it away from him as he’s reaching for it. After trying to explain to her that he had been waiting and was first in line, she tells him if he’d been first he’d be holding the phone. He proceeds to loudly exclaim that “We’re living in a society!” and tries to impress upon those surrounding that this requires people to act in a civilized manner. Let’s break it down.
so·ci·e·ty – noun 1. The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
The idea of a community encompasses a myriad of things. It can be your job, your school, the town you live in, or even your group of friends and peers. The basic idea is there are understood elements of etiquette and rules that govern said community and keep it from falling into hair-pulling, teeth-busting anarchy. Those same rules seem as if they should be understood within the community of smokers, whether passing on the street or in a concert/party setting. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, so I’ve taken it upon myself to create a handy guide for the knuckledragging Neanderthals that are giving everyone a bad name or a headache as we try to further ingratiate into society.
- Know Your Limits: I can’t stress this one enough. No matter what you’re indulging in, be aware of your surroundings and don’t put yourself or others in harm’s way; or in potential legal trouble. Personal responsibility is important, even if you’re being irresponsible.
- Edging: This should go without saying, but some people never learn. If you’re passed a spoon and a lighter, don’t dive-bomb the flame directly into the center and scorch the earth like it’s Apocalypse Now. If you’re at home and want to behave like a barbarian, that’s fine, but this is very frowned upon in party situations.
- It’s Not a Talking Stick: This should also go without saying, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it, especially since I’m guilty of it myself. Once you’ve partaken, pass it on to the next person, even if you’ve got a super rad story to tell.
- Stealing is Super Lame: Don’t take what isn’t yours, especially in a party setting. The whole point of a party is to let go and have some fun, the last thing people should have to worry about is being on guard because the Sticky Bandits somehow showed up.
These are the basics, the things most veterans know and most rookies quickly learn. If you want to be invited into a community or become part of a society, even if it’s just a group of friends sitting on the ground watching cartoons, it’s important that you make every effort to participate without causing issue. Mistakes will happen, and in a functioning society where a semblance of order is respected, they will also be forgiven. However, if you’re a constant violator of the understood natural laws of the society, you may find yourself back in your cave trying to catch start a fire with sticks while those more evolved are already en route to the stars.
- Seymour Glass