|Image by Leonard J. DeFrancisci|
For those of you who don't know, "Thunder" is the largest fireworks display in North America and nearly 1 million people attend annually. With all the adult beverages, things get a little rowdy and the pisser is in high demand, so I expected the usual 30 minute wait. What I didn't expect was a confrontation with a shirtless man and his harlot/girlfriend.
I had been waiting for some time and they had been behind me for several minutes when, out of nowhere, the couple accused me of line jumping. "We've been here, like, forever," she said, to which I replied, "Well, I've been here for forever and about 15 seconds." Needless to say she did not appreciate the audacity that I suggest she wait her goddamn turn.
Ironically, it was this couple that I saw line jump the man next to me, while simultaneously two angry women cut to the front of my line. I understand that it's a trivial thing, and people exercised good judgment, for the most part, in not retaliating, but I find the whole thing irritating, and here's why.
This whole scenario is just one illustration of the tragedy of the commons, a problem our culture experiences daily at all levels, ranging from the executive suite to the porta-shitter line. The self-entitlement that seems to dictate an attitude of, "My shit is more important than yours, so fuck off," appears dominant. The problem is, once one person stops playing by the rules and we as a group sanction it, then everyone has to break the social contract just to keep even, which leaves the morally right out in the cold.
I realize it's a bit ridiculous to compare a bathroom line to a societal breakdown, but I feel the similarity valid, and the experience was kind of a profound realization for me. I worry that Hobbes might be right in asserting that basic human nature dictates a world that is both "nasty" and "brutish." Law and rules avert that to an extent, and self-entitlement subverts that establishment.
I do not mean to say that all law is just, but governing rules of basic courtesy are reasonable rules to live by, and it would go a long way to making our culture more bearable. In short, I have to piss just as bad as you, so wait your fucking turn you moronic infant!