Pffffftttt. Who am I kidding? Of course I do. While I’m waiting behind you and your 34 items in the 10 items or less lane, I daydream that the checkout clerk will be Charles Bronson. I wish every third person was Clint Eastwood. Admit it, you do too.
It’s just that we have better manners than douchebags. We’ve been trained from birth to mind our own business, and go along to get along. We’ve been instructed that the police are supposed to handle everything, and if we take matters in our own hands, we’re worse than criminals. I have my doubts on that score. There’s a certain point where acquiescence makes you a de facto accomplice. The world only has so many cheeks to turn, and then it’s time for decent people to say enough’s enough.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming the victim. It’s just that I’m having trouble finding the victims. In Russia, everyone seems to be doing everything to everyone else, all the time. There’s no pecking order I can discern. When the Soviet Union was still going strong, the totalitarian government enforced a very rigid caste system. Leonid Brezhnev cruised around in a Zil and everyone else got the hell out of the way. It’s much more egalitarian now.
Sometimes I get a hankering to move to Russia. No particular reason. But they have bears like we’ve got squirrels. I’ve always wanted to have bears wandering through my life like that.
Like all addictions, my bear obsession had a gateway drug: pickanic baskets. Once I was hooked on Yogi and Boo Boo, there was no going back. You’d think that Tipper Gore or my parents would have gotten that banned from afternoon TV, or at least had a warning sticker on it or something.
You have the right to remain Russian and to refuse to use turn signals. The total destruction of wide swathes of urban roadside objects and other cars may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to crash into an attorney before colliding with a police car, and to have an attorney present, lying in the road or on a gurney, during questioning.
My Russian is a little rusty, but that shouldn’t matter too much. After all, everything in Russia is rusty anyway. They launch brand new nuclear submarines that are leaking oil like a 1985 Chevy Citation. I’m pretty sure they install the rust as original equipment along with all the other features of their mechanical contrivances. Then again, they set up bleachers to watch people play chess, so I’m not about to call them dumb.