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I feel like I keep seeing articles online giving people credit for being great human beings. Soup kitchen workers, soldiers, Special Olympics volunteers, the firefighters who saved baby Jessica from that well. Ok, maybe baby Jessica is a little pre-Internet media. Whatever. My point is, I wanna take the time to give a few shout outs to some people that I think either get way overlooked, or even unfairly criticized.
1. Reasonable bouncers
If you want to hear some of the best stories ever, make friends with a bouncer. One of my former roommates worked as both a door guy and security at several clubs in LA, and when he would come home every weekend night, we’d all pull up chairs to hear what ridiculous thing had happened to him this time. Legally, I can’t share any specific details (and by legally, I mean he’d kick my ass through my face if I did), but let’s just say it ranges from fun things like him getting offered threesomes in the club all the way to having a celebrity vomit on him, hand him a couple hundreds, and then stumble into a limo. The point of all of this is that I now give a lot more credit to bouncers for what they do. The funny thing is that they really only have as much power as the public allows them to. They’re technically not supposed to physically intervene with people (even though they pretty much always have to), and any altercation they get involved in is a massive liability for them. Since then, I’ve never once complained about a doorman holding us up for a few extra minutes, or allowing girls in before a group of all dudes, and I’ve never once talked back to a security guy asking us to chill out, or take one of our clearly drunk friends home.
Plus I now also know what some of the less ethically-inclined bouncers will do to you if you disrespect them. Remember, they know where the security cameras are, and more importantly, where they aren’t.
I’m not totally sure when it happened, but as a country, we decided that shitty kids with shitty attitudes who got shitty grades were no longer the result of bad parenting, but incompetent teachers. Look, I’ve had my share of bad teachers, and there are definitely a lot of things wrong with the way we train and retain teachers. And you know who will be the first people to admit that? Teachers. See, good teachers hate bad teachers. Probably more than the rest of us, actually. Bad teachers are the ones who make them look bad. There’s probably one teacher who hates their job and doesn’t even try for every twenty teachers who go above and beyond to reach their students, but you wouldn’t know it, given the media climate we live in. Most teachers try hard, care about their students, use their own money to buy classroom supplies, can drink like stockbrokers, and are animals in the sack. What’s not to like?
3. Character Actors
Movie stars are awesome. Tom Cruise can carry an entire movie just by flashing a quick smile and running seven hundred miles per hour everywhere he goes. But something that a lot of us tend to do is forget the journeyman actors, who are just as much, if not more important to creating a successful movie. Some guys we know by name just because they’ve worked long enough to get the respect they deserve (like Gary Oldman), or have worked their way up from being a side character into a full-fledged leading man (like Bradley Cooper). But more often than not, they tend to get to a certain level, and then do quality work from that level consistently for their entire career. Gary Cole, Lily Tomlin, Michael Biehn, Amy Ryan, these are the people who make good movies great, and great movies classics. They might not be on the cover of People, or have divorce rumors started about them once a week, but they’re just as valuable as my main man Tommy Cruise. Ok maybe not “$6.3 billion in box office revenue” valuable. But you get the idea.
4. Most Parents
Here’s the deal, in spite of the point I made about parents above, I readily admit that there’s no such thing as a great parent. There are parents who try hard, and parents who don’t, but in the grand scope, basically every human fucks up their parenting job in one way or another. That’s just how it is. Once upon a time, when we were kids, we looked at parents as fucking lame adults whose only goal in life was to bum us out and harsh our vibes. In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate that in fact, we were assholes most of the time as kids (and weirdly talked in surferisms). The sheer patience and selflessness it takes to raise a human being absolutely blows my mind.
5. Good Uber drivers
Some people call their Uber, sit in the back, and never speak a single word to their driver other than their destination. We call those people assholes. Or socially inept. Or both. The point is, I’m all about striking up conversations with the guys (and sometimes ladies) who are driving my (usually) drunk ass places. Usually you can tell pretty early on whether the guy actually wants to engage in conversation with you. If not, I won’t keep annoying him with my friendship, because I get it, driving drunk people around isn’t the most fun job in the world. But every now and then you get a super hilarious, gregarious fellow to take you places, and it’s just the best. They have great life insights, fantastic stories, and best of all, they make the shitty traffic bearable. And you know what, I like to think that I brighten their day a little bit too. Or maybe I’m just another chatty drunk. Who knows?