The state of health care

 

Today, I spent six hours looking for a new PCP who could see me and my kid before Fall. Let me make this clear. I was just making phone calls and asking about accepting new patients. At no time did insurance ever come into the equation. I went through three pages of “recommended PCPs for you” from Blue Cross Blue/Shield before I could find someone willing to see me and my son in the month of July.

Meanwhile, I’ve been paying $400 per month for insurance since January. Yep, $400 a month to buy me some half-assed guesswork from some a-hole in a lab coat to see me sometime in September.  But I beat the system because sometime in July, I’m traveling to the rough part of Sanford to get misdiagnosed by someone who’s dying to diagnose me with some kind of disorder that requires opiates.  So they can get a kickback. Despite the fact that I am, and always have been, allergic to opiates.

That is the state of American healthcare.

I am a diehard capitalist starting to see the drawbacks of universal health care.

I take no medication. I have no chronic conditions. I do not require the regular intervention of a medical provider. I mainly request one single thing from my healthcare provider. Once a year, tell me if I’m dying or not.  I feel like that kind of thing should cost no more than $50. Currently. I pay ten times as much. They’re turning something simple into a cash cow.

I liken it to a mistaken deal I just made with my kid. He’s 17 now, looking for his first job, so in the meantime, I offered a deal. $150 a week to cook meals and walk my dogs. By that, I meant simple. Give me some cut up hot dogs and mac and cheese every day and we’re kosher. But no, this motherfucker had to get fancy. Suddenly, I’m getting grocery lists for cilantro, and emulsified garlic and clarified butter, Also, I’m getting bothered, because no, my son can not cook all these fancy recipes by himself. He needs ME to show him how to emulsify garlic and clarify butter. And I’m like “what the fuck am I paying you for, motherfucker?”

My point is this. I know how to clarify butter. I know how to emulsify garlic. Me paying you to give me further guidance on subjects I’m already clear on is stupid. I’m paying you to do the things I don’t have time to do myself.

And the same goes for doctors. I know my heart palpitations are bad. I know my stomach cramps are not a good thing. I know that sometimes when I shit a little when I’m supposed to be farting, that is a frowny face.

I don’t need 37 consultations and a tube up my asshole to know that.

But that’s the state of healthcare today. We no longer trust ourselves. We no longer trust doctors and as a result, doctors no longer trust themselves. We’ve become incapable of diagnosing steak and potatoes because we’re looking for veal and cilantro in a lemon butter reduction.

But it all comes out the exact same shade of medium brown bullshit and somehow, I’m paying $4800 a year no matter what.

 

A message from the future to nice guys everywhere

I enjoy Quora. It’s a great place for know-it-alls to get validation from internet strangers, so clearly, that strikes a chord with me. I answer a lot of questions there and for some reason, I’m marked as a WW2 expert. I think it’s because of this one time I got into a drunken internet fight over the holocaust with a white nationalist. Weirdly, he wasn’t a denier. He was just upset I portrayed Hitler in an unflattering light in one of my posts because I claimed he was a poor military strategist.[i]

As I’m an avid Quora(er?), I get a regular feed of popular questions and topics of conversation. I typically ignore them. Then, I saw this gem in my inbox.

stupid questions

And they say there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

This question stems from the nice guy fantasy. Here it is in steps. I changed the font to red when the fantasy part starts.

  1. The meeting: A socially awkward dude meets a girl in his age range that he finds attractive. Based on the romantic comedies he watches religiously but claims he hates, he immediately attributes positive traits to this girl even though he knows very little about her.
  2. The relationship: He develops a friendship with a girl for the sole purpose of “girlfriend zoning” her. I call it “girlfriend zoning” because the friendzone doesn’t exist. It’s the default status we enter with any acquaintance. It’s not weird to expect to be friends with someone you just met. It is weird to expect an immediate romantic relationship (i.e. put them in the “girlfriend zone”.) During this “girlfriend zoning” stage, he continues to ignore any red flags, personality clashes or conflicting values. He’s convinced the “real” girl he made up in his head is somewhere under all that fallible human that gives him a semi.
  3. The confession: Now, I call this step “confession” even though that confession doesn’t always happen. In some cases, the guy makes an attempt and gets shot down. In most, the guy seethes silently as his friend fails to do anything to give him the relationship he feels he deserves. Short of showing up at his house and saying, “Hey, I’m your trophy girlfriend now. Let’s have weird kinky sex, even though I’m a virgin, while you tell me why PC gaming is better,” he won’t be satisfied. This is the point where he’s shot down because no one wants to be your mom/therapist/trophy/blow up doll.
  4. The rage: You’re so nice! Like the super nicest guy of all time. You respect women. Which is why you don’t understand why that dumb slut can’t see how great you’d be for her. How you’d give her all those things that she never said she wanted. You say you’d treat her like a queen, all the while not realizing how ironic that statement is. Most monarchical couples entered relationships for the sole purpose of furthering diplomatic efforts and rarely, if ever, were spurred by romantic feelings. These relationships almost always devolved into loveless, sexless partnerships as soon as enough heirs were secured. In these partnerships, the king got to do whatever the fuck he wanted. Meanwhile, the queen was expected to act as a paradigm of virtue and chastity before dying of old age at 45. Essentially, the queen was a figurehead, there to provide sex and assurance to the emotionally fragile men of her time. Fuck, no wonder you want to treat her “like a queen.” You get to pile all your unreasonable expectations onto her, hold her to ridiculous standards you could never meet yourself and then offer nothing in return. Shocker chicks aren’t into that.
  5. The sour grapes harvest: “The bitch got a boyfriend? He’s probably some Chad that beats and rapes her and she totally deserves it.” That’s the thing with nice guys. They’re not actually nice. I’m not an expert here, but I guarantee nice people don’t typically blame the victim or hope for terrible things to happen to others. Other people don’t need to “earn your respect.” You need to be a respectful member of society.
  6. The question. He posts a question on Quora asking for fake internet points and validation from other nice guys the world over.
  7. The epiphany. The girl he was in love with sees his question. It’s been ten years, and she’s been through a lot. Because she always dated rapists and abusers, she’s a single mother to six kids. Being pretty, she was unable to develop any useful life skills and has been trapped in a series of minimum wage jobs ever since she got too flabby to earn money on the stripper pole. She responds to his question, saying, “I’m so sorry. I knew you were nice but I never knew you were that nice!  If only I hadn’t rejected you when I had the chance. Oh, woe is me! Please take me back and care for me.”
  8. The end. He teleports behind her, and says “sorry, nothing personal kid but no fat chicks.” He tips his fedora and heads off to fuck all the waiting supermodels who love him because of his crazy new app that made him a billionaire.  

This, Quora dude, this is the story you want to happen. But the thing is, we both know it didn’t because you’re asking questions on Quora rather than gaining insight from your close friends Elon Musk and Warren Buffet.

So let me tell you the truth. She doesn’t regret rejecting you because she doesn’t remember you.  You don’t exist to her. You were the thirsty dude she met a long time ago. Even if you defeat the odds and somehow manage to become a tech billionaire like Marc Zuckerberg, she’s still going to ignore you because you weren’t that important to her life. She’s going to see you on CNN and say “that dude looks familiar. Was he the guy on the “Vampire Diaries?”[ii]

She doesn’t have six kids, but she probably has some because unlike you, she went ahead and continued to meet people and have life experiences rather than being stuck in a high school “jocks against the nerds” mindset. She went to college. She developed skills that she used to grow her career. She, at age forty, is statistically financially and professionally more stable than her male counterparts. She has a 401k, a college fund for her kids, six months of savings in her checking account, an average credit score of 750  and a mortgage.

She got all this through personal growth. She is not the same person today that she was at 19, 25 or 31. She doesn’t regret those years because they helped her carve out an abundant life. She’s in a happy relationship with someone who has the exact same mindset.

And she doesn’t remember you.

What I’m trying to say, Quora dude, is stop being sour grapes. This fantasy you have where she’s a 42-year-old failed stripper doesn’t make her look bad. It makes you look bad. Because apparently, you’ve been pining after a girl with no life skills or accomplishments outside of being pretty for a very long time. If your fantasy was real, you’d be even more pathetic than you are right now.

You did a brave thing by shooting your shot. You got shot down and that experience should make you tougher, help you grow. Take the loss, learn from it, and drop the sour grapes. Don’t ever think about your rejection again because she isn’t going to either. She doesn’t care and neither should you.

 

[i] Calling Hitler an excellent military strategist is like claiming Casey Anthony is an expert on early childhood development. Hitler was not a great military strategist. He was just charismatic and insane.  Russia could have assassinated him at any time. They chose not to because he was so incompetent and overly emotional, they knew he would end the Nazi party for them. He was Europe’s Kim Jong-il.

[ii] Whenever I see someone that I know I recognize but don’t know why, I just assume I saw them on the Vampire Diaries.

 

To the dude who sent me unsolicited erotica,

I would love to kiss your neck so softly as my hands slide up your stomach through under your shirt to caress your breast, as my cock gets harder then its ever been with the thought of penetratingly your wet pussy, as I move my lips away from yours and slowly kiss my way down your body all the way down to your feet, while sliding off your under wear. I would slide my hands up your legs Intl your inner thighs and start rubbing clit before putting my tounge in and tasting you, occasionally slipping my tounge into your tasty ass hole. By this time I couldn’t help myself but stuff my cock into your vagina as you bite your lips and pull me closer to you. I want to **** you until I cum

First off, let me say I admire your moxie. It’s not easy to open our writing up to criticism, especially when it’s of such an intimate nature. You’ve shown real guts in sending this message to me – along with thousands of other women – in the hopes of gaining valuable feedback.  Luckily for you, I’m an expert source for writing feedback. After all, I did spend $80k getting a degree in a language I already spoke fluently. So I can tell you this with 100% certainty. Your writing will need extensive work if you ever hope to publish.

Let me cover some of your biggest issues.

  1. Punctuation. I understand punctuation can be a stylistic choice. However, as a stylistic choice here, it reads less “fevered sexual rush” and more “schizophrenic rant to an entity only I can see.” You lack the technical skill to use punctuation as a tone device. Stick to periods, like your mom should have done.
  2. Mixing tenses. You’re either in the past or the present. You can’t be both. Especially not in the same sentence. Let’s explain with this heaping pile of exposition.  “By this time I couldn’t help myself but stuff my cock into your vagina as you bite your lips and pull me closer to you.” You’re using active verbs but setting the scene with passive voice. You can’t do that. Well, you can if you want your text to read like amateurish word salad. If that was the goal, well played.
  3. Continuity. One minute, you’re licking my asshole. Then, suddenly, you’ve managed to jam your cock into me without moving at all. Is this a sci-fi fantasy where you’re a new species (perhaps alien) with a facial penis? If so, you need to revisit world building and establish that sooner. If not, there needs to be more of a transition between ass licking and cock stuffing. That tip applies to both writing and reality.
  4. Redundancy and passivity. During your train wreck of an opening sentence, you used the word “your” nine times. Buy a thesaurus. Learn to mix your sentence length and structure. The fact that I have to tell you this should be a clue that you’re not a good writer, but in case it isn’t clear– Never, under any circumstances, use the same word nine times in a single sentence.
  5. Narrative/POV. You’ve done a good job of establishing yourself as the central figure in this draft – and I imagine that’s a skill which extends to the bedroom. The issue is the POV doesn’t work for the market. Look at any successful erotic novel written for women. They all had one thing in common. They cast the woman as the central figure and focused on her feelings, rather than the man’s. The reason for this is simple. Women don’t get off the same way as men.  As such, describing how you feel when you get off to a woman is unlikely to turn her on. It just reads as an internet pervert typing one-handed to an apathetic audience.
  6. Derivative subject matter. You know what every internet pervert has in common? They view sex as a three-step process. Kiss, lick genitalia, intercourse. I assume they do so because that’s all they know. And if that’s all you know, you’re not qualified to write erotica. You writing erotica is like my 90-year-old Memere writing a developer‘s guide for ARkit.   It covers the stuff everyone already likes with no nuanced understanding of what makes it good.

As it stands, what you’ve submitted is not ready for publishing. I’ve ignored the vast majority of your serious grammatical issues as I know you’re not intending to sell this work. But I also want to point out it’s not ready to be read by anyone you hope to fuck; unless you’ve decided you’ve changed your mind about fucking them and want to shut it down. Like if you found out she had herpes, AIDs, living parents or some other terrible affliction.  If that’s the case, writing on spec was the right choice.

In any case, if you want to turn someone on with words alone, understand how words work. You’re not going to find love sending mass emailed erotica to strange girls. The only ladies who’ll give you a positive response are chatbots and catfish.  Best case, normal chicks will just add you to their block list as yet another creepy weirdo with zero self-awareness.  Worst case, some asshole copies your message verbatim and posts it on their website, so when all the other girls you sent it to search it (which they will) they wind up on a page calling you out as a total tool.

 

 

Yes, I’m pro-death penalty. And you should be too.

True crime buff I am, I recently got sucked into a Netflix new release called “I am a Killer.” Silly fool I am, I assumed it would be about people taking responsibility for the crimes they committed which landed them on death row.

Turns out, it was just a veiled attempt at left wing propaganda, much like “Making of a Murderer.” Just an FYI – Steven Avery did it. He is exactly where he belongs. Take two minutes out of your busy day and look at the evidence which is fully available online. Start here with the available legal files. http://www.stevenaverycase.org/

petitions-to-pardon-making-a-murderer-convict-steven-avery-have-amassed-almost-200000-signatures

The reason “I am a Killer” pissed me off was because it’s a poor attempt to make Americans who support the death penalty ashamed of that fact. It’s meant to shame us into supporting prisoner’s rights when honestly, many of those death row residents 100% deserve to be there.

Let me give you an example, as graphically as I can.

On June 24, 1993, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña were minding their own business, walking home and following the train tracks in their Houston, Texas community. They came upon a group of people – Peter Anthony Cantu, José Ernesto Medellín, Derrick Sean O’Brien, Efrain Perez, Venancio Medellín and Raul Omar Villarea – who chose to do them harm, rather than simply letting them pass, like any normal, civilized person would do.

1224zcantu

Those individuals chose to rape them repeatedly, mutilate them, and finally, murder them. According to autopsy reports, they kicked the teeth out of Elizabeth’s mouth before choking both girls to death with a pair of shoelaces. There’s a lot more, but I don’t want to summarize it here. Just know what those two girls — fuck not even girls, children —  went through in the hours before their deaths is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

All but one of those perpetrators in that case was sentenced to death and my response is “How soon can we do it” and also “Can we make it hurt?”

There is no redemption for what those men chose to do. There is no second chance. Sometimes, you make choices that make you unredeemable. Sometimes, you need to be put down like the rabid dog you are because you have no place in society.

And when you choose to murder someone, it’s very, very likely you will be lumped in with those people. Not all death row cases are as bad as what happened to Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña – but we need to treat every death row case as such. As much as people have a right to a fair trial, other people have a right to live. Your right to a fair trial does not trump their right to be alive.

If you don’t want to wind up on death row, here’s a suggestion. Don’t murder people.

There is nothing you can do in this world to make up for first-degree murder. I don’t care that you feel sad that you did it after. I don’t care that you felt pressured to do it from your friends. You always had the option to say no. You always had the option to choose mercy. You chose not to exercise that option. And for that, we, as a civilized society, owe you no mercy.

Guns don’t just “go off”. She didn’t “have it coming”. He wasn’t “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” You made your choices. You made bad choices. Someone else lost their life because of them.

So you don’t get to keep yours.

 

No Essa, you’re not being honest – you’re being an asshole

I use this blog a lot to call other people out on their behavior. Whether they’re complaining about not being addressed by their chosen pronouns, or anti-vax bullshitting on Jonas Salk being worse than Hitler, I’m always quick to put people on blast when they’re being stupid. But like most humans, I tend to treat myself like I’m somehow infallible. Somehow, I’m immune to my own objective opinion, no matter how stupid I act or how shitty some of the things I say are. But if I’m truly, truly an honest person, that means looking at myself. It means holding myself accountable for my own actions. And doing that is uncomfortable because it forces me to look myself in the eye and say “you know what, Essa? You’re kind of an asshole.”

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Tonight, I took the opportunity to look back at some of my old writing, at some of my blog posts and saw myself being incredibly mean. I said many intentionally offensive things in the past and I brushed those things off with a phrase that makes me cringe.

“I’m not being mean. I’m just being honest.”

I had this idea that somehow, me being brutally (and I mean brutally) honest all the time made it ok to also be an asshole all the time. To explain how I feel about it now, I’m going to quote from the finest movie ever to grace the silver screen – “The Shawshank Redemption”.

There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.

OK, so not all that applies but I love that damn speech and couldn’t bear to cut a single bit of it. Seriously, I have never wanted to bang Morgan Freeman as hard as I did during that particular moment.

Now that’s a good example of honesty because in that statement, I was being honest without simply using honesty as an excuse to be cruel. Sure, it’s a cringy statement. No one wants to think of my chubby ass going to town on Morgan Freeman, but it was honest in a good way. It was me admitting a vulnerability without shaming someone else for it.

Because that’s the problem with the “I’m just being honest” statement. You’re shaming someone else and then acting like they’re wrong for being offended. When I used to say it, it was because somehow, I got this idea in my head that being honest and being cruel were mutually exclusive. If you were being honest, it meant people couldn’t call you out on being cruel.

That’s a stupid, stupid thing to think.

If you honestly tell your mother she’s fat, it’s not going to make her lose weight. It’s going to make her cry. If you honestly tell your partner you want to fuck their brother, it’s not going to make them feel more connected to you. It’s going to make them worry about you fucking their brother. If you honestly admit to committing a felony, you’re not getting away with it. If anything, it’s more likely to send you to jail.

Honesty doesn’t undo the bad you do with your actions. The statement “I’m just being honest” is, ironically, you lying to yourself. You’re trying to convince yourself that being honest means you’re not a complete fucking asshole.

My point, past self, is sometimes you need to say, “fuck being honest” and keep your opinion to yourself. You’re not so god damn important that everyone needs to hear your honest, useless opinion 100% of the time – especially when that opinion will hurt them unnecessarily. There is a way to say things without being a dick. If there wasn’t, diplomats wouldn’t exist.

Past Essa, this is future, wiser and slightly less intoxicated Essa saying to you, you’re not “just being honest.” You’re just being an asshole. Stop it and grow up.

Welcome to Hurricane season

I wasn’t born and raised in Florida. I’ve only been here about nine years and only weathered a few named storms. Despite my complete lack of experience, I still manage to be prepared when the season comes, so I’m not one of those a-holes racing out to the stores at the last minute to stock up on canned food and water.

I’m one of those last-minute a-holes stocking up on beer and gummy bears.

But despite my inexperience, I need to call out more than a few of you Floridians based off what I’ve seen of you on the news. So let me cover this list-like, because people are stupid and will only listen when you make a list. Also, call me crazy, but I have a bad feeling about this season and feel this information may be useful for the 2018 season.

#1. If you abandon your pets or leave them outside you will go to prison

A new Florida law has established if you leave your pets outside and helpless during a hurricane, you will receive a felony charge. My Floridian opinion is you deserve it.

I don’t even understand the people that do this, but it needs to be said. It’s not cool to just leave your dog or cat alone on your property, to wander all by itself in the terrifying storm as you travel on down to Jacksonville to hang out with family.

Your pet is your family. The moment you decided to get a cat or dog, you became responsible for them and you have no right to leave them behind. There is a special place in hell for people who abandon their pets during a storm and you deserve to be there. As their natural instincts tell them to flee, your selfishness keeps them trapped and they sit there, lonely, scared and wonder where their fur mommy or daddy went until the storm kills them.

You must be a special kind of sociopath to do that to an innocent dog or cat. There are plenty of pet-friendly shelters in Florida, plenty of things you could do for those little dudes aside from letting them face the wrath of Mother Nature by themselves. Even the Hemingway House in Key West is somehow capable of keeping 36 cats alive hurricane after hurricane. You have no excuse for not being able to handle one dog or cat.

If you abandon them because you’re fucking lazy, you deserve spot one in Dante’s Inferno, getting eaten and shit out by the devil over and over again, just like Judas and Brutus. Because you’re a fucking traitor. You told that pet you’d protect them, then you turned your back on them.

Fuck you.

#2. When they say mandatory evacuations and you decide to stay – you’re on your own

Your right to emergency medical assistance in your area ends the moment the newscaster says “Governor Whoeverthefuck has issued an emergency, mandatory evacuation” and names your area. That’s all there is to it. After that, if you decide to stay, you are on your own.

Deal with it. Do not call 911 as the floodwaters rise, demanding they send out a bunch of paramedics to drown with you because they won’t. Mandatory evacuation status is not given willy nilly. It’s given when it’s fully established, based on FEMA standards, that remaining in the area will cause an immediate threat to life. As such, once a mandatory evacuation is given, 911 services shut down. If you live in Florida, you know that you’ve seen this commercial.

This was during Ivan. I checked out the verifiability of the commercial. Those voices you heard, those desperate calls for help? They didn’t make it.

They play this commercial often during hurricane season and they do it for a reason. It’s to make you understand it’s not brave to stay when they tell you to evacuate. It’s foolish.  You cannot ride the storm. You are not the old man and the sea, staring down an unforgiving ocean. You are a silly little civilian who forgot that nature’s wrath pertains to you too. This commercial is not dramatized. They make it very, very clear that once a mandatory evacuation is issued, they cannot help you.

They share this message – as a warning– on as many public access channels as they can. The best that FLA 911 services can do for you if you call them after you’ve been told to evacuate is tell you to write your social security number on your torso so the National Guard can identify your body.

Florida emergency services workers are not superheroes. They’re just people and there comes a point where they cannot help you because they will not risk further lives to help a hopeless cause. Those ambulance drivers, firefighters and paramedics are just as human as you. They have families that love them just like you and they are not going to risk their lives because you did something incredibly stupid.

When someone says mandatory evacuation either do it or drink yourself to death (leaving Las Vegas style) but do not expect the world to come back and pick you up. It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s that they can’t without risking their own lives too.

#3. Get your supplies ahead of time.

I created my first Amazon wishlist the other day. It’s not so much a wishlist as it is a package of items I purchase for hurricanes. MREs, flashlights, batteries, a hand crank radio – now is the time to buy them, not later. If you want the full list, IM me. But do it now, not one day before the storm. You need to live your life like every day is the day before a hurricane. Then, come what may, you’ll always be prepared.

Anyway, welcome to hurricane season. I also don’t usually do this, because I hate dealing with comments, but the issue is important enough to spread. I welcome you to share your own hurricane preparedness ideas (or complaints) in the comments. With any luck, we’ll all ride the storms together.

If you are disabled or feel that you are incapable of evacuating or protecting yourself in the event of a hurricane and currently live in Florida, please check out the following available resources.

https://www.floridadisaster.org/

https://trac.floridadisaster.org/trac/loginform.aspx

http://www.floridahealth.gov/

https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance

 

 

 

If you have to say you are …you aren’t

Back in the day when I worked in insurance investigations, I had this supervisor who gave me some good advice. Specifically, he said the following;

“If they tell you they’re nice, they’re a dick. If they tell you they’re religious, they haven’t seen the inside of a church since the last time their mom made them go. If they tell you they’re honest, they’ve already started lying.”

At the time, I had a good laugh about it. He was a jaded dude who’d been in the insurance industry far too long, so he was used to people sucking. But as time went on, I realized he was right. If you have to tell someone you are something, it’s because you aren’t.

As an example, let’s take a look at the following message.

boilogy

Yes, a dude who claimed to have an IQ on par with Einstein’s was incapable of spelling ‘biology’—or holding a conversation without resorting to that obnoxious role play thing that 11-year-old weeaboos do.

Also, before you tell me it’s satire – if you have to tell someone it’s satire, it’s not. It’s you saying something stupid, getting called out and then trying to backpedal by calling it satire.

I bring this up because I think we need to start calling people out on their bullshit. I see a lot of these “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” posts online but what I don’t see is people calling them out on it. Just a simple “no, it isn’t” would satisfy me.

Because no, that’s not your IQ. It’s a number that you made up to sound impressive or one given to you by one of those scam online degree sites. Either way, the fact that you drop the whole “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” statement is actually what convinces me you’re an idiot. Smart people don’t have to tell the world how smart they are. They just do smart things like inventing nuclear energy or curing polio.

Same goes for being nice. If you have to tell someone you’re nice, it’s because you’ve never actually done anything nice to convince them you are. Doing the bare minimum to maintain your status in society does not qualify as being nice. For example, no, I would not punch a baby. This is not because I’m a nice person. It’s because it’s what people expect of me to maintain my space in a civilized society. Otherwise, yes, I probably would have punched at least one baby. To that baby — you know what you did.

On the other hand, I once knew a dude who gave up a well-paying career as a police detective so he could move himself and his entire family to the Ukraine to open an orphanage. During the entire process, he never once mentioned how nice he was.

Weird how that works.

Also, while we’re at it, stop trying to give yourselves degrees you haven’t earned. I once had a Walmart cashier tell me “I have a PhD level vocabulary” with a completely straight face.

You know how you know you have a Masters or PhD level knowledge?   You spend $90,000 and 200 classroom hours learning it. If you think that your life experience is transferrable as college credit, then there’s something called DANTES that you can use to get that credit.

Unless you actually have a degree from an accredited university, you don’t have a Masters or PhD level anything. Stop saying you do. It just makes you look stupid and it undermines the hard work of those who have actually spent the time and the money getting those degrees. It’s like me saying I’m a forensic psychologist because I like to watch “Criminal Minds.”

So before you tell someone you’re smart, or religious, or nice, ask yourself this. “Have I actually done anything that proves what I’m about to say?” Most often, the answer is no.

Because if you have to say you are, you aren’t. Those that are, they just do.