rules of the road

The other day, I met a nice guy. Solid dude.

But he had an obsession with rules and fairness. Sort of a self-designated class monitor. The type of guy who, given a mortgage and middle age, would campaign to be in charge of his neighborhood watch organization and spend his weekends putting those signs up all over the place.

You know, those signs showing the devious gangster holding a cloak over his face like Dracula.

Fairness. Equity. Rules.

No loitering after 10pm!

He read through the entire rulebook for the board game before we started. Called “Time!” every time it was time. Debated the existence of loopholes. Negated sudden twists of chance. And jubilantly exulted upon a win. He won upon a technicality that most people wouldn’t have even noticed or debated.

Just a game, right? Right. Nobody cares. Drink another vodka!

But mindset doesn’t stop at games.

This mindset continued into everything else: politics, economy, society, culture. It was an obsession with how it ought to be without thinking of why it ought to be.

He ridiculed a company that didn’t take off on a federal holiday, because it was inappropriate to work on Martin Luther King Jr. day. He criticized the government for trying to control the bedrooms. Fair enough! Yet controlling the wallets is okay? He heard that India was trying to establish a state religion. It’s important, he said, to recognize that it is okay for Hinduism to be the state religion of India since that’s their culture. Fair enough! But what about the separation of church and state you were just harping on about?

Rules.

They work best for people who cannot excel independently.

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