Article: No One Can Tell Me What to Do—Except for People with the Proper Authority to Do So

Published 10/24/14 in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Haters are always up in my grill, telling me “Shep this,” “Shep that.” You think I need you fools telling me how to live my life? You think I made it 26 badass years by listening to dumberonis like you? Well, guess again: No one tells me what the hell to do! Because I already know what my available actions are within any given context after having been normalized through two and a half decades of regimented socialization, stupid!

You think I don’t know that yelling out loud in public is only appropriate at sporting events, raucous music venues, and in the immediate aftermath of a robbery or assault? I’m no idiot, IDIOT!

But no, you think I’m a baby. You think I’m a whiny toddler who needs someone to tell me what to wear and what to eat, “Wear this bib, Shep! “Eat that carrot, Shep!” Guess again! I can do whatever the hell I want—within very narrow constraints of socially acceptable human behavior, be that referring to context-appropriate attire, behavior, or hygiene.

I wear button-downs and cologne to semi-formal events, what of it?!

Everyone thinks they own me. My mom. My step-dad. My new step-dad. All those panty-eaters at work. Well, listen up: I’m my own man! Given that I pay a third of all my income to a higher organizational body, into which I have zero input, and that the income that I make is by performing specifically delineated tasks that I’ve been trained for since age 6 from a standardized beginning to ending time, mofo.

No one owns me! Until I don’t pay the aforementioned federal or state dues and am thusly sent away from my family to perform free labor against my will. No one!

And you can’t just put a price on me! Because my value to society is already set by strict municipal, state, and federal codes. The military, for example, values my life at $129,000, no matter what my brother Rick says!

Screw off, Rick!

So how about: Don’t fuck with me or else! Cause you better believe I’ll reach out to the suitable social safeguard in response to any negative threat to me or my family’s sense of wellbeing and safety. The police. A law firm. The media. Heard of ‘em, numbnuts?

Yeah, I didn’t think so!

Big man, look at you, look at you, trying to get all up in my business. News-flash: You’re not the boss of me! Jeffrey Preston is, my immediate supervisor, not to mention an expansive hierarchy of upper managers and executives whose decisions can indefinitely and without notice uproot my life. They are all my bosses. Not you, little bitch sauce, so back the eff off!

I live life how I want, whenever I want, after 5:30 pm on weekdays and most weekends. Y’all do that? I didn’t think so! Some of you work ‘til 7!

So, freak-a-zoid, let’s boogie, because I’m crazy! Cray-zzzzy! In the vein of a romantic comedy where I’ll do large and unexpected, but not entirely unprecedented gestures like fill a room with candles or sing a ballad to my girlfriend when proposing the one time in my life where that is completely appropriate and almost expected.

What-what!

I make my own rules! In games such as Monopoly and other immaterial trivialities that have no bearing on the greater social and legal contracts to which I am unwittingly and without my input indefinitely subscribed. But come into my house and try to snatch $600 for landing on Go, you can get the fuck out! In other more important aspects of my life, I follow the rules very carefully, waiting in lines, speaking clearly and at appropriate intervals at restaurants, respecting property division lines.

Whatever the funk that is!

So what do you think I’m going to do, piss-ant? Be a punk-bitch and do what everyone says or be my own man? Because I would recommend to everyone that they adhere strictly to all aspects of punk-bitch life, because it has some minor monetary benefits and there are zero other options, unless you move to like the rainforest or something, where there is no plumbing or medicine, and also I love Cheez-Its.

Fricking haters.

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