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Don't be 'that guy'

If there is only one piece advice I can give to you in my time here at the Havre Daily, it is this: Wear sunscreen.

Wait, no that was the advice in that annoying song by Baz Luhrmann.

Sunscreen? What kind of advice is that? It doesn't even tell you what SPF to use or how often you need to put it on. That advice is great for graduation speeches, but not great for real life.

No, my advice is much more simple and doesn't require the application of anything to your skin. I'll probably never speak at a high school graduation, so I am imparting it to people now.

It's a single idea that I have tried to live my life by, since my friends and I first came up with the theory some year's back while trying to solve the world's problems from a table in the Gallery Lounge.

The advice is simple, four words actually. But four very powerful words that can be used in every situation life throws at you, whether you are playing sports or watching it. It doesn't even have to be sports, it can be applied to anything and everything you do in life - from shopping at the grocery store to eating dinner at a restaurant.

If done properly, the advice will make you not only feel like a better person, but it will also make you a better person in the eyes of your fellow humans.

It's the type of advice that seems so simple, yet can be so complicated to understand, and even more difficult to execute. But with a little effort and self-consciousness, it can be attained.

My one piece of advice to you, my readers, is this:

Don't be "that guy."

I know you're thinking, "huh?"

Let me repeat it: Don't be "that guy."

When I first tell people this logic, they ask, "Which guy?" as if it's someone specific. And I tell them no, "that guy."

Still confused? Let me explain.

"That guy" is a particular person in a situation, but not a specific individual.

To be "that guy" is to be in a situation where people remark to their friends, "look at 'that guy.'" But this isn't said in a good way. No, it's not because they're checking you out, but rather your actions are so annoyingly reprehensible that they must point it out to other people.

Still confused? How about a few examples.

Say you're playing in a recreational softball league, maybe co-ed or maybe a church league. There always seems to be one person out there who is taking the game way too seriously.

He's the guy that shows up in a full uniform with sweat bands on his arms and eye black on his cheeks. He hustles way too hard, slides into every base, yells at his teammates and the 16-year-old umpire, basically ruining a good time for everyone else competing.

He may think he's just being competitive, when really he is the guy living out his lost glory in a church league softball game.

Don't be "that guy."

Need another example?

Say you're sitting in the stands watching a football game and there is some guy behind you, who believes he is the second-coming of Bill Parcells. Maybe he played high school football, maybe he even played college, maybe he even has a kid on the team or knows the coaches.

For whatever reason, he proceeds to analyze every aspect of the game, imparting his vast football knowledge on everyone within ear shot. Most of the time, he criticizes players and coaches too heavily and compliments too little. By the end of the game, everyone sitting around him wants to rip one their arms off just to have something to throw at him or beat him with.

Don't be "that guy."

How about another example?

Say you're watching a little league baseball game and there's one parent who is simply unhappy with everything that is going on with their child's team. Most likely, their child isn't playing in the right position, not batting high enough in the order and is much better than any of the other kids on the team.

This is the same parent who berates the coach for everything he does, but doesn't have the time to help coach. They scream, they yell, they complain and criticize, all because they want what's best for their child, when in truth all they are doing is embarrassing themselves and the poor kid that shares the same last name as them.

Don't be "that guy."

How about an example for our younger readers?

Say you're one of the few people lucky enough to play high school sports and excel at it. You've got the letterman jacket, the all-conference awards and the popularity that comes with it, and because of this it makes you feel invincible and you think you're just a little bit better than the kid sitting next to you in class, who can't catch a football or sink a three-pointer. You tease him, you insult him, you pick on him every chance you get, because you think you are a better person. You are wrong.

For most kids, the athletic glory achieved in high school remains exactly that, in high school. Very few kids get the opportunity to play college sports and the ones that do, find out that there are plenty of athletes from other schools and towns that are just as talented. Playing sports is a special privilege, but it doesn't make you any more privileged than someone who doesn't. Yet, some people still subscribe to being a "jock" and hold themselves in a higher regard than their fellow students.

Don't be "that guy."

Like I said, this doesn't just pertain to sports.

Say you're in a restaurant having dinner and there is another table where the group of people has no idea how to behave in the setting. They're impossibly slow when it comes to ordering, they're rude to the server and basically cause enough problems that everyone else trying to eat is affected. I don't care if you are paying for the meal, so is everyone else. Read the menu, know what you want to order, take it easy on the server, enjoy your meal and more importantly let everyone else enjoy theirs.

Don't be "those guys."

It may sound like I am picking on men in general. No, this theory is reserved for women too. It just wouldn't be the same saying, "Don't be 'that person.'"

Take my advice and do what you want with it. I know it's better than, "wear sunscreen." Any person who was ever sunburned badly knows to wear sunscreen. But remember this, as I modify a line from the movie "Rounders" ...

If you can't spot "that guy" in the first 30 minutes of any situation, then you are "that guy."


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