>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
June 1, 2005

Nathan: My first column will be about being a good person.
Royce: I'm waiting for the punch line.

Some of you may be good people by nature. Judging by my informal poll in West Florida bars, most of you are complete and utter scumbags. But fear not, I’m here to help. Seriously, stop laughing. I am here to help you become a good person.

What qualifies me for this, you never asked? Well, it may surprise you to learn this, but throughout the course of my time on this spinning hunk of clay I have had a difficult time following the rules; all too often I give into my primal urges and make ridiculous mistakes that land me in jail, cost me friends, and cause my friends to blame and chastise the consumption of alcohol. (Seriously, poor alcohol—it gets blamed for every damn thing. And what does it do? Nothing, it just sits there looking mighty tasty and intoxicating, totally minding its own business, and before you even know what’s going on—or perhaps after you knew what was going on—people are badmouthing it like it’s a rape victim in a mini-skirt. Why oh why must we blame the alcohol?).

“Teaching inner city youth how to read and write was nothing but a big waste of time. These kids are rude, ignorant and have no male role models.”

Though I am not naturally or inherently a decent human being, I have realized, through the course of my mistake-making, that I need to grow up and become a good person. This caused me to jump on the self-exploration bandwagon and learn how to enjoy life without immediate gratification. Quite simply, I learned that I cannot. If not drinking, drugging, having sex or enjoying the testosterone-filled events that ignite the fire within the male psyche (sports and fights), I am simply not enjoying myself. So for me and people like me, being a good person essentially means not having as much fun. But as my brother once said, “taking random drugs and having sex in public is just not something that grown ups do.” He should know, he just turned twelve.

Anyway, to help myself become a better person, more suited to the adult world than the underworld, I did the following. Please feel free to utilize any of this information, as it has all helped me to become the mature person I pretend to be on weekdays.

1. I volunteered my time at a local church. Teaching inner city youth how to read and write was nothing but a big waste of time. These kids are rude, ignorant and have no male role models. I swear, I spent half my time explaining to these kids that life’s a bitch and the other half hitting on the college chicks who needed community service credits. If you can get any warm and fuzzy feelings volunteering your time instead of watching ESPN, give it a shot. I can’t.

2. I vowed to stop having casual sex. This plan started out as an attempt to be sincere and get a real girlfriend, but the local women ruined it. My sincere demeanor must have made me seem endearing and caused more girls to like me so I ended up sleeping with more than one girl at a time and in the end they call that cheating but you know, well, people who have casual sex are usually not good people. So stop. Seriously, stop. You’re having sex right now aren’t you? Lucky bastard.

3. I stopped stealing from people. This was actually really easy. Once I got a legitimate job and a steady income, it seemed stupid to pick pockets and knock off houses. So I just said no, and I stopped. Now, to provide me with that necessary tingle I get when pulling property from another, I just snap the occasional cigarette from someone’s ear and light it in front of them without them knowing. Just as fun as pick pocketing, but with none of the immortal sinning.

4. I vowed to stop drinking so much. Um, that didn’t work. But seriously, sober people are usually good people, right? So quit drinking so much. You’re drinking right now, aren’t you? Lucky bastard.

There are many different ways we can learn from people. As my father was fond of saying when I was a child, “do as I say and not as I do.” If you follow the advice I have provided, you will become a much better person. That being said, if you manage to actually follow this advice, please contact me and let me know how you pulled it off. Being good ain’t easy.

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