Telephone Tough Guy

March 30, 2009 by admncc

Does anyone else think that we are witnessing the general decline of society? I mean, is it me or are people just not that nice anymore.

I was thinking about that as I watched an episode of “The Sopranos” tonight.  During this episode, Tony gets into an argument with another guy on the telephone and ends up calling him a “telephone tough guy.”  Then I started to wonder about some of the other tough guys I see daily.

First we have the “behind-the-wheel” tough guy.  I see this guy every day and he has many different faces.  He is the guy who drives around in his car with that hard-ass look on his face.  You’ve seen him, haven’t you?  He just glares at you and acts like he would physically hurt you if you even breathe a breath in his direction.  He is the coolest person in the world and you are nothing compared to him.  Sometimes he’s at a red light or in the grocery store parking lot.  Today I saw him as I was pulling into a restaurant.  His was leaving and his car was blocking the entire entrance.  So while he tried to exit, no traffic could enter the parking lot.  I must say – he looked pretty intimidating behind the wheel of his 2001 Accord…

Second we have the “out-in-public” tough guy.  I didn’t used to see this guy quite as often as the others, but I am noticing that he is making more appearances these days, particularly at retail stores.  I saw him while I was buying milk yesterday.  I was standing in line waiting my turn.  I merely glanced over my shoulder to see who else was in line.  This guy looked at me and said, “What the hell are you looking at?”  My response, “Sorry, I didn’t realize that buying milk required me to engage in fisticuffs on the way out the door.  But thank you for asking.”  Needless to say, I got out of there pretty quick.  The world is a funny place – I guess you have to look at the ground these days when standing in line.

The funny thing is that I think the tough guys out there are only the start.  Have you watched the news on TV lately?  I turned on the 11 o’clock news tonight.  First story – man gets run over by a bus.  Second story – clerk shot in robbery attempt.  Third story – woman killed in car accident.  Fourth story – man commits suicide at bar.  OK, click, I just turned the TV off.  Is this really what people want to know?  Every time we turn on the news, it is the same thing.  Do we get a kick out of the misfortune of others?  Do we thrive on hearing and seeing the worst?

OK, so now we know that everyone is mean and we like hearing bad news on TV.  Let’s not forget that everyone wants to sue each other.  We all hear and see it every day.  Everyone has an attorney in his or her pocket.  From work incidents to car accidents to medical issues to political agendas – it doesn’t matter.  Everyone has an attorney they need to call.  That might end up being a post in itself…

As a side-note, I can’t believe that I am even giving this movie publicity by mentioning it.  I saw a preview the other night for “Crank: High Voltage.”  You can view the trailer here.  I want to go on record as saying that this is by far the dumbest movie I have ever seen a trailer for.  Whoever green lit this movie for production should find a new career.  A movie about a guy, who gets his heart stolen, goes looking for it and needs to periodically get his body re-charged using methods such as a car battery, static electricity and a car’s cigarette lighter.  Wow.  A studio actually spent $20M making this.  Are you kidding me?  I guess Amy Smart really needed a paycheck…

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  1. Kelly says:

    I would like to be Mommy-Tough-Guy and punch “behind-the-wheel” tough guy right in his neck. You got me, his neck. This dillhole thinks he can drive me off the road while I have two babies in the car! Why is he driving me off of the road? I’m going five miles over the speed limit, I don’t drive on the highway, so that’s pretty fast for residencial areas… There are always tons of people in front of me, so he’s not getting anywhere. So yeah, I’d punch that guy in the neck.

  2. Hal says:

    I think I could write a book on this topic. People are very rude these days. They have attitudes. Everyone wants to stare you down. Everyone is agitated. Just silly. Nobody wants to work for anything. Don’t even get me started on today’s graduating college seniors. LOL. And you are right. People love to hear and read about misery. Why? Good post.

  3. NeoConDon says:

    The CC is right on this one. People seem more and more rude, but I find the rudeness to be a generational issue. In other words, most often, the younger a person is, the more likely they are to be the rude person I encounter. As they age, marry, have children, they change and become less rude.

  4. c.princess says:

    Not something you would anticipate to happen while buying milk.
    Clearly ‘out-in-public guy’ was frustrated and angry at something and regrettably you happened to be his verbal punching bag but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour. It’s understandable how your experience could shatter someone’s faith leading them to believe all people are rude but ‘out-in-public guy’ went a little too far. I believe and I know the world is still filled with warm, decent and kind-hearted people.

  5. Jen says:

    Our local news usually runs all the fires that have occured since the previous newscast…seems like a lot of fires around here.

    I encountered “old man tough guy” who was extreemly pissed that he couldn’t open the door using the handicapped button. God forbid you try to hold the door for him – that is obviously an insult.

    I can never come up with the quick responses in time, but yours to the guy buying milk was right up my alley.

  6. dani says:

    People are absolutely freaking nuts…

  7. There are too many crazy people out there, like the many CC identifies. For that reason I think you have to try to associate with those who share your values, who agree to live with you in a social compact that excludes these types of behaviors, and generally those who try to stay fairly normal and reasonable most of the time. Not easy, but worth an effort.

  8. The Mother says:

    Clearly, plain civility has been undermined by the ME generation. No one has to take into account anyone else’s feelings, because THEY, themselves, are the only ones who matter.

    As for the news: They make their living by sensationalizing. Who would watch news that said, “Nothing happened today! Be happy!”

    And how do I feel about that? Don’t get me started…

  9. Chris says:

    Agreed. The world is in a sharp, steady, unrecoverable decline. My suggestion … have as much fun as possible and don’t have kids. If you already have kids … well, tell them to brace themselves. It’s going to be a rocky one.

  10. Extreme John says:

    Another excellent post. I have met all of the above, the tough guy in the accord and I had a situation the other day except he was driving a Ford F-150. Billy Bad Ass.

    I won’t even get started on the whole “I want to sue for everything” concept, being a business owner I am constantly in some type of situation in this economy where someone is fired up and ready to sue…. Over advertising, over fake falls.. the list goes on and on and we wonder why the county is a pile of sh*t, this is just another additive to it.

    You constantly speak my mind TCC, constantly.

  11. Zig says:

    It is kind of funny your should mention the decline of society… I see the general decline of society in a different way than all the “tough guy” types out there. The decline is related to people’s fear and unwillingness to stand up to bullies and take time to understand their actions.

    I see the general decline in people’s unwillingness to stand up “to people” and “for people.” I have to take issue with you, CC, for not telling that guy in the “retail” store where to go. CC, are you that much of a punk that you can’t tell a bully that he is a bully? I hate bullies! The decline of society can be traced to the mutiplying of bullies. If no one stands up to that Bully in the retail store, he will do the same thing to a less fortunte person than yourself, CC.

    Now, was the reason for CC’s “wimping out” his lack of strength or because he didn’t want to be bothered to have to straighten out this bully? Because you, a smart and capable man, didn’t put this piece of white trash in his place, he will only gain in confidence. When the other people in line see you whimper out of the store, with out confronting this bully, they, incorrectly, see your actions as a sign of respect for the “BULLY.” I never let idiots like the man in the retail store look good at my expense. It may be just me. I may be an egomaniac. It may be something ingrained in my ethos. But, I never let idiots get the upper hand in situations like the one you’ve described in you retail store example.

    I think “TOUGH GUYS” are created. Tough guys are not real.

  12. Holly says:

    I’ll never forget one day, a couple of years back, I was working for a cleaning business where we went into apartments after the tenants had moved out and cleaned them for incoming tenants. I was driving to our latest job, in an unfamiliar area, I had two other ladies with me, as well as my daughter, who was like 8 at the time. The directions that were given to me were totally messed up.

    Anyway, I had to turn around and go back down a street that had a “T” intersection. I was not required to stop at the intersection, but there was a guy in a big four wheel drive SUV that was required to. He didn’t stop, I slammed on my brakes to keep from hitting me, and what did he do? Got out of his truck and came at my car, flipping us off and making all kinds of threatening gestures. Yeah, there’s a REAL man for ya! Do that to a car of women with a young child when he was the one that was in the wrong! And before you ask, no, I did not flip him off or do anything to “provoke” his behavior. He definitely got my asshat of the day award!

  13. Krystal says:

    the tough guys are everywhere and sometimes, without knowing it – we turn into them ourselves. I know I get that way on the phone with people who are just rude. But I know what you mean about the “in the car tough guy” – it seems like everyone has a sourpuss face when they drive and think that they have the right of the world to be where they are – don’t they realize that it can all go away in an instant?

  14. Jenny says:


    I can’t believe you forgot the internet tough guy. You know the one that is on blogs being a complete asshole, or the guy in the chat rooms that go around trying to threaten everyone. It reminds me of that little saying “Fighting on the internet is like the special olympics, no matter who wins you are still retarded.” (obviously no disrespect meant towards anyone mentally challenged). Those people drive me up the wall always talking about how they are going to f*ck you up or hunt you down and kill your mother….

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