Don’t Be That Guy – The Cracker Barrel Conundrum

Don’t Be That Guy – The Cracker Barrel Conundrum

Originally posted 2011-07-20 12:54:29.

“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank.

“I would like to apologize for my remarks…” – Something you will never hear us say.  Ever.

Bob and I have a dream.  No, it’s not the one where you’re standing on top of a pyramid in Sun God robes and there are thousands of naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you.  Our dream is to mock political correctness into submission.  For instance, we’d like to issue a press release calling for a boycott of Cracker Barrel until they change their name…because as middle aged white guys, we’re offended by the word “cracker”.

Note: We are not actually offended by it in the least.

We just truly believe that the ensuing situation would be hilarious.  Would Cracker Barrel executives even acknowledge it?  Would they respond?  Would we get interviewed by CNN to discuss our (fake) mental anguish, pain and suffering caused by driving by those establishments as we ramble around the country and see the signs?  Could we…could we really…pull off something as insane as actually making a corporation change it’s name?!? Well, you don’t see “Beaner’s Coffee” signs any more, do ya?

This is going somewhere, I promise.  Stay with me for a few…

In a similar vein, as Bob, Jeff and I were leaving the midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode 3, a mother…who had brought her two children under eight to a midnight show…was “outraged” at the level of violence in the movie.  Which means that not only did she (once more, for emphasis) see nothing wrong with bringing her two children under the age of eight to a midnight showing of a movie, but also was stupid enough that she ignored everything that had come out leading up to it’s release (and seriously, how could you have missed the coverage other than “deliberately”) where George Lucas himself said it was dark, violent, and definitely PG-13 appropriate.

Needless to say, we laughed in her face and told her to shut her “outrage” right the heck up and try working on being a better parent next time.  Did she enjoy hearing it?  Nope, not in the least…but it was the truth.

That’s basically the gist of every Don’t Be That Guy that we write – the truth.  And they make us laugh.

And that’s why we write them.  We’ve never hidden it – ITintheD.com exists because we hated every other networking group out there and so decided that it could be done differently…more to what we were looking for…okay, “better“.  We write them because it’s cathartic to write them.  We write them because they need to be written.  We write them to hopefully keep people from showing up at our events that don’t belong there.  We’ve also never hidden the fact that this group isn’t for everyone.  If you’re looking for a room full of guys in blue three piece suits with ties…don’t bother coming.  If you’re (gasp) “offended” (seriously, got one of these emails, too…) by the fact that our events take place in bars…then don’t show up.

We’re just a few guys trying to avoid things that annoy us and have some laughs (and beer) along the way.  We want people that don’t like what a radio host had to say to  simply change the channel.  If you don’t like a program on television…hey here’s an idea…just don’t watch it.  Seems fairly obvious and logical, doesn’t it?

So imagine my surprise when along comes “OHMYGODYOUMISSEDTHEPOINT GUY”.

Turns out someone read Don’t Be That Guy – The Jehovah’s Witness and completely missed the friggin’ point of it.  How do I know he missed the point of it?  Because he sent me a multi-screen-scrolling rant via email basically comparing that article to…well, you know what?  Let me go ahead and copy and paste for you from his email so that you can get the full effect:

I have to tell you, that after reading Dave’s latest entry with negative references to Jehovah’s Witnesses, the first thing that came to mind was, “Kristallnacht”, meaning “Night of Broken Glass”. It was Nazi Germany’s way of saying to the Jews back in 1938, ‘We don’t like you. We want you and your pestilent ways gone.’ We all know what happened as the intolerance of that religious minority grew in Germany. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious minority in this country. Have the lessons learned some 70 years ago regarding religious intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination been lost? Apparently so, for some.

ARE YOU @#$%ING KIDDING ME?!?!

Someone…seriously…took a Don’t Be That Guy entry…and compared it to The Holocaust.

Let’s let that sink in properly: The Holocaust.  One of the darkest events in history that caused the death of millions of people…and that’s comparable to me not wanting Jehovah’s Witnesses showing up at my door and using that in an analogy about annoying people at our events?

ARE YOU @#$%ING KIDDING ME?!?!

But wait, there’s more!

“A responsible, ethical writer will always check their facts. For one thing, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not ask anyone for money. They don’t even ‘pass a basket’ at their religious services. If someone posted to your site or came to your function asking for money and claimed to be one of Jehovah Witnesses, he was lying.”

Ohhhhhh…I get it now.  You’re not really mad at me or anything I wrote.  You’re mad because you lack basic comprehension skills.

I can skip responding the next eight paragraphs of your rant now.  Let me help, and give a shot at breaking this down for you…

“Jehovah’s Witness Guy”, the title, has absolutely nothing to do with an actual Jehovah’s Witness showing up at one of our events, my friend.  Just like “The Pufferfish Effect” doesn’t mean that some mad scientist created a half man/half pufferfish hybrid in his basement that later became an office worker.  In a similar vein, “Oily Weasel Guy” has nothing to do with varmint / human cross breeding.  “More Human Than Human” neither means that there are actual replicants in our group, nor that Rob Zombie regularly attends our functions.

We’ve always said that we really don’t care if we offend people with the topics we cover or the way that we write…that’s kind of the point, actually, that if you’re offended by something we write, you should take a good, long, hard look in the mirror and figure out why that is.  And if this is the right group for you.

But please…Don’t Be That Guy.  If you’re going to be offended, at least be offended for the right reasons (read: “for something that we actually do”), instead of some fictional drama that’s playing out only in your head triggered by a lack of fundamental critical thinking capabilities.

Which circles back to my opening…the Cracker Barrel thing.  Part of why it hasn’t happened is the knowledge of the inevitable backlash from people who mistake our attempt at humor for something else.  That Guy…there are many of them, and they live everywhere.  We just want to live in a world where people go to a Tracy Morgan stand-up show and then don’t hit CNN because they’re “offended” by things he said…even though they know who he is and what his routines are like.  We don’t want people to be forced to kow-tow and apologize via press conference for using the phrase “that’s retarded”.

Hence the conundrum.

That’s all for this time, folks…

Make sure you check out our other Don’t Be That Guy entries…or don’t.  Your call.

Oh…and dude?  If you feel like sending me another email…have someone else read it first, okay?   Thanks.

David Phillips is the geek that’s been pushed into management roles over the span of his career. He’s been a helpdesk jockey, a team lead, a systems architect and even a Vice President over the course of his more than 20 years in information technology for a variety of industries. He’s been profiled by CNN’s Money Magazine for his work with the group, as well as being a regular speaker for the Michigan Shifting Gears program, winning 2013’s “Outstanding Contributor for the Transformation of Careers and Lives”.