Judge: Oh, what is it this time?

Other: Commuting.

Judge: Explain?

Other: I object to commuting. It sucks the life out of otherwise cheerful and rational people.

Judge: Did you not choose your job? And did you not choose your home? And as you have selected these endpoints of said commute,  there’s really no basis for complaint.

Other: Understood, Your Honor, but the problem isn’t the distance or the locations. It’s the other drivers.

Judge: You expected there would be no other drivers on your commute?

Other: Of course not, but these particular drivers are morons.

Judge: (Sigh.) That’s subjective.

Other: I’d argue it’s not. Slow drivers in the left lane, speed-demons in the right lane, turn signals activated *after* the turn has been initiated, tailgating, sitting motionless at green lights — it’s an endless list of violations of both courtesy and common sense.

Judge: Haven’t I seen you do some of the same things?

Other: Um, only in completely justified circumstances.

Judge: Oh.

Other: No really. I only drive close behind someone if they’re really gumming up traffic.

Judge: You don’t need a judge — given a little rope it seems you can hang yourself quite nicely. Is this all you’ve got?

Other: No sir. I also object to the college education scam.

Judge: ?

Other: It’s the money part that’s a scam, sir — they expect you to refinance your house to pay for your kids’ degree.

Judge: And?

Other: So you borrow a few hundred thousand dollars to live in your house, and your first 100 payments make no headway on the principle, and then just when you do start to build up some equity the college expects you to refinance at the age of 45 and start all over again. So they tell you that you’re purchasing an asset that’s going to grow in value over time, but it’s actually your debt that grows. That’s not a scam?

Judge: Just out of curiosity, besides commuting, other drivers, and the US monetary system, do you have other objections?

Other: Well in fact –

Judge: Of course you do. Never mind. Overruled.


7 thoughts on “Overruled

  1. Become a Libertarian.

    But all jokes aside, there are many, many people who feel your pain. What you’re experiencing is merely a subset of a much more general problem.

    What you’ve been sentenced to is the life of a middle-aged, white, working American male (father) in the 21st century. This is hardly the “freedom” the founding fathers had in mind.

    And a ps about the previous post: what rank would 2200 get you in the U.S.? Compare this to the number of MLB, NFL, or NBA players. What is the equivalent “skill” of a 2200 baseball or football player? Just asking….rhetorically. Maybe we can answer this question if we say that at 2000 a chess player has mastered the fundamentals, like a Black belt in karate.

    So would a decent college ball player would be about 2000 in their sport? Again, just wondering….would that place a 2200 baseball player somewhere around single- or double-A ball?


  2. FWIW, I have always considered 2200 USCF to be the chess equivalent of a decent division 1 college tennis player. Better than the average (serious) college tennis player and better than most random people off the street who purport to play tennis. But still easily beatable by any professionals and even some serious amateurs (e.g. top division 1 college players).

  3. Howard – Don’t say Libertarian, it gets Harvey all riled up. :)

    Re: 2200, that’s probably right.

    If you grow up playing in, oh, let’s randomly pick Kentucky, being an expert could make you feel like kind of a big shot. But if you later go to, oh, let’s randomly pick the Amateur Team East tourney, you realize that experts are like blogs. Cheap, plentiful, easy to replace and not very good :) “We couldn’t find anybody to play board 1 so we got stuck with an expert.”

  4. From Wikipedia, the January 2006 FIDE rating list:

    2200 and 2399: 17171 players
    2400 and 2499: 1868 players
    2500 and 2599: 563 players
    2600 and 2699: 123 players (one of them not a GM!)
    2700 and 2799: 18 players
    2800+: 4(?) players

    As of Oct 2007, only 48 players ever achieved 2700+. These would be all-time greats: Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shawn Bradley, etc.

    2600’s would be very good pros. Ron Artest, Reggie Miller and the like.

    2500’s are the bulk of the NBA, sorta no-names unless they are “energy” guys off the bench who a Sixth Man Award one season.

    2400’s are benchwarmers, and those playing D-League or NBA Europe.

    2200-2300’s might be able to make the D-League by taking steroids. But they’d start on most college basketball programs.

  5. Your not alone. A woman commented on how cool my McCain Palin bumper sticker was at the gas station. At first I thought she was joking but she looked sincere. Then I thought she was flirting but she had enough cheerios in the back seat to feed a small infantry. Im not saying McCain would have solved the underlying problem your eluding to, but it seems that feeling in your stomach is becoming universal.

  6. @egg: You blew Shawn Bradley right by me at first :)

    @shaman: Oy, politics. “enough cheerios in the back seat to feed a small infantry” – so Republican soccer moms are raising their own military? Clever.

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