When you were in high school or university or working your first job, you knew one of those guys, right? You may be working or going to school with one of them now. You know the kind I mean. He's not happy unless he's got everybody's attention. He doesn't care how he gets it, either.
One day he's making fun of the boss or the kid with the cane. Next day he's telling off-colour jokes and everybody shuffles uncomfortably back to work. Then he makes a point of stalking off and being by himself, only to return with the same shit-eating grin he's always worn and pretending nothing happened.
He goes up to that line everybody just knows where it is, pauses to make sure everybody's looking, and then flings himself bodily over it. The hell of it is, he's a pretty smart guy and everybody knows he'd be just that much better if he kept his trap shut and just worked like everybody else.
I knew a fellow like that in the Reserves. Smart, capable. Not the best at anything, but always top 10. The kind of guy any unit would have been happy to have. Except for this one thing: he couldn't resist. He just couldn't help himself from pushing that one extra step.
Maybe I'd have felt differently about him if I hadn't been one of the smaller guys he tried to pick on. I fed him his testicles once - just before a graduation parade, with us in full dress uniform - and he whined that I fought dirty. Pretty rich, coming from a guy who outweighed me by about 80 pounds and jumped me from behind. It wasn't enough, so later I had to demonstrate how his nose only wasn't broken because I'm a nice guy who also doesn't want to go up on charges. Those retaliatory penalties are a bitch. If the boys were sitting around bullshitting and telling jokes, he always had a "good" one about Jews or Muslims or blacks or anybody else.
He was a good field soldier, maybe even a great one. He still is for all I know, but I also know I didn't want him anywhere near me and I'm ashamed that he wore the same uniform I did. If he's in Afghanistan now, I hope for the locals' sake he finally learned his lesson.
You know the kind of guy I'm talking about. You know who I'm talking about now. Why keep giving him what he wants?