I had a lot of trouble selecting a That Guy for this week. I wish I could say it was because human nature suddenly reversed itself and began creating selflessness and awareness of others, but of course it’s the opposite. Like contestants in a pageant, candidate after candidate spent the past seven days presenting themselves and their best argument for why they should be the subject of this several hundred word existential rant. As much as I want to give a group award, this week’s That Guy goes to The Intimidator for his consistency in remaining shitty regardless of environment, universal applicability, and near equal distribution between genders.
Unlike previous weeks The Intimidator isn’t bound to a specific social environment. He exists wherever two or more people interact. So, while his densest habitat is retail such as department stores and restaurants, the potential for The Intimidator’s existence is limitless. One day he’s the guy berating the barista over the fact people other than him have decided to buy coffee at 8am on a weekday, thus creating a line of customers, the next day he’s one of your clients shouting into the phone about a nonexistent amount of money he’s spent with you that he could dash out of your wallet at even the slightest whim. The Intimidator has the livability of a cockroach, with the commanding presence of a rotting whale corpse shouting Evangelist protests. Despite such diversity in his dwelling places, the traits for each example of The Intimidator are nearly the same. They may manifest themselves differently, may be triggered by different causes, but ultimately there’s one universal seed from which The Intimidator grows.
Like a fiend and his fix, The Intimidator seeks control. Maybe this is because as a child he was denied it too often. Maybe it’s because he’s not able to cope with the state of the world and our general powerlessness over everything, including a great bit of our own lives. Perhaps psychological insecurity over the legitimacy of his own existence creates a rabid panic perpetually questioning the realness of his world. Whatever it may be, something within The Intimidator’s psyche causes him to treat every social interaction like it’s his first day of prison, like he’s the jilted royal brother challenging for the throne. He has one goal, establishing dominance.
Just as bucks in the rut can only see what instinct reveals, The Intimidator is blind to anything except that which he wants. He’s going into the conversation, the relationship, with one thing in mind, and be damned to anyone that gets in his way. Right off the bat he makes it clear that no is not an option, certainly from an obvious subordinate such as whomever it is he’s speaking with. To him there are two kinds of people in this world, those who receive, and those who retrieve.
Though he be zealous, The Intimidator is utterly ineffective at conveying authority. His charade is as transparent as a bride’s veil, leaving all his insecurities and bluffs hidden behind a weak shield of aggression and boorishness. Sure, he might yell, insult, and threaten to unleash his arsenal of poor reviews and complaints to superiors, but at the end of the day we see it for what it is, a smokescreen, an Oz curtain shielding the timid, unsatisfied and insecure person within.
It’s precisely this dishonesty that makes The Intimidator this week’s That Guy. Rather than confront his issues on his own, he projects them onto every person he deals with. Now all of society is forced to suffer through his insincere rants and threats because he punted his problems to us. Why? If my truck is low on gas I don’t grab the first person I see by the shoulders and shake them till some money falls out, why should unwitting innocents be forced to role-play the submissive for The Intimidator’s IRL therapy sessions? Simple. They shouldn’t.