Looks like I was ahead of the curve on defining douches

I’ll try not to sprain my wrist patting myself on the back…

On July 27 I wrote a column called Definition of a Douche. On Tuesday the Baltimore Sun’s free tabloid, which is called b (why do all of these free tabloids aimed at young people pick such terrible names?) ran a story with the headline “DOUCHEBAG!: 56 ways to tell if you are one.” You can check it out here.

In my original column, I wrote: “A douche is an individual who acts without considering how intelligent, reasonable people will perceive his or her actions.”

With that in mind, here are some of b’s douche characteristics that I agree with:

  • Favorite scent: Axe body spray.
  • You’re a Yankees fan.
  • You still “poke” people on Facebook.
  • You have a “Scarface” poster in your living room. You’re 29 years old.
  • You wear your three Livestrong bracelets — in the shower.
  • Two words: trucker hat.
  • You always wear your artfully distressed Gamecocks hat. Backwards.
  • You have a barbed-wire bicep tattoo — and aren’t in the Hells Angels or a UFC fighter.

The “Scarface” poster is very solid. Also, kudos for the callouts on the multiple Livestrong bracelets and “Cocks” hat that looks like it was run over by the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

Let’s move on to the ones I don’t agree with. My comments are in parenthesis.

  • Favorite word to scream: WHOOOOOO! (Just having a “favorite” word to scream is enough to qualify you as a douche. No need to drag poor Whoooooo! into this mess.)
  • You name your dog after a character from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” (I see nothing wrong with naming your dog Atticus, Dill or Sherrif Heck Tate. Does that make me a douche? Answer: No.)
  • You talk about “Lost” as if it were “The Grapes of Wrath.” (Should be: You talk about “The Hills” as if it were “The Grapes of Wrath.”)
  • Johnny Lawrence in “The Karate Kid” is your idol. (No true douche would ever do this, because it would be a recognition of his own douchey behavior, thus destroying my definition. A “Sweep the leg” tattoo is a different story.)
  • You work on your Great American Novel at Starbucks. (Douches don’t have the cognitive capacity or self-discipline to work on Great American Novels. They only TALK about their awesome novel, screenplay, pilot or Web site ideas. Then, later, when someone else puts in the work and does the thing they talked about doing two years ago, they feel all ripped off and angry, and this causes them to throw in the towel on a fight they never entered in the first place. That’s what a douche does.)

Overall, it’s a pretty good list. I am glad to see that the author, Jordan Bartel, is keeping this vital national conversation alive. The only way to end douchery is to shine the bright light of common sense, and spray the conventional underarm deodorant of decent proper public behavior, in the direction of every douche. I hope they can read.

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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