Once there was a boy who didn’t give a rat’s ass. His parents would say, you need to mow the lawn, or, this room looks like a pig sty. And he would say, who gives a rat’s ass. 

His name was Carl. Something. We'll get to that in a minute. For now it's not important. What's important is, he said "who gives a rat's ass", all the time.

His parents were angry at first. Embarrassed, even, at times. But the longer it went on, the more upsetting it became. Finally, Carl’s parents took him to a doctor who ran a battery of tests; the doctor said, your son is ODD, Mr. and Mrs. Something.

After some confusion, and a few choice words, the doctor explained that ODDoppositional defiance disorder—was the diagnosis. He told the Somethings that their son was the most extreme case he’d seen. 

Yes. Mr. and Mrs. Something. I said we'd get to that later. That inability to tolerate low-level frustration is how you end up diagnosed with some bullshit disorder with a stupid fucking name. 

And that was pretty much the way the Somethings felt about it too. A lotta hooey, is what it sounded like to them. They thought it was just a stage their boy was going through. Long one. Longer than most. But eventually, they figured, he’d grow out of it. 

Well he didn’t grow out of it, things went from bad to worse. And through it all, Carl just shrugged and said, who gives a rat’s ass. 

There was reason for hope, it seemed, when Gladys came along. Curls of ashen blond hair, big green eyes and legs that wouldn’t quit. 

Actually she was a dirty blond with a bad perm, and contacts. And thick calves, but to Carl, she was a knock-out. The first time they met, he laughed and said, Gladys, that sounds kind of old-fashioned. 

He knew it was love when she shot back, who gives a rat’s ass. 

But the two of them together were like oil and…well, more oil. They were an ODD, oily pair, and it wasn’t long before they slipped away from each other. Or slid. Whatever you do in oil. 

After that, morning, noon and night, it was, who gives a rat’s ass about this, and who gives a rat’s ass about that. Bitter, rudderless, Carl turned to a life of crime

One night he aimed his gun at an EZ Mart cashier, and an off-duty police officer who was in the store yelled “Freeze!” Carl spun on his heel, and shot the man in the head. The officer died before the ambulance came. 

In court, the judge asked Carl if there was anything he’d like to say before his sentence was imposed. 

That’s right. First try. Not a pretty story, is it. Doesn’t get any better. Because not only will Carl’s “who gives a rat’s ass” credo stand him in good stead in any correctional facility, anywhere, among the inmate population, cop killers top the heap

Now Mr. and Mrs. Something make the ten-hour drive, twice a month, to see their boy. They put money on his prison account so he can buy food from the commissary, and make phone calls and order things from catalogs. The prison screens his mail and they listen to his calls. But hey—you know what Carl would say. 

Just a minute, you’re probably thinking, Carl should be in a pit somewhere, eating scorpions and drinking stump water. Instead, it seems he is being rewarded for bad behavior. 

You would be correct, because to him it’s all reward. Men like Carl don’t suffer. Not like you and me. If they cut you and you bleed, that’s on you, is how they see it. 

And that kind of thinking is known by another stupid fucking name: anti-social personality disorder. But ASPD is real. Your kid in someone's crawlspace real. 

It is not bullshit. 

So be careful, boys and girls, they are few but they are out there. Be aware when you’re online, or when you go out on the town; consequences are meaningless to men like Carl Something. 

Yeah. I know. 

But who gives a rat’s ass.

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