I should: Be kind and patient with my fellow man.
I should not: Fantasize about having a hood-mounted Gatling gun on my car with which to strafe other drivers.
I should: Give people the benefit of the doubt.
I should not: Suggest that President Bush suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.
I should: Let a smile be my umbrella.
I should not: Piss out of eighth-story windows.
I should: Laugh, so the world can laugh with me.
I should not: Kick the world in the crotch.
I should: Go to the gym when I get home from work.
I should not: Eat a whole bag of Craisins and fall into a TV coma.
I should: Cut back on stimulants.
I should not: See what happens when I brew coffee using caffeinated water.
I should: Let pregnant women have my seat on the Metro.
I should not: Tell that joke about sudden infant death syndrome.
I should: Give that homeless man outside my office a dollar.
I should not: Give him ten dollars to kick another homeless man in the kneecaps and sell the video as a pilot to Fox.
I should: Love, honor, and cherish my wife.
I should not: Poke her with a stick until she admits that cake is better than pie.
I should: Accept her love of soap operas.
I should not: Expect her to reciprocate by sitting through three back-to-back seasons of The Wire on DVD.
I should: Accept that not all television pundits will agree with me politically or socially.
I should not: Drug one unconscious and have “DOUCHE BAG” tattooed on the back of his neck.
I should: Accept that some people will never say “Excuse me” when they bump into me on the street.
I should not: Call down the fiery wrath of Nyarthlotep, Hungering Beast Of The Outer Darkness, to consume them.
I should: Respect long-standing American icons.
I should not: Shoot Captain America in the stomach with a sniper rifle.
I should: Stop making esoteric pop culture references.
I should: Appreciate this space I’ve been given on a monthly basis to talk about whatever I think is important.
I should not: Mention that space on the Internet is free and most of it is filled with broken links and fetish porn. (Note from the eds: We’ll start sending Steve our Web-hosting bills.)
I should: Understand that reality TV is an ephemeral pop culture phenomenon.
I should not: Clothe myself in sackcloth every time the contract for Wife Swap gets renewed.
I should: Accept people of different religious beliefs.
I should not: Prank call Jerry Falwell at 3 a.m. pretending to be Jesus, saying I was caught in traffic and asking if he’s got my “bitches and blow.”
I should: Come to the conclusion that not every should has a should not and, generally, there are a lot more should nots, and they’re inevitably more interesting than the shoulds.
I should not: take the monthly topic so literally.
I should: close this column on an appropriate note.