Jerks I Know

Posted: February 26, 2010 by Adam Popescu in VAULT -- archives
Tags: , ,

There’s an art to being a jerk. Walking the obnoxious line, smiling the whole time.

It is possible to be a loveable jerk. To be so damn charming that no matter what jerky behavior you pull, it’s all good.

Then there are jerks who seem to lack any and all redeeming qualities. People whose behavior is so negative, it affects everyone around him or her. These are the true jerks—people no one wants to give the benefit of the doubt to.

I know a jerk. A beast of a man who can be spotted a mile away. At first glance, he looks like the stand-in for the kid that’s been chained up in his parents’ basement since 1994. Or possibly not gotten off the couch in that time.

Bugle boy jean shorts. Airwalks. Orange camouflage jacket. Tilly hat. Glasses. Massive head, freshly shaved. Perspiration on his brow, pickley fingers resting on a buddah-like stomach. Maybe he’s enlightened.

He smokes so many cigarettes his fingers are yellow. In class, he raps those yellow fingers on his chin. Raising two fingers, chain-answering questions whether or not he knows the answer.

After a pleasing comment, he leans back in his seat, gambling that he can master the magnetic pull of gravity on his heavy dome, and not fall right back, crashing to the floor. On more than one occasion he has hit the floor. On the first day of class he hit twice in a twenty-minute span. Then he left for a cigarette.

A model student, perpetually absent due to an unnamed sleeping condition, hand picked by a prestigious university for a graduate study fellowship. Paid tuition, a stipend, and a job at a certain magazine publishing company.

I’ve heard he spends his money on booze and hookers. To be honest, I would, too, if the school paid me to goof off.

Whether you love or hate this jerk, you can’t help but notice him, he’s that unique. And he’s not all bad.

Once in a while, when no one’s listening, he says some good stuff.

~Adam Popescu

  1. Kuwabatake Sanjuro says:


  2. […] At Jerk, I’m going to write about bad behavior, social antics and the overall strug-life that all students can relate to. I’m thinking of calling it jerks I know. […]

  3. G. O. says:

    Leave me alone you Romanian a$$wipe.

  4. matteo says:

    I knew this jerk, once in LA…. heavy smoker ahahahahah

  5. Mary says:


    I didn’t realize how mean you are! You must have a sad life if you are bitter about other peoples financial aide packages.

    See ya!

  6. Garrick Otero says:

    Not that I disagree the author is a Romanian Asswipe, but I actually didn’t write that comment. There is an impostor in our midst.

    For the record, I really don’t mind if Adam thinks I’m a jerk. Besides, if I want the freedom to be a jerk, I have to grant him the freedom to be an ass.

    I do wish he got his facts right: I was handpicked by a prestigious institution (though if there’s a magazine job waiting for me, I’d really like someone to tell me about it), but I don’t get paid to goof off. I do that for free.

    And Mary, I don’t think Adam and other, less straightforward critics are bitter about my getting financial aid. I think they’re bitter because I can enjoy my life and still be a damn good journalist, while they are capable of neither.

  7. S.I. Newhouse says:

    Does a “damn good journalist” openly cite wikipedia as the main source for the graduate-level research paper at a “prestigious institution.” Maybe the jerk is the school, and not the student, for enabling this pitiful performance.


  8. Garrick Otero says:

    To the person unwilling to list their real name when making critical comments:

    Yes, a damn good journalist does use wikipedia for quick access to non-controversial information, even though he knows that legions of mindless academic automatons will look down their noses at him for it, simply because there’s an unwritten rule saying they shouldn’t do it.

    Note: my “main sources” were primary documents. If you’d taken the time to read the paper you would have seen that wikipedia was only used to confirm things like job titles, birth dates, and nationalities. I admit it was still a mistake, as I later learned that it was unnecessary to cite ANY source for such tidbits.

  9. […] Jump to Comments Syracuse, NY —  A very real and public war of words is taking place between two gents in my graduate program. I’m not quite sure what to make of […]

  10. BJRULES says:

    Nerds…all of you.

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