As I said, I've already taken some pro-active steps. For example, I've stopped crying when I'm intoxicated. For many years, you could've set your watch by my waterworks: "He's been drinking for three hours, and he's about put on a Jim Croce CD. T-minus 10." No longer. My tear ducts are like old pipes, starting to crack due to lack of moisture. Have you ever seen Clint Eastwood cry? No? That's because he's bad-ass.
So I've made a short list of some small things that will help me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a full-fledged bad-ass by the end 2011.
1. Chew a toothpick. It seems too simple to be effective, but this small accoutrement goes a long way in bad-ass posturing. A toothpick in the corner of my mouth sends the message, "He seems preoccupied with his toothpick and slightly indifferent to everyone. He must be bad-ass."
2. Employ the term "beat-down" with rhetorical regularity. If someone happens to miss the toothpick and starts cramping my space, I'll simply say, "Are you looking for a beat-down?" Of course, I'm banking on the fact that the other person will recognize the question as rhetorical and back away. If I actually have to attempt a beat-down, I might end up crying.
3. Get a neck tattoo that reads, Son of a Bitch. As a general rule, it's best not to fuck with people who have neck tattoos. Now, imagine if someone has a tattoo that circumscribes the neck with the words Son of a bitch...ladies and gentleman, straight from federal prison, let's give a warm welcome to Bad-Ass!
4. Buy a Rottweiler and name him Jesus Christ. Not only am I walking around with a dog so dangerous that it could potentially rip out someone's throat, I've taken it to the next level with a name that's so sacrilegious my pup couldn't get a role as an extra in The Omen movies. Bad-ass men own bad-ass dogs.
5. Listen solely to Satanic Speed Metal. Whether or not the bands actually worship the Prince of Darkness is not my immediate concern, nor is the music, per se. I simply need a few CD's for my car (a Hyundai, yes, I'll work on that) and some band names to bat around when asked about my music. Therefore, I can rattle off, "Let's see, I listen to Destroyer 666, Sodom, Venom, Slayer. Toxic Holocaust is what's playing in my car right now. Why? You don't like it? Do you want a beat-down?"