I’m sitting in my backyard listening to my neighbors complain about one of their roommates. Apparently, the miscreant roommate has three bags of trash sitting by the door to his room that he has failed to take out.
“I mean, that’s not a problem… exactly.”
Each of the guys carefully, and politely denote their own housecleaning failures.
“I never make my bed.”
“You never saw my apartment; I can get meh-ssy.”
“I have empty bottles in my room too.” (“Not like that,” interjects the first guy.)
They each tiptoe up to the line of declaring the roommate’s behavior an actual problem, but don’t cross it. Clearly, the garbage is still being contained in the room. But equally clear is that they all find the roommates sloth disgusting. Note to the miscreant: When 3 twenty-something dudes, who have only a tentative grasp on hygiene, find your housekeeping habits to sub-par on the rank of foulness, you just might have a problem.
All of which got me to thinking about villains and bad guys and wondering whether or not they realize that they are failing at their end of the social bargain. What if villains are just totally incapable of realizing that their 3 bags of garbage is offending the other roommates? Getting kicked out of the house will come as a total shock if you have no idea that a hazmat suit shouldn’t be required dress for your room. Maybe if Sauron had just been a little tidier maybe he wouldn’t have had to move in with the Orcs. If Darth Vader hadn’t grown up with Jabba the Hut as role model maybe he wouldn’t have gone to the dark side. If Voldemort hadn’t had to live on the back of some guy’s greasy head maybe he wouldn’t have been so peeved all the time. What do you think? Do villains choose to deviate from the social norm, or do they just blow right by the stop signs without seeing them at all?
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.