The counter-example that questions the validity of a rule
I prefer my coffee weak, my toast ice cold, and my milk slightly sour. I love to find pieces of shell in my scrambled egg. I really enjoy splitting headaches. I like sleet. But that's me. I'm different. I'm the exception that proves the rule.
Driving along in a converted electric car (I had the batteries replaced with a conventional four-cylinder Vauxhall Corsa engine), listening to a CD of the Speaking Clock's hauntingly beautiful tones, honking my horn at the occasional blind person on the pavement - it occurred to me: you could make a pretty good living selling apples on street corners. Actually, I could; you couldn't. I'm the exception that proves the rule.
All my life I've found success where others have found failure. Oh, with a few exceptions (that prove the you-know-what). Like that time I took part in a stupid pyramid scheme (selling pyramids to Egypt). Or the time I blew all my life's savings to setup a butchers shop in the middle of a predominanly Hindu neighbourhood. But I'll get it all back, in spades, when my BT Sharesave scheme finally pays off.
I have zero tolerance for people who say they have zero tolerance for something. "Our company has zero tolerance to discrimination." As opposed to what? Five percent tolerance to discrimination? I asked my manager a couple of weeks ago. He ended up giving me two weeks notice. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. To celebrate this, I bought a one-way ticket to Afghanistan.
If it's good manners to board an aeroplane in single file and wait patiently for the person in front of you to get in their seat, then I do the exact opposite - I blast my way through, grab all the pillows, blankets, and magazines, lift the armrest, and hog the overhead luggage compartment. When the "No Smoking" light comes on, I light up - and I don't even smoke. Most people are sent to prison for that kind of behaviour, but not me. However, charges are pending.
He just doesn't "get it," some women complain, but I'm the exception that proves the rule, I tell them. "You're typical", they'll say, and I'll say that if it's typical to not "get it" then I'm not typical - and I do "get it" and they'll say get "what?" and I'll say "it" and then they'll say something that has nothing to do with whether or not I "get it."
"I bet you love anchovies," says the man behind the counter at my local Dominos. "You'd lose your bet," I tell him. "I absolutely hate anchovies. I'm the exception that proves the rule." "Most people do hate them," he says, at which point I say, "If most people hate them, then I love them. Pour them on." Just to be different.
After selling the car and paying off some old debts, I was left with a grand total of two hundred and forty-five pounds. Now, for most people, this would mean it's time to start shopping around for a sturdy cardboard box, but not me, I'm the exception that proves the rule. When I saw on the TV (at the pizza place) this anti-gambling expert say that people who bought lottery tickets might as well burn their money, that the odds of winning one of those multi-million pound jackpots were astronomically high, and that you were more likely to be struck by lightning - well, that got me thinking ...Most people when they buy a lottery ticket, they don't win, and that's it. Not me. I buy a lottery ticket and - pow - I win. Three million. Seven million. Thirty million. One hundred million. I've won them all. But that's me. I'm the exception that proves the rule. "Change for a hundred million pound note?" I ask the pizza man. "No," he replies.
As a rule, you can't make it on unemployment benefit alone. You need a secondary income, like lottery jackpots. But I'm different. For whatever reason I've been able to get by on kindness, understanding, and creative accounting, like a let-to-buy arrangement on my next slice of pizza. "Do you want anchovies?" the pizza man asks. I don't even answer.
Most people think carrying a concealed weapon is dangerous and fraught with ominous and unintended consequences, but I've been keeping a small handgun in a shoulder holster for a couple of weeks now, and nothing's happened. In fact, I'd just about forgotten about it - until yesterday - when some pratt stepped on my toe in the lift of a very tall building (I was getting paid a few quid to deliver a package) and I snapped. But that was the exception that proves the rule.
Now, most people would probably peek inside the package - pornographic pictures perhaps? - but I'm different. I didn't look. I would have liked to have looked. Believe me, being the exception that proves the rule is not easy.
If you asked them, most people would probably describe me as somewhat disillusioned , with paranoid tendencies - but not me. When asked (at a Post Office job-interview aptitude test), I described myself as a former office manager looking to expand my horizons. Most applicants failed this test, but then, I'm that "exception" guy, remember? I must be the exception that proves the rule because I simply love working in the Post Office. I Love it. I get there early, I stay late, I sort letters for other workers, I do everybody else's job for them, I organise parties for practically every occasion, and I give everyone gifts - I love it, love it, love it, love it, love it, love it, love it!!! On the other hand, everyone else seems to hate working there. But not me. I love it.
As a rule, Fridays are the gloomiest days in the Post Office. I'm always cheerful on Fridays, wearing a large bow-tie that lights up whenever I press a little switch in my pocket. Everyone else is moping around, skulking and sulking and staring murderous stares at each other - saving their most murderous stares for me. I don't take exception, though - hey, I am the exception. It's who I am. I've come to expect it. In fact, if I weren't the exception that proves the rule I wouldn't be writing this.
You see, on my last day at the Post Office (a Friday), some of my fellow workers approached me carrying a square pink box that was large enough to hold either: a) a small pipe bomb; or, b) a cake. I guessed pipe bomb, pulled out my handgun and sprayed the place with bullets. Most people who fire guns wildly in Post Offices kill lots of people - but I'm not most people. Nobody was hurt. It turns out, that it was a cake - and it wasn't even for me! Anyway, that was my last day at the Post Office, and the exception that proves the rule.
You probably wouldn't get up at four in the morning to wait for a passing low-loader on the high-street and then hop-on for a forty-five minute ride to a fruit market to pick up your daily allocation of plastic bags filled with apples, and then go out and sell them on street corners at a pound a bag, keeping a 25p for yourself - would you? But I would. And, most people who sell bags of apples on street corners usually don't get offered a publishing deal for their memoirs but I did.
Most people who write their memoirs usually end them with a brief assessment or summary judgment of it all. But not me. I'm the - you know the rest.