The Farva Effect

I have a non-blood related family member that is, well… ok hes an old dumbass. I had a friend ask me once about him and the best I could come up with was he is a “dumber version of Farva.”

Farva of course being a character from the Movie Super Troopers who, despite his best intentions, shoots himself in the foot at every turn. The reason I liken my somewhat family member to this guy is really based on one specific scene in a burger shop where Farva asks another main character a question, The other guy starts to give his answer only to be interrupted by Farva as if he hadnt heard the other guy talking. He is too self absorbed to listen to what someone else is saying. He just cant wait to say his selfish, inconsiderate, and un-informed point of view.

A few years back I was at a campout in the back woods. It was kind of an open invite thing to all our friends who kept in touch on the internet. Yes we were mostly gun guys, some of us had our buddies there, some were in their groups with names (who were just having fun), and some were a little more militia-esque than the others, but it was a nice time with all good people.

Well sitting around the campfire one night, one of the guys asked what to do about a guy in their group who had some Farva in him. Generally well meaning, but altogether a pain and non helpful in the endeavor to create legitimacy among your group members and in the public’s eye.

Now I, in all my exuberance, after no one else answered right away (and Im sure I waited a good three and a half seconds), I gave my optimistic answer. I said how even with a wild card, its up to a good leader to find a job and present it in an appropriate light for the semi-problem member to do. In a small group losing a member is hard, blah blah blah.

Well that was optimistic, and really bad advice. What I should have said and what the others should have overridden me with was “cut your losses and move on.”

I dont care what social aspect you are working in, group continuity is important but its better when every member likes each other and you all are on the same page. Not when you are putting up with small to medium irritation all the time. Its not worth it.

But I do go back to my optimistic answer when thinking about a setting like I wrote about in Against the Grain where you have a small isolated group and need each person there. You cant just vote a pain in the ass husband or kid or mother in law off the proverbial island.

This is just one of those things I think about when reflecting on my own Farva moments. I shouldnt have been so quick to answer. Looking back it’s embarrassing that I jumped in with probably not the best info. They were talking about the here and now when while unfortunate, the loss of a group member is not devastating and may be addition by subtraction.

In an isolated situation if you had a Farva on an island with you, you would have to figure out how to get him to be useful, especially in his own mind. Heck, maybe he’s thinking and doing the same things about you.

Good thing we’re not stuck on an island yet.



2 thoughts on “The Farva Effect

  1. Late to posting, but what the heck.

    When I was a younger man, I was part of a group that had a Farva-type. Guy couldn’t shoot, pack a pack, tie a decent know, keep up a walking pace on a trail, freaked out in the smallest medical situations, and just wouldn’t shut up.

    But then, mostly by happy accident, we found out the guy could cook like a master chef…even when working with darn near nothing. Weeds became a wonderful salad. Jackrabbits tasted like strip steak. Roots and kernels turned into amazing stir fry. This guy could take whatever edible plants or animals we came up with and turn it into a literal campfire feast.

    I think you were right the first time. Everybody has a talent that can be turned into a contribution. The trick is to find that talent and put it to use.

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