The 12,000-member group, which now has a corresponding fan page, functions as an online town square where Hamptons residents can put arrogant visitors on blast. Over the weekend, the page featured a photo of a woman feeding her purse-dog while it sat in a high chair; two men taking up four seats and allegedly gossiping about fellow bankers’ salaries on a standing-room-only train; and tons of terrible park jobs.
Founder James Cuomo, 26, lives in the Springs section of the Hamptons. He got the idea for the group when he was at Starbucks — “on a date, believe it or not,” he said — when he saw a man cut in line.
“This guy just cuts in front of everybody thinking he was hot shit, so I took a picture of him,” Mr. Cuomo said today. “I though, yeah, calling him out would be nice and then laughing at him. But what if I got a bunch of people to laugh along with me? So I started the group.”
It snowballed, appearing on the New York Post website, the Today Show, and this blog, among others. Mr. Cuomo, who is a construction worker by day, is hard at work now developing the site on several platforms, including YouTube videos which he anticipates will include footage of him calling douches out in-person.
He may branch out past the Hamptons, too.
“I want everybody to be able to enjoy this,” he said. “There are assholes and pricks everywhere. Even in Alaska. I guarantee you could find a prick there.”
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing on the Sea of Douche, though. Over the weekend, as the group ballooned in popularity and started to veer toward gratuitous bullying, Mr. Cuomo had to repeatedly remind users that douchiness has nothing to do with sexual orientation, physical appearance, race, religion or income.
“I have no tolerance for that,” he said. “If you’re a prick, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white or gay. An asshole is an asshole in my book.”
His goal is to highlight people who “think they’re better than everybody else,” he said. “Someone who’s cutting in line, disobeying traffic rules, double-parking to get his coffee a few seconds earlier.”
So why is he doing it? Mr. Cuomo doesn’t want to see “horrible treatment being rewarded” anymore, he said. “People literally are just ruining everything. They’re lowering the standards. I’m sure it’s tucked into every pocket of the United States.”
He emphasizes that the project is all in good fun.
“It makes your day so much better,” he said. “When you have so many people who agree with you — ‘Somebody else thinks this guy’s a jerk, too. I like this guy.’ Maybe you can make some friends out of it.”
There certainly is a sense of Lord of the Flies-like camaraderie on the page. In one posting, a woman complains about a neighbor who won’t stop storing his kayak in her nicely landscaped hedges. Talk about a first-world problem. That post garnered 338 comments and counting, with some commenters suggesting she “burn his kayak” or “get a biggggg dog and throw the poo” on the neighbor’s yard.
Under a photo of a woman who’s parked her (seemingly permit-less) SUV in a handicapped spot, the groundlings cajole the original poster to “TICKET HER” or at least, “go viral with this one..face and plate#”.
And when the douches get really douchey, commenters aren’t afraid to hold back. One post shows a photo of a couple dining outside. The caption says that the man said, “Shut your mouth,” to a server. One comment reads, “this guy needs a FULL circumcision ….” while another simply says, “fuck ass”.
So, Hamptons revelers, you’ve been warned. James Cuomo and his Douche Patrol are on the lookout for entitled brats — and soon they’ll have video cameras.