Thursday, June 23, 2005


Just what the world needs... another column on manners! Actually, it couldn't hurt... in fact, it could do a great deal of good.

Deroy Murdock at National Review Online: "How Rude!"

Reading his list made me think of a few extras... however, some of them are rude themselves. Sometimes you must fight fire with fire. ;)
5) Before exiting a bathroom, close the toilet — lid and all. Leaving the lid or seat up makes the next guest contemplate whether you stood or sat during your visit. Spare him or her that imagery.
Most men's rooms are filthy. Why? Even in the nicest restaurants and swanky establishments many men couldn't give a damn if they dribbled their urine on the side of the urinal, the floor, or even on the wall. For Christ's sake, you jackass, wipe! Yes, wipe the edge of the urinal if you make a mess. I know cleaning bathrooms is beneath you, but so is the staining of porcelain with your piss! That goes double for flicking snot you recently plucked from your caverous nose... either flick it into the water or clean it up. While I'm at it, whoever if plucking hairs... save it for home you crass pig.
7) "Please" and "thank you" are not vulgarities. Use them generously, especially around children. They need to learn two of the language's finest words, even if adults say them less than they should.
I love hearing those words... however, I hate hearing "thank you" in response to my "thank you". The proper, and logical, response to "thank you" is of course "you are welcome". If you must say "thank you" to someone who has just thanked you, give them one of these:
Me: "Thank you, sir."
You: "You are welcome, and thank you, too."
You respectfully accept someone's thanks. You do not ignore it to show your own graciousness. That's selfish and rude.
11) Control your kids. It's not cute to let children run amuck on airplanes, kick the backs of people's seats, and holler uncontrollably. Teach your children to restrain themselves in public rather than terrorize grown-ups.
Letting the little brats run all over stores, movie theaters, and restaurants is also a pain. Whenever I see a little darling blocking my way, shouting, and generally oblivious to the reality around them I firmly and politely ask them to get out of the way of my giant shopping cart, to clear out of the path to the bathroom, to stop splashing water in the sink, and so on. Of course, when I walk by the parent, I let out a weary, "Madonn'!" just to let them know they are an ass.

Speaking of movie theaters, I don't expect the audience to remain entirely silent. However, if you're going to talk lean into the person you want to speak to, keep it short, keep it fairly quiet, and try not to start changing to topics like your bills, your health, your home repairs, etc. If not, I feel free to speak softly (yet loud enough for the jerk behind me to hear) the following words:
"Wow, I'm sure glad that moron behind me stopped talking... this movie's getting good!"
However, if the person in question is large or packing heat, I usually just say, "Quiet please."

Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE: 8:43 AM, Friday June 24, 2005

Mr. Lileks starts today's Bleat with a little comment about how wonderful it is to hear important people in his local cafe.

Not only that, Salon has an article about the non-apology apology: the 'Sorry if' apology. You know the type of person who dishes 'em out like they are candy. Keep in mind that it quickly drags a silly environmental frog-death-guilt passage into the framing of apologies, not to mention a *subtle* hint of Blame-America-First... so you should probably have a large cocktail while reading it.


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