Have you noticed an unnerving trend in the general public lately – A Complete Lack of Manners. I have and it is something that can be seen most readily in the youth of today – damn kids. However, as much as we would like to think so, kids do not hold a monopoly on this practice. I am referring to the exodus like slide into the abysmal depths of “Lack-of-Mannersville”. You can’t miss it; it’s right between “The-World-Owes-Me Street” and “Can-My-Pants-Be-Any-Bigger Avenue”. Of course I don’t want to just pick on the young, but with as much fodder as they provide, it is difficult not to focus on them alone. I have seen this disease spread its tentacles to every sector of humanity from the aforementioned sloth-like-young to the blue haired old ladies who are only nice when you happen to be standing in line behind them at the market. Left to its own devices this particular viral strain of “I-Am-The-King-Itis,” is an extremely contagious one that needs to be nipped in the bud!

I ask you, how hard is it to hold a door for a woman, to answer a question in a complete sentence (um, huh, yeah or any facsimile thereof does not constitute a proper answer), to not speed up when someone is trying to get on the freeway, or even the small act of smiling at someone just to say hello without the assumption that there is an alterior motive behind it! So sorry missy I’m not trying to hit on you with a smile, believe me I can do much better than you!

There are a plethora of examples that transpire with the multitude  of strangers that we cross paths with throughout the course of our busy lives. Let’s say for instance it is early in the morning and you want a nice hot, steaming cup of coffee. Forgoing the blood pressure inducing price, you stand patiently in line waiting your turn to give Starbucks a disproportionate amount of your hard earned money for a cup of coffee. And while standing there lost in time you suddenly hear the inordinately mundane conversation of the two recently divorced fifty year old has been’s, who for some reason are always in front of you no matter what line you are standing in! For the love of god lady absolutely no one cares about you or your orange tan! At long last you make to the front counter to order your Double-Latte-Half-Mac-Frappuccino with a shot of Espresso. But don’t ever make the damn-you-to-eternal-hell sin of not knowing exactly what the difference is between the plethora of post-yuppie speed names of coffee like: Grande, Mucho Grande, The Grand Canyon, and the ever popular Supreme Grande Mucho Grande Double Half Back. But luckily for me I know exactly what I want, however I now have to battle with some slack jaw yokel who mumbled something to me while I was momentarily distracted by a sudden increase in volume from my ever present divorcee life partners, who have commandeered the cream and sugar table like Rommel storming North Africa. Which I am assuming was “Hello Sir may I take your order?”

I place my order in a clear and articulate voice, but unfortunately ol’ Jethro behind the counter is quite busy in a stimulating game of “Ignore the Customer”. Oh it’s great fun for the both of us, he gets to feel a moment of glorified power in his still-live-at-home day and I get to be enraged by a pimply-faced kid with poor grammar and dirty fingernails. But who the hell cares 15 minutes later when I get my coffee and it’s back to work I go.  And once I am finally situated in front of my computer with coffee in hand I get the first frantic call of the day. What do you know – a client is having problems with his e-mail system. Listen here Copernicus your password is abc123, how hard is that to remember or oh I don’t know WRITE IT DOWN!

While I am on the subject of shining examples of American ingenuity hard at work, I would like to quickly discuss the phone messaging system that most corporations have switched to using. How many times have you been stuck in this paradoxical hell; if I press #2 one more time I truly believe I will go insane and run screaming in the streets. So after the first three times the marvel of technology hangs up on you, you wise up and bypass the #2 button. It’s a ruse! 45 minutes later and 17 tiers in and you are on hold because “Your business is important to us.” Well if my business is so important why the hell have I been on hold for over an hour!!! And finally, finally some cheese dick picks up the phone and asks critical information about the account. For the love of God I can’t even remember who I am, what year it is, or if that idiot Bush is still president, all I know is that my business is very important to you.

At this point I slowly explain the current problem I am having to Boris Zlatpktutnk for the 30th time hoping by some small miracle that he will understand the word “Broken”. Alas no such luck, and after nearly 35 minutes he decides my problem is solved, gives me a ticket number and hangs up. There I am – sad and lonely and on the verge of a nervous breakdown with the phone dangling off my ear like roast beef in an Ed Wood masterpiece. Well maybe later I can call back and speak with someone who’s IQ exceeds his or her waste size, doubtful but what other choice do I have!

Now that I have wasted the entire morning explaining the finer details of the English language to some boob who is still hung over from the Spam-O-lympics. I am tired, frustrated, and hungry, right now nothing sounds better than a nice fresh subway sandwich. Off I go to drive the gauntlet of mid-day business people, screw you land rover stepford wives, watch me squeal my Hugo’s tires punk ass kids, and the ever popular all I can see is your knuckles blue hair! And finally I make to the sandwich shop and yes you guessed it, I get to stand in line. And you will never believe whom I’m standing behind, AGAIN. “In with the good, out with the bad, in with the good, out with bad”, sure, sure this breathing technique works well for birthing mothers but it does nothing to lower my exploding blood pressure.

So people PLEASE work with me and show your fellow humans the smallest decorum of respect and courtesy, it really isn’t that hard.

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