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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Jump Off

Greetings kind readers.

I say kind, ‘cause it’s good for The Miami Herald, and by extension, me, if you’re reading this blog. So thank you. But if you’re going to read it on a regular basis you should know a little about me.

First, read my bio in the About section of this blog. And hopefully it'll tell you enough to make you want to keep reading.

Second, you should know that James Burnett does not care about wack people.

Who are wack people? They are people who don't mind their manners or exercise proper etiquette. But see, classic etiquette is about yesm's and no'ms and knowing which fork to use and how to fold a napkin. I'm all for that stuff, but your folks or your finishing school can teach those things. And the other obvious stuff? Like crime, which gets a brief mention in About, well, if you need to be told not to do it, you're beyond my help.

All that being said, Burnettiquette is on a whole 'nother wave length, when it comes to good behavior. It's about "actin' right," as my pops would say and "actin' like ya got good sense," as my Grandma Rosa would say.

Burnettiquette represents that good behavior we should all exercise when in public and when interacting with other people. Not everyone gets it these days. But that's OK.

I’m the cat who is going to call out the guy using lame pickup lines in a bar at happy hour. He gets a yellow card for improper Burnettiquette. The woman who names her kid after hard liquor or canned vegetables. She gets the penalty box. The busters who walk like they’re bow-legged in order to sort of hold up their 3X too large blue jeans. They get technical fouls and should be benched. The woman who tells me I’m articulate on the grocery store cue, as though she expected me to sound stupid. Double technical, ejected from the game. It continues.

There are the people who feign confusion about where they should be and use that to skip to the front of long lines. Folks who pull their cars into the middle of intersections and block oncoming traffic, not because there was a break in the flow, but because they were just tired of waiting and felt entitled to go. The kid who puts fake spinner wheels on his 1988 LeBaron, because someone working on commission at the local auto parts store told him it looked cool. The parents who let their 12-year-old daughter out of the house wearing that “Sexy Princess” t-shirt. The people who lean on their car horns behind you, ‘cause you came to a complete stop at that red octagonal street sign. The hippies I can't seem to escape, who claim to love the Earth but let their dogs pollute my front yard. Guys who are dumb enough to think the only quality woman has Hollywood looks. Women who look down on guys who don’t drive luxury cars. And ANYONE - male or female, young or old - who dares ask me, an individual, any question that starts with “Why do black people…”

And when I call them out, maybe people who recognize their own bad behavior in these anecdotes will feel a little old-fashioned shame and straighten up a little. And if they don’t, we’ll keep hitting ‘em with Burnettiquette lessons.

But don’t let this be about my adventures and observations alone. If you see someone lacking good sense and want some weight on the issue, tell me about it - when, where, how, etc. And if you see someone in a trying situation exercise incredibly good sense, I want to hear about that too.

Till next time, try hard, keep your cool, enjoy life, but most of all as Grandma Rosa would say, “Act like ya got some sense," and you will make the world a better place and have greater odds of getting along w/everyone around you.


  • Nice start, dude. Keep it coming.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:16 AM  

  • Good luck, old boy.

    By Blogger Stan, at 9:46 AM  

  • haha. love your examples. looking forward to reading more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:06 AM  

  • Oh, man, this is going to be great. Endless supply of material here in Miami, no doubt.


    By Anonymous Rick, at 7:19 PM  

  • Hmmm... so, what did you think about Biden's "articulate" remark about Omamma?

    I guess you werent offended by that one because it, of course, came from a Democrat....


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 AM  

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