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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The First Weekly Behavior Awards

Starting tonight Good Behavior and Biggest Bum will be two regularly weekly awards given on the Burnettiquette show.

Why weekly? Because annual takes too long.

No trophies, and no acceptance speeches. Just the hope that the Good Behavior winner will feel by osmosis the gratitude of all of us who appreciate manners and good sense. And for the Biggest Bum? May he or she feel by osmosis the scorn and tsk tsks of all of us who don't think being a jerk is cool. And may that scorn feel so badly that it guilts them into being a little nicer.

Without further ado, the Good Behavior nod for the week of Mar. 27th goes to the two 20something guys sitting at a table near me in a downtown coffee shop listening to tunes. One of the guys had a newer cell phone that doubled as an MP-3 player and they were both getting a kick out of playing songs and sampling the phones other bells and whistles. It wasn't bothering me, 'cause at least there was some sort of flow to the noise, unlike the sporadic eardrum splitting rumble of the semis rolling by. Had it been a quieter setting in the first place, my opinion may have been different. Anyway, they were playing some randy tunes - tunes I admit I've bobbed my head to a few times - when a woman and small child walked up and sat at the table next to them. The more aware of the two guys saw their new neighbors and elbowed his friend who was engrossed in the phone. Phone guy looked up, immediately put two and two together and turned the phone off, giving his buddy a sheepish smile. Kudos to these guys for considering the feelings and the ears of the child.

The first Biggest Bum award for the same week goes to the knucklehead whose little SUV was stopped at the front of the cab cue at the Hollywood Amtrak/Tri-Rail station Friday evening around 7:30. Notice I say "stopped" at the head of the cue, not "parked." Imagine a row of taxis parked in a straight line, and imagine one rogue vehicle parked perpendicular to that line at the front, essentially blocking the row of cabs in. Imagine that cab cue being parallel to a very narrow one-way lane in which there's barely room for other cars to pass by. Now imagine the rear end of the rogue vehicle poking out and halfway blocking that parallel lane. So frustrated driver after frustrated driver weaves his way around the rogue car, trying not to hit any other vehicles. I'm in that growing line of frustrated vehicles. The driver I'm with has enough so he honks his horn at the rogue vehicle. In a perfect world, RV would have straightened out his truck so the other vehicles could pass more easily, or he would've pulled into a parking space and gotten out of the way altogether. Instead, with at least one kid sitting in his back seat he screams out a profanity-laced rant at my guy, gives him the finger, and asks "What's your problem?" Surely, this guy was the biggest bum I saw all week, as my wife said later, "what a moron."

That's it for the weekly awards folks. Don't be shy. If you have candidates for either category, leave a comment or send an email with 'em.

Peace and hair grease till tomorrow.


  • James, I'd like to nominate my neigbhor, Crackass, for the Biggest Bum award.

    As well, more people than I can mention for being supportive, even those I haven't personally met!

    Wondrous world, isn't it?

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 7:04 PM  

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