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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekly Behavior Awards - Blame Blogger for Delays

Sorry folks. I've been trying to post all day and couldn't. Each attempt was greeted with error messages, and a note that Blogger was aware of the problem and working on it.

Anyway, we got two nominations for Bum of the Week, and one - mine - for Best Behavior.

Let's go with the good first: During a train-to-work day last week I was sitting a few seats behind a group of teenage boys who were raising cain, cussin' up a storm at the tops of their lungs, and talking about sexual things in a way teenage boys who haven't actually had sex are wont to do. After about five minutes of that, we came to another stop, and two elderly women boarded the train and made their way in our general direction. When the boys spied 'em, they did an impressive thing - to me, anyway. They piped down, lowering their voices to a more conversational tone, they sat up straight. One of 'em even smoothed the invisible wrinkles down the front of his shirt. They stopped swearing and quit the sex talk. And after sitting and looking awkward for a few seconds, two of the boys jumped up and offered the ladies their seats. There's hope for these boys yet. They get the Best Behavior award. It's a sign of good home training that you can recognize when you should and shouldn't play/joke a certain way and adjust your behavior accordingly. Those kids who would've continued on, oblivious to who was around 'em? Raised like wolves.

As for Bum of the Week, Manola B. had this offering: "Well, this may seem dumb, but one day this week, some punk was trying to spook all the iguanas on the deck across from the canal in my yard. One in particular must've not gotten enough heat to stir up its blood, because the punk kept stomping the floor next to it until it finally got spooked and dove into the canal. Luckily iguanas can swim and so the water is a safe escape. Sometimes, they get spooked by me when they cross over to my side of the canal, but I don't do it on purpose. In fact, I usually say, don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you. Thing is -- what moronic pleasure this fella got in disturbing these sedentary and unobtrusive monster lizards makes me wonder how he behaves with humans."

Not dumb at all M.B., torturing animals is how Jeffrey Dahmer got his start, before moving on to eating people and hiding 'em in his freezer.

Michelle had this nomination for BoW: "I was at work (bookstore) and a customer came asking to return a book. A relative had bought the book for them on a credit card, but the customer didn't need the book after all. There is a code to type into the register to pull up old receipts and make the return without reswiping someone's card--another co-worker had shown me once how its done. Mind you, only ONCE so I was unsure of how to do it myself. Another person working in the store went on about how we needed the card, and even sent the customer to call the relative and get the info. Then that co-worker repeatedly told me that I was wrong and apologized because our colleague had misinformed me on that matter. The customer returns with the info and just then, the manager pops out; we explain the situation to him and he does the return--sans credit card, by pulling up the receipt in the computer. Just like I thought was possible. That know-it-all co-worker didn't say anything else after that. Nor did I, just knowing that I was right was enough satisfaction for me."

Ladies, I can't decide. I think torturing animals is reprehensible. But I also have a special disdain for know-it-alls who can't apologize once they've been found in the wrong.

Let's call it a draw. That's the word on behavior awards till next week. Stay tuned for the first entry examining what makes a hater tick. That's coming this afternoon. If you're over 40, you'd probably recognize a "hater" to be a sour grapes type person.

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