Do not lick food and put it back! | Column
by The Press and Standard | August 3, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 31, 2019 at 12:23 pm
It’s come to my attention that some of y’all don’t know how to act in public. Actually, not y’all—if you read newspapers, you’re probably an educated person who’d never walk into a store, open ice cream and lick it.
No, this column is for the other y’alls. You know who you are.
So, here’s what you do in public: Be quiet. Be kind. Smile. Keep your voice down. Let the other guy go first. Help old people. Say please. Say thank you.
Use your blinker. Yield. Don’t gun your motor. Stop at red lights instead of racing through them. On a crowded sidewalk, step aside for other people to pass. Hold doors. If you see tourists, offer to take their photo.
Return your shopping cart. Pull up your pants. Assume innocence: Chances are, whoever just dissed you has no clue. Let it go. Turn your radio down when you drive by a church. (I’m bad about this.) If someone waves, wave back.
Now, here’s what you DON’T do in public. Let’s tackle this first: DO NOT LICK FOOD AND PUT IT BACK. This is a good way to get a beatdown, before the cops arrive and arrest you for tampering with consumer goods—a felony carrying a sentence of two to 20 years.
Do not start screaming at your man, kid, or employee on your oversized Apple phone because I. Don’t. Want. To. Hear. It.
Don’t take out your bad day on service people, ever. The lady ringing up your groceries hasn’t harmed you. Neither has the guy serving your coffee, or the clerk trying to find jeans in your size. Repeat, NEVER abuse someone whose job is to serve you.
Conversely, if you get terrible service—and it happens—don’t lose your mind. The slack employee has a manager. Calmly ask to speak to him/her. Do not whip out your phone and start something you can’t finish. A few minutes of Facebook live won’t matter when you’re banned from the business. Yes, Dairy Queen can toss you out with a no-trespassing order before you can say “Butterfinger Blizzard.”
Don’t litter. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Don’t belch; it’s not funny. Don’t flip anyone off—what are you, 10? Don’t cut in front of another driver, then slow down to 25 mph. (Another good way to get a beatdown.)
Don’t smoke on the street, or outside a business. Nobody wants to walk through the choking stink of your addiction.
Don’t let your kids run wild. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS RUN WILD. When they dash screeching through a restaurant, play tag in the produce department or spit in a water fountain, crack the whip. Better yet, teach them manners before you unleash them on an unsuspecting public.
Speaking of restaurants: Be nice to your server. Tip if appropriate. Don’t hold up the buffet line trying to figure out the difference between mahi-mahi and Flipper.
Don’t talk loudly during a movie. Don’t claim your 16-year-old is 12 to get a discount. Don’t—I can’t believe I have to write this—take up two parking places with your fancy new car. It’s rude and bougie.
When standing in line, do not sigh loudly, roll your eyes or tap your toe impatiently. We’re all waiting, we all have somewhere to be. Chill, and get over yourself.
If your baby is hungry, by all means feed it. Just don’t whip out a huge, naked **** in Wal-Mart without warning, because people will abandon their carts and flee. (Ask me how I know.)
Julie R. Smith, who learned manners the hard way, can be reached at email@example.com.