Tag Archives: rudeness

You Don’t Know Polite

politenessWhy does shit like this happen to me? (This is my version of the “dark and stormy” night opening as a literary device.)

My wife and I were out to dinner and having our usually jolly time. Things were clicking. My jokes were firing on all cylinders. I was witty. Our repartee was fast and furious on a highly intellectual level.

As we exited the restaurant I was feeling pretty good. (It could happen.) I saw four people behind us. They were far enough back that I could have let the door close and no slight would have been perceived. I decided to be nice and waited to hold open the door.

They came through single file. As she passed, the first person actually said, I kid you not, “Thank you.”

Wow. It’s a modern day miracle. I’m now that much closer to sainthood. I was momentarily stunned and at a loss for words. As quickly as I could I responded with, “You’re welcome.”

Oops. By then the third person was already walking by. She heard what I said and turned and looked at me. With dagger eyes. Of hatred and death.

Ah. She thought I was talking to her and assumed I was being snotty because she decidedly did not bother to say thank you.

Good intentions: 0. Crass misunderstandings: 1.

Bad form, Mr. Smee. Bad form.

And now some politeness tips from yours truly.
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Intentionally What?

exploding-glassI can be naked in front of my cat without being self-conscious. I am secure in how my cat feels about me and I know that there isn’t any judgement or opinion there. Just pure love. And the feeling is mutual.

Then I worry. What if heaven exists? And what if I get there and find that my cat is waiting for me. And what if she can talk and we have fantastic conversations? And what if one day she says, “Hey, dude. You know all those times you undressed in front of me and I meowed? That was cat language for ‘ugly naked.’ We were trying to get you to stop torturing us. True story.”

I don’t think I would like that. Yeah, like I need more things to worry about.

The point is: Can you ever know what someone else is really thinking? And even when they tell you outright they’re still probably lying. It’s what we humans do.

So why should it matter what they think?

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Mouthy Gift Horse Shit

Way back on Dec. 1, 2011, I made a threat right here on this very blog:

Hyppo and Criter

This comic is just the teaser. A bit of foreshadowing, as it were. The actual post I estimate will be about 20,000 words. Or two-fifths of a novel. It’s “coming soon.”
–Tom B. Taker

The day has finally come to back up that threat. I’ve dumped the voluminous manuscript already in progress and will briefly freestyle the story just for you. For a bonus I’ll append a surprise recent twist.

You shouldn’t look a gift horse in the ass even if that’s the only face he ever presents. Or something like that.
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Lane Brain

I’ve never been into fast cars. As far as I’m concerned, the male analogy stops right there. While the other guys were talking about engine blocks and rattling off weird nonsensical numbers and making lamps out of blocks of wood in shop class, I was taking “home economics” with 29 girls and learning how to sew my own apron and make chocolate chip cookies.

Fools.

Yet, when it came to driving itself, suddenly I was interested. I just didn’t care what went on inside that thing. On my birthday and the day it became legal I obtained my learner’s permit. Exactly one year later I aced my driving test.

My dad taught me to drive. We practiced together in his car (an automatic) and my car (stick shift) which I had already bought with my own money. The car cost me $300, money which I had earned working part-time at a variety of local fast food establishments. It was a 1969 Pontiac LeMans hardtop. The driver’s door never opened, you had to slide across the one-piece seat from the passenger side, and the manual transmission was so wonky and loose that I eventually became the only human who could drive that baby. You had to perform little maneuvers while shifting, like lifting, twisting and pushing down to get it to go into gear. But that baby was mine.

I moved to the big city to live with my dad but I wanted to finish my senior year of high school in my little home town. So I became a commuter at the age of 18. My daily commute was a 30-mile drive (one-way) to school.

I enjoy driving. I’ve done a lot of it. It’s the one area of my life where I am the one percent unlike the 99% of other idiots on the road. My instincts and cat-like reflexes have kept me alive when most other idiots would have perished in a fantastic ball of fire.

And I’ve never forgotten one of the most basic principles my dad taught me about being a good driver on day one with my learner’s permit in hand: Drive so that you don’t impact other drivers on the road.

This is a story about a typical idiot who never received and/or heeded such critical training.
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Phones in Restaurants: Call Hating

Press *42 for my fist in your face.

Oops. Once upon a time someone told me I’m supposed to swallow my violent tendencies. I no longer remember who that was. Oh well, must not have been anyone important.

Oh. I see I just failed. Let’s try this again.

Hey, everybody! I’ve got a great idea on how to handle to chum-bucket assholes with phones in restaurants!

There. Is that better?
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Hyppo and Critter: Refurbished Christmas Bonus

Barriers to communication

In a previous post entitled Intellectual Intercourse Interruptions I introduced my discovery of the modern communication model.

Since then, I have discovered a few barriers to communication that I’d like to share with you now.

The first barrier is called Mutually Assured Distraction (MAD). In this model, two me-oriented persons are transmitting simultaneously. The messages hurl towards each other much like two freight trains on a single track. When they meet somewhere in the middle, the messages explosively cancel each other out, very effectively preventing any actual communication from taking place. Since the transmit sources are so fully locked in me-only-modes, neither party is aware that all communications have been blocked. This blockage is also known as Conversational Mushroom Cloud.

Some modern communications are so completely surrounded by this particular barrier that they go through life locked in transmit while remaining blissfully unaware that none of their messages have ever been received.

The second barrier turns out to be something inside each and every one of us. (Well, most of us.) It is our very own brain working against us being effective communicators! Cranium drainium is a condition suffered by an alarming number of modern communicators. In a process known as thin slicing, our brains peripherally receiving incoming messages. Involuntary functions within the brain perform a very limited analysis of these messages. Those that are identified as pertaining to ourselves are admitted to higher levels of consciousness. Those that don’t pass this test are vigorously attacked, much like antibodies defend us against biological intruders. Those with highly developed cranium drainium systems are able to go through life believing that everything is about them.

The third barrier I’d like to discuss is something I’ve dubbed recievius terminus. Those with this condition are, like the rest of us, very developed me-oriented communicators. They can expound about themselves nearly 24/7 and with an amazing level of excruciating detail. But even the best me-communicators need breaks. That’s where recievius terminus kicks in. Literally nanoseconds after their final me-transmission has ended, a recievius terminus expert will take dramatic action to prevent the possibility of communications from anyone else being received. The most common form of this is probably turning one’s back and aggressively walking away.

See how many of these barriers to communication you can identify as you engage in conversation in the coming days. I bet you’ll have a plethora of opportunities to witness these in action.

I would suggest that you return here to report your findings but alas, I won’t be listening.

Good luck!