Missing manners in the era of grunts and hogs

The Brooklyn Paper
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While traveling over hill and dale to get home last week, I happened to overhear a fellow traveler complaining about the state of manners in our fair city — particularly on the conduct of travelers on public transportation, and even more precisely on women who put their makeup on, occasionally plucking a stray chin hair or two, or completing their morning ablutions on public conveyances -— in front of everyone, horror oh horror — actually in front of everyone?

As he went on and on, loudly to his companion, whilst sitting with his legs spread wide apart, it occurred to me that he never once addressed the fact that there are those men out there that are sadly lacking in manners, too. You know who you are. There are those gentlemen who sit in the center seat of a three-seat block on the subway, knowing that no one will sit on either side, effectively preventing two other travelers from sitting down. Or there are the riders who take their overlarge suitcases and/or duffle bags and plop them down in front of their feet instead of under the seat, causing a tripping hazard to those walking by.

While listening to his harangue, and trying to tune him out, I began to compile my own list.

The ever-present Parking Spot Hogs: those who take a spot in the parking lot specifically for handicapped folk, who are no more handicapped than the man in the moon; and of course the ubiquitous Two-Spot Hogs, who take two spots instead of the one they are entitled to.

The Shopping Hogs: Slyly clever and guilty of the bait-and-switch at the checkout line. One tag team member stands on line with one or two items while the other member stuffs the wagon till bursting. Then when they get closer to the front of the queue, the wagon appears, apparently with half the store ready to be checked out.

The Loud Mouth Hogs: much like the gentleman complaining, or the Teen Foul Mouth Hogs. If I had a dime for every time my ears suffered through an iPod turned a tad too high, or language that would make a sailor blush, mostly from young teens barely out of braces and Underoos, I’d be a very rich individual.

These are just a fewof the social faux pas committed daily. I’m sure I’ve left a ton out.

Sadly in this city there are too many hogs. Manners, it seems, have gone the way of the parasol and short knickers — they’re a distant memory in a forgotten past.

No more please-and-thank-yous, no more excuse-me-pleases, not even I’m-sorry-for-the-inconveniences, just a grunt, a groan and sometimes a no-problem thrown in for good measure.

Not for nuthin’, but compared to the rest, it seems that applying mascara or a bit of lipstick is on the lower end of the chart. After all —I’ve been guilty of a blush stroke or two myself. So what do you say folks, how about a return to the parasols and knickers? They were so such good old times.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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