Remember when your mother told you, "Now, mind your manners." It wasn't just a suggestion, it was an order from on high.
It came into play just the other day when the Ol' Columnist asked a store clerk for an item, and then I proceeded to be completely ignored while Clerk#1 turned to Assistant Clerk#2 and said:
"So what are you going to wear Saturday night?"
"Oh, I don't know, what are you going to wear?"
The conversation continued on and on between the pair about the "happening" on Saturday night and then evolved into "who are you going with? You're not going with Steve, are you?"
It was then I walked away grumbling and uttered the usual #%^&*&$# to voice my disapproval.
When I told someone about my disgust, she said: "There are no manner these days. Kids do not know those words such as "Please .. Thank You ... Excuse me ... Can I help you? ... Pardon Me."
Actually, manners of even the simpliest form have become extinct as the Dodo Bird.
And it's not just a lost art among the younger generation, but it has blatant misuse among the rich and poor as well as the educated and uneducated when this so-called sophisticated generation would rather use just a grunt as a response.
Of course, such behaviour has been prevalent in the ongoing Rosie O'Donnell vs. Donald Trump "feud" on American television.
And until just a few days ago, I had placed the blame entirely on O'Donnell, but then Smuley Boteach in the Jerusalem Post wrote another side in which he berated Trump for not behaving like a "gentleman."
As he wrote, "there were many ways for Trump to respond (after O'Donnell called him 'a pimp' in reference to The Donald's connection with beauty pageants). He could have ignored her, debated her, or simply said that he is prepared to respond to legitimate criticism, but not when it is vented with venom."
Then Boteach astutely noted, "Instead Trump, who like many narcissistic men has a very thin public skin, erupted like a bile-filled volcano. Refusing to respond to any of O'Donnell's points, he instead called her a "slob," "disgusting," and "an animal."
Boteach in his treatise then continued to slice and dice The Donald with these words: "Trump's nauseating attacks on O'Donnell's body mass betray a man who denies women an independent identity and creates them solely in a man's image."
Now where were we? Oh, yes, standing at the store counter and wondering about the reason I couldn't get any (good) service.
Actually, this period of what I call the "Anti-Manners Era," stretching from the 1970s through the early 2000s has infiltrated every aspect of society, and it's most prevalent on television and radio, where interupting a "guest" is common practice. If you don't believe me, watch such talk programs as Bill O'Reilly and most of the news programs even on that supposedly epitome of proper decorum, the CBC.
Of course, it makes for fast-paced programming, even though it's highly annoying.
It might be proper to have a class, perhaps, starting at the lowest grade level in Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation, written by a young schoolboy.
These are a few of those "rules" with the original spelling being unchanged:
* Every Action done in Company, ought to be Some Sign of Respect, to those that are present.
* In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
* If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately, and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.
* When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.
* Shew not yourself glad at the Misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
* Use no Reproachfull Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.
* Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you while you are a Drinking.
* Rince not your Mouth in the Presence of Others.
* Labour to keep alive your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire called Conscience.
Of course, that schoolboy was George Washington (1732-1799), the first president of the U.S., and the preceding, as we said, were only a few of the 110 "Rules."
SO WHAT ARE WE, CHOPPED LIVER? While Nelson, B.C. celebrated the CBC's Hockey Day in Canada last Saturday, Vernon got zip, nada, etc. Something is entirely wrong when anyone with a slight bit of ice in their veins knows Vernon is Hockey Town Canada. When will we be recognized? In the past the Hockey Day in Canada edition has stopped in Stephenville, Nfld.; Shaunavon, Sask.; Iqualuit, Nunavut; Windsor, N.S.; Red Deer, Alta.; and Toronto. That's a total of seven such Big Shows and not one stop in Our Town. Shame on the CBC and the powers that be ... Finally, the ECHL, the AA-level feeder league for the AAA-level American Hockey League, which boasts only one Canadian team, the Victoria Salmon Kings, has a date to stop in Abbotsford. As we asked before, "are we chopped liver?" These pros might like it here in the Interior, in Vernon.