1. If anyone in your family/group can’t behave properly in public, that person should be left at home. Nice people don’t permit their children – or anyone else – to disturb others in public. This applies to restaurants, theaters, schools, churches, and anywhere else people congregate. Behave, or go away. Period. If your kids won’t obey you, please feed them at home, or eat in public only in the off-hours. You might also want to look into why they won’t obey you. Are you a pushover? Good parents are not pushovers.
2. Litterbugs are criminals. A nice person will put a poopy diaper in his/her pocket or purse before he/she will leave it on a park bench or by the side of the road where others can be grossed out by it. People who flick ashes or – even worse – drop a used cigarette on the ground are criminals, too. Dirty, dirty people! Nasty people who befoul the world.
3. If you are a person who leaves a mess on the table in a fast-food restaurant instead of throwing it away when you leave, please see #2.
4. People who do not flush are not nice people.
5. People who bring their portable offices to a busy restaurant during rush hour and spread it out over a four or six-person table and LINGER, are not nice people. If the restaurant manager permits this, he/she is not a nice person, either.
6. Regarding #1: It isn’t always children who cause disturbances and ruin the morning/afternoon/evening/meal/experience/life for other people in public, either. Some of the worst theater offenders are old people who have forgotten how to whisper, and men who require a full meal during the show. People with miniature bladders who don’t sit on the aisle aren’t nice, either.
7. Latecomers who insist on being seated after the show has started are not nice people. Theatre managers who permit this are not nice, either.
8. Any person, regardless of age*, who does not understand the concept of “indoor voice” and will not change his/her volume upon request, is not a nice person. *If the disturbance is caused by an infant, the infant should be removed from the room by the parent and soothed. IF the infant calms down and can be quiet, then and only then should he/she be allowed to return to the public place where nice people are trying to eat, experience something, listen, read, etc. There is nothing on this earth lovelier than well-behaved children, and few things more obnoxious than a brat. Except maybe the parent of a brat who won’t acknowledge or take charge of his/her child’s public behavior, ie require that it be changed, or remove the child until such time. . . What’s that? Your children don’t obey you? Well, then, you’ve got far worse problems than we can address here, don’t you. Shh, I think I hear the Jerry Springer people trying to contact you.
Item: I am not talking about special-needs people here. Don’t start in with me.
Item: Yes, I said “brat.” Perhaps if we all started using the word “brat” again, there might be fewer brats.
9. Nice people sit in their assigned seat. That includes gymnasiums, airplanes, classrooms, theaters, and wherever you go where you have a ticket with a seat number on it. I’m sorry you paid good money for a bad seat. Next time, buy your ticket earlier and purchase a good seat. Yes, they cost more. Nice people already know that, too. People who insist on sitting in someone else’s paid seat are not only not nice, they are morons.
10. If everyone in the world would simply buck up and behave themselves wherever they go, the whole world would be pleasant and infinitely more fair. Nice people have always known this, but they are constantly thwarted by people who choose to behave as they please wherever they are. Nice people are usually too nice to make a fuss when they are confronted by these bad people, but I think perhaps it’s time the nice people stood up for themselves and insisted that bad people be escorted out of any public place when they act up, and forbidden the premises until such time as they can prove improvement.
I’m not in a bad mood today, really I’m not. I just get extremely frustrated by our society’s constant catering to the lowest common denominator all the time.
Our courts allow absurd money-wasting lawsuits to take up time that would be better spent on other matters. Old women so stupid they hold a cardboard cup of coffee between their thighs sue when they give it a squeeze and GASP, who knew? it burned them, and WIN that suit. (For the record, I feel no pity for this woman at all. Hot coffee will burn skin. Did she really not know that? She did NOT deserve that settlement money. She is not a nice person.) Managers and business owners are so afraid of lawsuits from jerks, and bad PR, that they’ve let the bad people walk all over them. Maybe if we made it extremely unpleasant for people to misbehave in public, and pointed and laughed a lot, there would be less of it. Then again, expecting everyone to behave properly might be a little hard on some people’s SELF ESTEEEEEEEEEEEM.*
*Which is viable only when it is honestly EARNED, by the way. Self-esteem is not a given; it’s not even a right. It’s an earned honor. EARN IT. Then maybe you’ll have it. If you don’t earn it, you don’t deserve any.