George Smith: 'Dirty old egg-sucking dog ...'
Sep 16, 2012 | 3379 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rudeness ...

Like any columnist who wants to keep on being a columnist instead of chopping Johnson grass in some miserable cotton field, I keep a list of possible “sermons” (subjects) on hand.

Some I actually write down (and then lose the note), some I keep tucked away in the bottom drawer of my memory bank (which I have trouble opening).

Rudeness ...

That one has been hanging around my neck for a while now. Truth is, it’s been a “court of last resort,” held for along about sundown on a Saturday. There are a couple of other “truths” as to why the evolution of rudeness in our society has not seen print under my name.

1. I’ve always managed to come up with something I thought was better (actually, easier to write come showdown time).

2. Writing about other people’s bad raising and ill manners (it does come from the parents, of that I’m absolutely certain) is easy to do.

But writing about one’s own rudeness is also demanded if you’re gonna hit the other person. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: Two people you can’t lie to are God and the face in the mirror.

So there you have it ... I have sinned, so to speak.

Rudeness ...

So I’m going to take care of me first and tell you that I was rude to a nice young lady at Jack’s Wednesday morning. Her name is Morgan Storey and she has a smile that would melt a salt block.

I was in sort of a snarly mood to begin with (which is no excuse) and when Morgan asked me if I’d like a cinnamon roll with my eggs and sausage, I was a bit snippy.

In a few minutes, a bunch of RE (that’s remorse) set in. I went back and apologized. In trying to sell me a cinnamon roll, she was doing only what her job required her to do. She was most gracious in accepting my apology.

Then, on my way out the door, she called out:

“Have a nice day, Mr. Smith.”

I turned, smiled and waved, wished her a good life ... and slunk out the door feeling pretty much like “a dirty old egg-sucking dog” ... to steal a line from an old Johnny Cash song.

Rudeness ...

Now, to the other side ... where I’ve been taking names and tag numbers. Trouble with that is a sense of fair play I have a hard time shaking. I have something called “the pen” in my hand, the rude oaf (or “oafess”) out there does not. Which, of course, gives me the last word.

Just a couple without names.

At a local supermarket, a stocking person was working over an item I needed. My “excuse me” went unheeded. My “don’t let me get in your way” also went unheeded. I reached over the stocker and got what I wanted.

On another occasion at a drive-thru window, I asked for a couple of packs of mustard. I was handed a handful, like 10 or 12. When I tried to return all but two, rejection.

“Can’t take ’em back.”

When I tried again, the packages were slapped out of my hand onto the pavement. Honest.

You don’t make up things like that.

Those, without names, are enough in making a point of how common courtesy has been replaced by rampant rudeness, especially in the workplace. That is on display quite a bit at drive-thru windows and checkout counters at big box stores.

In all fairness, not all are like that. Most are good representatives of the place where they work, but some should be sent home a few days ... without pay.

I don’t have any figures to back me up on this, but it seems to me rudeness is less in the 40 and up, more prevalent in the under 40.

Am I wrong?

Maybe ... but I can still hear my little mother, across the table:

“You say ‘please’ when you ask someone to pass the potatoes and ‘thank you’ when they do ...”

So, in the interest of politeness ... thank you for listening.

George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5682 or e-mail:

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