March 30, 2020

How Rude Is That?

Three times within the last week someone disposed of a used tissue by throwing it into the bed of my pick-up in the parking lot. I admit that my truck is not shiny new anymore and the bed is half full with firewood that looks like clean up from a tree-trimming job…but really, how rude is that? The fact that this has happened three consecutive times has convinced me that it’s not a random act like the occasional drink cup or empty cigarette package that I used to get.

If the person who threw those tissues in my truck knew that the firewood is what’s left of the tree that I cut down after my wife backed into it with my truck and broke the tail light, they might not mess with my truck. The truck is ten years old, has over one hundred thousand miles on the odometer, and a few dings and dents, but it’s my truck. It’s not a trash can.

Even if the bed was full of Spam cans, beer bottles, and rusty nails, what gives anyone the right to add to the heap? If I were to flick a booger on the tire of someone’s shiny new car, that someone would probably have a conniptions fit, but some bum thinks nothing of throwing snotty old tissues into the bed of my truck. It’s probably a woman. In the first place, more women use tissues than men do. Men use a handkerchief or their sleeve. They also respect another guy’s truck. If they did use a tissue and throw it away, they would just throw it on the ground.

What if I see a car in the parking lot that has a back seat full of burger wrappers, foam cups on the dash, and the window rolled down? Is it OK for me to pitch my pizza crust or chicken bone into the pile? Ignoring the possibility that it could very likely be an unmarked police car, I think it’s rude, but who decides what’s rude and what’s not? Is there a committee somewhere charged with deciding what’s rude?

Some people think talking on a cell phone in a doctor’s waiting room, restaurant, or public place is rude, but I don’t know. What I do know is that people have a tendency to talk louder on a cell phone than they would if they were talking to the person in the chair next to them. I also know that if someone sitting in the adjacent chair was talking as loudly as they are, it would be very difficult for them to hold the conversation on the phone. Why do people talk louder on a cell phone than they do on a regular phone?

Remember the elaborate phone booths? They had a little seat and a door that closed to make the light come on. Personally, I liked the privacy, but apparently most people don’t care. Just think how much money the phone company would have saved if they had realized that the booths weren’t necessary. All they had to do was stick a nail in a wall or tree, hang up a phone, and start collecting the nickels.

The phone company caught on a few years later and redesigned the phone booth to be nothing more than half a plastic bubble nailed to a pole. I found out recently that the reason they changed was because the new design made it impossible for people to discard drink cups, cigarette packages, and used tissues into them.

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