Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Miss Manners and Mr Sloppy

Have you noticed she's not around but he is?

What a pity.

I remember a very proper Jamaican lady telling me not long ago, "We have lost a generation or two."

By which she meant, Miss Manners was on vacation. Anyone who has been on a country bus in Jamaica may have an inkling of what she meant. But what about America?

I would say it's much worse here. Public rest rooms are light years away from when I was growing up.

I'm not talking about small children making mistakes. I'm talking about sloppy men who  know better and don't care. We used to say, Excuse the pigs, the hogs will be along later. But that doesn't work metaphorically. Pigs are actually very clean. Humans are not. 

There was a sign in the main hall of the grammar school I attended in the 1950s and it said -- THMINK. There was another one that showed the picture of a doofus with a goofy grin. He was saying, "Last year I could not evun spell Enjuneer, and now I are one!"

Maybe there's a lot more enjuneers running things.

My mom was a stickler for detail. She instructed me to put the toilet seat down after use. There was a great maternal thing going on in the fifties. Women weren't running things as much as they were informing and shaping them. My mom was anyway.

My mom's gone. But I would still like to think Miss Manners is out there. Or that Mr Sloppy might wake up to the Golden Rule. I saw a sign in the restroom of a local restaurant that gave me some hope. The sign said -- "We aim to please. Will you please aim?"   

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