Mind your manners...
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Tony Blair wants "citizenship" taught in schools.
You know the sort of thing:
How you should help old ladies across the road, not push-in to queues, always say please and thankyou, vote labour, etc etc.

Well that's all very laudable (most of it, anyway) but there's something else that needs addressing in this fast-moving world..


We all (should) know about which sides to place the knife and fork at table, how to avoid wiping one's nose on the tablecloth, how not to burp loudly after a large meal with a Duchess, how to stick out a little finger whilst drinking tea from a china cup. We've done these things for centuries. There are books on the subject.

But what do we do when our mobile phone rings whilst we're talking to someone who's dad's just died?
Do we,
A. just ignore it?
B. whip it out and start talking loudly about last night at the pub?
C. answer softly and say, "sorry, I'll call you back I'm with Dale, his dad's snuffed it. Yeah... last night!... I know, he's really cut up about it actually.... No... I don't suppose he'll want those tickets now.... yes OK I'll ask him. See ya!" ?
D. shout "sorry mate, must dash" and sprint round the corner so you can talk in private?

Well obviously none of these is ideal.
The point is that we aren't prepared by our elders and betters for this kind of dilemma. Our elders and betters didn't have mobiles, and if there was an urgent message the footman would interrupt the tete-a-tete with a discreet cough and say "telephone sir" and they could make their excuses and leave with no fear of their battery giving out in the meantime.

Mobiles are one thing, modern driving is another.
We are not taught what to do when a cyclist crosses on the pedestrian crossing and then rides off in front of the traffic queue. Should we applaud his original approach or rev up and try to knock him off?
There is no book in which to look that one up.

We at Winamop have the answer to these thorny questions and many more.
It is this....
Oh, hang on a mo, it's my mobile. I must take this call.... Catch ya later!
"Hello Pete,
yeah great... no really?
His dad's dead and you're with him now?
How awful. Did you see the match last night?....
no rubbish wasn't it...
ha-ha... not a hope... blah blah blah....

D.A. August 2004

Read old page 94s here.


© Winamop 2004