Missing Mannners

To the chagrin of many passengers on my flights a multitude of parents were traveling with small children. This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that air travel is hard on kids which makes it hard on ALL the other passengers during any long flight and ours were 3.5 hours plus whatever connections. Fortunately, I bought nifty headsets that allowed me to listen to classical music to drown out the screeching and high-pitched screams. Maybe it is time to start instituting “adults only” flights and other such adjustments.

I’ve been flying for forty years and have experienced changes on every level. All my flights were very full in direct contrast to how they have been in the past. When I flew shortly after 9/11 every little stupid personal care item was scrutinized or confiscated and the newest trend is lighters. At least some savvy screeners give waiting passengers permission to leave their shoes on if they don’t have any metal in them.

Now you have to sprint between flights to get a carry out so you can keep the blood sugar level or tote protein bars, water and other snacks. The airplane fare was never really that great but now consists of crackers, chips, or sugary granola bars. If you get your drink (they run out of some before they finish rounds) you can be sure you won’t get offered a refill unless you actually hit your call button for the flight attendant or amble back to ask for one.

Friends complain that you cannot access accurate information on flights because everything is automated and doesn’t get updated as much as it should. One commented that air travel is nothing more now than a Greyhound bus with wings. Hmm. I think he is right.

What does this have to do with mountain manners? Manners are becoming a rare commodity. For instance, many transplants and visitors don’t show common courtesy by using such terms as “excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you.” In the past several months I’ve noticed a great escalation in such behavior.

Several merchants have also stopped carrying the famed Big Bear Paw stickers because those seeking them tend to run over other guests and rudely interrupt exchanges between clerks and existing customers. The stickers seem to attract a clientele sans manners.

Is this a phenomenon of southern California? I don’t think so, however it seems to be more prevalent here. In the not so distant past, screaming children were left home with sitters instead of being taken to restaurants late at night and allowed to run between tables and generally grab or play with anything they desire. If a child did act inappropriately, the parent took the kid out in consideration of everyone else.

Today, I see this form of bad behavior everywhere I go. If I am in a restaurant I don’t appreciate going out for a nice meal and having to listen to someone on the phone or someone’s ill behaved child. The same thing applies in movie theatres, stores and other public areas. Since when is the ONE person’s bad behavior okay to tolerate when everyone else is paying good money to enjoy themselves and forced to endure bad behavior? I can’t believe the new signs asking people to turn off cell phones or they will be confiscated. Isn’t it common sense to take it outside or away from the public area?

Ultimately, I’d like you to share your comments, thoughts and theories on this topic. My opinion? As the popular phrase says, “It’s time to stop the insanity.”

On A More Humorous Note
In national news, a man was arrested for public nudity as he conducted chores on his property. Locally, we had our own case of bad behavior involving public nudity. Skinny dipping in the early hours of the morning isn’t so bad but driving naked and getting involved in an automobile accident while under the influence is stupid. Add a naked minor to the mix who was also intoxicated and you really have screwed up. What ever happened to common sense and setting good examples?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 13th, 2006 and is filed under Uncategorized.

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