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80 Years Ago

Archives 2001 08-22-2001

North County Lines by Bob



Okay. Okay. Quit calling and begging me to write an article about etiquette. I'll do it. I'll do it. Gee whiz. Keep your pants on.

Much of the information concerning food in this article comes from trying to eat when my brothers are around and from observing the eating habits of my infant grandson Jimmy and my 18-month-old niece Mia.

Licking your palm and the back of your hand after squishing a Gerber's product and watching it ooze through your fingers is considered good manners, if most of what goes in isn't spit out.

When you want a bottle of something to drink, crying and turning red is a good way to get it.

While drinking from the bottle, it's customary to lie on your back and kick your feet in the air to demonstrate approval of the liquid in the bottle.

If the bottle contains beer or another alcoholic beverage, make sure you're carrying something with your picture and date of birth, in case the cops bust in and check ID's.

"You vill submit to our inspection or you vill be taken in for interrogation."

If you're in a strip joint, don't mention age or weight to the older, heavier ones.

If you're in a biker bar, play Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers on the jukebox. Gregg is the one who was married to Cher for less than two weeks.

Members of his band warned him if he sobered up for only a few minutes and realized what he had done the marriage would be finished. Did he listen? Obviously not.

Always carry a pocket knife and a sharpening stone, in case you're served tough food unexpectedly.

Although sharpening your knife at the table is proper etiquette, try not to get shavings in the mashed potatoes.

If someone grabs food from your plate, jump up and get that person in a headlock. Apply just enough pressure to make it hurt.

If the food isn't returned, tighten the headlock and say, "You need to ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?" Well, do you, punk?"

If the food still isn't returned, make sure any possible witnesses who could testify against you aren't watching when you resort to more drastic measures. This will prevent a conviction for aggravated assault.

Much has been written and said about the proper way to address people with no hair. Although many authorities on the subject recommend Baldy and Dometop, I prefer Cue Ball.

My roommate at a drug and alcohol in-patient treatment center in 1984 was bald. Hal was also black.

Another patient asked if she should call Hal black or African-American.

I told her the best thing to call Hal was Hal.

I tried to explain that her need to be politically correct about what to call Hal indicated a deep-seated racist hang-up.

She didn't get it, though. She couldn't understand humans are humans and colors are only colors.

I told Hal about the incident.

Hal laughed. "I've never been to Africa," he said. "I was born in Macon."

"I don't understand this word before American thing,” I replied. "Asian- Americans. Jewish-Americans. Irish-Americans. German-Americans. African-Americans. Polish-Americans. Can't we just be Americans?"

After talking it over, Hal and I decided we were American-Americans. Four thumbs up for the good ol' US of A.

I would explain the proper way to greet Jehovah Witnesses who wake you from a nap with their knocking, but I lack experience in that subject.

My mongrel of a dog won't allow them in the yard, much less on the front porch.

"Good, Woolly. Smart, dog."

A primary rule of etiquette is to never tell a lawyer joke. Lawyers might have feelings too. But I'd bet the other way, even though or maybe because my Uncle Bill and my brother Eric practice that profession.

The best way to explain what kind of jokes not to tell is by telling a few.

A lawyer is bitten by a rattlesnake at a reptile show. A paramedic in the audience immediately administers first aid. But the snake dies anyway.

You should never tell a joke like that or like, "What do you call a lawyer in a sinking boat?"

"I don't know. What?"


Don't tell a joke like that or like, "It was so cold yesterday."

"How cold was it?” "It was so cold I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pocket."

You shouldn't even say something like, "With so many lawyers around, why is finding a good one so difficult?"

That reminds me. Ratings of lawyers in Tennessee by a group of citizens will be on the Internet before the end of the year if everything goes as planned.

I can only identify the person rating Overton County lawyers as X.

Although it's unnecessary according to the First Amendment, a disclaimer preceding the ratings will read, "The following is only opinion and should not be used when selecting an attorney." Yeah, right.

That's about it for the etiquette trip. As usual I've remained on the subject.

Remember, say please and thank you and hold those doors open for ladies and the elderly. Share yourself with others. Stick up for the underdog and be kind to the downtrodden.

You never know. You might be helping angels when they are really helping you.




Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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