Have you ever played the game Taboo? This post will make a little more sense if you have.
From my various social networks, and from talking to people in everyday life, I hear many stories of annoying people who exhibit grating behaviors in the absence of politeness toward the people around them. Sometimes it's small (but nonetheless annoying) things, like someone popping their gum loudly in a quiet room. Sometimes, it's folks invading your personal space, or even pushing you.
We should probably tell these people to mind their manners. But out of an abundance of shyness, not all of us are willing to speak up.
That's where Taboo comes in.
The game includes a hand-held electronic buzzer, used to signal that the other team had made a mistake. It's a jarring, obnoxious sound, a little bit like a loud electric razor. Invariably, friends will use it to buzz each other for no reason.
I think we should carry these around. Whenever someone oversteps the boundaries of manners, they should be administered a brief buzz. And since the buzz itself is a little annoying, it deserves to be accompanied by an apology.
If their transgression is obvious, a buzz alone might be enough.But I think it would be more effective if followed by a statement of the infraction. For example:
BZZZZZZ! Sorry, you cut in front of me in line.
BZZZZZZ! Sorry, you're letting your runny-nosed child touch all the candies in the checkout.
BZZZZZZ! Sorry, your heavy pocketbook keeps baning into me, and you don't seem to care.Posted by James at January 27, 2009 12:53 PM