January 27, 2009

Administer a Gentle Correction

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
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Oh, I really like this idea:

Sorry, your cell phone conversation is making it impossible for me to read my book.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at January 27, 2009 9:40 PM

BZZZZZZZZZZZ! Sorry, you are chatting with your friend instead of ringing up my purchase which, based on your uniform and proximity to the register, I think you are being paid to do right now.

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at January 28, 2009 4:37 PM

Dang. All my Bzzzt-able moments have been mentioned already.

This is a good idea, and one I've had in mind for a very very long time, only my version is a real BZZZT with a stun gun.

Posted by: Patti M. at January 28, 2009 4:55 PM

BZZZZZT! Here's the piece of trash you threw out your car window at the last stoplight. The world isn't your trashbarrel.

Posted by: Chuck S at February 2, 2009 5:12 PM

On that theme:

BZZZZZZT! Here's the cigarette butt you tossed on the ground.

Posted by: Patti M. at February 2, 2009 6:42 PM

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