Sidewalk Etiquette: Excuse Me or Excuse You?

What’s your response when some self-absorbed Facebook profile marches into you because she’s looking at a phone?

As a general rule, I (very clearly) say, “excuse you.” The same goes for when I’m blatantly cut off or elbowed. And especially at holiday time, my amusement grows in direct proportion to the indignation of the offender.

Today, on a sidewalk between Barnes & Noble and Banana Republic, a woman and I collided when her UGGs continued to trudge as she texted. Her eyes were still on the screen when she heard “excuse you” as I stepped around and away from her.

Inside B&N not four minutes later, I heard behind me an indignant voice saying, “…and this asshole son-of-a-bitch said, ‘excuse you,’ to me – shuh!” Having angrily brushed past me with the phone now at her ear, she’d pulled a U-turn outside and followed me into the store. Now she stopped and awaited the reaction to which evidentially felt entitled. She was suddenly a victim and was hissing the details of her ordeal to a friend – if there was anyone on the other end of her phone. Read more

Notes from a Non-Parent 4 – Thanksgiving Edition

Skip the Excuses: If You Waste Food You’re an Asshole

Q: How many Americans can legitimately claim they’ve never been told not to waste food?   A: You don’t know any.

When I was a kid, being told I wouldn’t be excused from the table ‘til my plate was clean was a “cold rule.” Though sometimes lacking context, cold rules were made clear through enforcement, repetition, and amplification: “Don’t touch the stove,” for example, is an easy one. “Don’t insult the skeletal West African baby I want you to envision by leaving food on your plate” was a little harder to get behind. Yet some variation on the admonishment, “Do you know how many children are starving in this world?” was overheard in the home of every playmate and acquaintance I knew. We all sat there squirming until we resentfully swallowed enough disgusting and now-cold whatever-it-was to set us free. Read more

Get Ready for Occupy Wall Street: The Incessant Reminder!

If you groan when certain Baby-boomers pat themselves on the back for being at Woodstock and act as though rolling around in mud and feces on LSD actually helped this country, just wait for #OCCUPY, the Broadway musical!

All pictures by me (except this one).


On a recent visit to the pre-dismantled Zuccotti Park squat-in, I took lots of pictures of volunteers and protesters and hangers on. I pointed my camera at people’s faces in the hopes of cataloging future authors, artists, and politicians who will no doubt go on to trumpet their swashbuckling involvement. No, this isn’t an anti-civil disobedience, or anti-OWS rant, so don’t mistake my opinions for, “Back in ‘Nam I ate a Viet Cong heart, Hippie, so don’t you tell me!” It ain’t like that, trust me: I’m trying to avoid turning into my dad.

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