Courtesy is officially dead. I know I sound like an old curmudgeon who constantly bitches about teenagers and young people, but I am not old enough to be a curmudgeon and I am not bitching about teenagers. I am bitching about adults. We have lost our skills of being polite. I don’t know if it is stress or our fast-paced lifestyle, but courtesy and manners are off the endangered species list and onto the, “We think it once existed but no concrete evidence is out there to back up this theory” list.
Is this our fault? Well, common sense says yes, but in the world we live in, I am going to say that our lack of manners is the product of a new disease that has spread across the world like wildfire. The newly identified disorder is Adult Onset Apathy or AOA whose primary symptom is a lack of manners. If this disorder reaches epidemic proportions count on seeing support groups, telethons, colored ribbons, rubber wristbands and, of course, drugs to alleviate the symptoms. I am sure that one of the big drug companies can be convinced to come up with some sort of treatment and if not, AOA victims, which might encompass pretty much the entire population of the US with the exception of Colorado and Washington State, will be shipped to Colorado and Washington State to partake in the activities that make these fine states legally more mellow than the rest of us.
How do we diagnose AOA? Well, there are no biopsies or MRIs or anything like that. Diagnosis is made through a series of questions and answers and only then can professionals ascertain if a person is manifesting signs of the disease. Remember, having this disease is NOT YOUR FAULT. How do I know this? Because the elimination of responsibility is also a result of AOA. Nothing is ever anyone’s fault.
Before we get into the specifics of the disease, know this: While some people will show apparent signs of the AOA, others will just be carriers. Yes, it’s scary but with patience, understanding and maybe that newly legal stuff in Colorado and Washington State or some good booze, we might just rid the world of AOA before it reaches a crisis point.
AOA Diagnostic questions:
1) When you are slowing up for a traffic light and you see someone trying to enter the driving lane from a parking lot such as a bank or fast food place, do you stop and let them go in front of you or do you block them in so they have nowhere to go? If you block them in, do you pretend you don’t see them and ignore them by playing with your phone or adjusting your radio? Or worse, do you just give them the finger?
2) When you are entering a store or building, do you check behind you to see if someone is there before letting the door slam in their face?
3) When you participate in Black Friday Sales, do you look at the lines waiting to get into the store and imagine yourself taking down the elderly, disabled and pregnant women to get a better shot at the good merchandise?
4) Do you delete business or personal non-spam emails from people because you think you are more important than them? And if they email again to follow up on the email you deleted, do you delete that one too?
5) Are you a boss who is quick to take all credit for your employees’ accomplishments but even quicker to pass blame for your failures onto them as well?
If you answered “Yes” to one of these questions, you are in the early stages of AOA, but don’t despair as there might be some hope. A little behavior modification or some electric shock might make you a kind and patient person again. If you answered “Yes” to two or more of these questions, you are in the later stages of the AOA, and to be honest there might not be anything anyone can do. So, I suggest for the sake of all humanity, that you lock yourself up in some type of bomb shelter or panic room and stay the hell away from the human race as you might be a catalyst for the downfall of civilization or what is left of it. Sound harsh? Then do some preventative medicine and start being nice. Smile at a stranger, don’t be an ass on the road and above all, give the pregnant woman your spot in line at Black Friday sales. Then and only then, can the rest of the world justify keeping you around.