Americans today are manners challenged. When I was young I greeted my elders on Main Street, Armonk, New York, this way:
“Hi Mr. Green! Nice weather, isn’t it? How are you today? Can I mow your lawn when I am done mowing the lawns at my own house?”
But it’s not like that today. This morning when I was on my way to work on the light rail train a man banged me with his bag three times, and not once did he say excuse me. Or maybe he did, but it was a very surly “Excuse me.” I would never have talked to Mr. Green that way had I run over his foot with the lawn mower.
People today don’t yield their seats for pregnant women. And what’s with hogging the entire sidewalk? They come at you three abreast like NFL players in a flying wedge formation, apparently unable to move over a little—and God forbid that they should walk single file. What is a person supposed to do? Walk in the street? Press up against the nearest building? Or block them at the knees and take the fifteen-yard penalty?
What’s happened to us as a nation? I would blame the gay people, as I did in my last two blogs, but even I know that would be pushing the joke a little too far. So I put it to you, fellow Americans, if you are still paying any attention: have manners in America deteriorated, and if so, why? Is it that we are the most diverse nation in the world and are struggling to find common ground? Or is it all the fault of South Park?