If you’re new to the Old Man Rant, here’s how it goes. Once I turned 50, I started venting my frustration at the irritations of life. It felt good, so I kept doing it. I call these periodic and hopefully humorous verbal tantrums Old Man Rants. Admittedly, this rant is less humor and more vent, but here goes…
Today’s Topic: Public Behavior
Well America, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but either our parents did a shitty job of raising us, or we forgot the lessons they taught.
So please note the following public behavior fouls, and make our parents proud by not committing them ever again.
1. Public Break-Ups
Maybe some people think it’s better to break-up with their partner in a public place (like a restaurant) where the crowd can act to deter either party from causing a scene. I don’t know if this method is effective, because it would go unnoticed if it worked. But I can say for sure that it sometimes does not work; then everyone in the room goes into amateur relationship analyst mode. Just save everyone the drama and break-up via email.
2. Arrive Late But Don’t Wait
Showing up late to a theater is not a problem. Life gets messy and plans get derailed sometimes. But when latecomers fumble around in the dark looking for their seats, shine cell phone lights in your face, and climb over others to get to their place? Not cool. Instead of this nonsense, latecomers should just wait patiently in the back until an usher can help them. I’m not mad that you’re late, I’m mad because you’re making me suffer because it.
3. Cackle-Screaming & Bro-Yells
Cackle Screaming describes the half-laugh/half-scream that erupts out of some women, usually after several glasses of wine with friends. A startled silence usually follows while stunned bystanders attempt to process the origin of such an ear-splitting sound.
Don’t laugh too hard men. Bro Yells are basically the male equivalent of the Cackle Scream except that guys usually yell words like “bro”, “dude” or something unintelligible. Often heard at bars, Bro Yells usually come with another irritating characteristic- arm swinging. Whether up, down, backward, forward, in or out, the swinging arms usually end up smacking innocent victims; spilling their overpriced drinks and staining clothes.
4. Your Kid, My Problem
Being in public places with very young children is a risky venture. But when Junior’s behavior gets out of control and the parents do nothing about it, I get pissed off. Junior should not be screaming, climbing over things or running all over the place. If he is, Junior needs to be taken out (not taken out mob style, just removed from the room by a parent). Yep, that stinks for Mom & Dad, but what is parenting if not an inconvenience.
5. Excessive Commenting
Attending concerts, theater shows and movies is not the same thing as watching YouTube videos at home with friends. At home, it’s totally cool to talk before, during and after each video. But life in the “live” world is different. Way different. The next time you feel the urge to say something during a live event, stop and imagine what would happen if everybody in the audience said something too. If all you want to do is talk, meet at a coffee shop, not a theater.
P.S.- when and why did we forget how to whisper?
6. Fist Fighting
A rare but exceedingly stupid event. I can’t believe this actually happens. But when it does, I hope both fighters lose. So lame.
7. Cell From Hell
When the theater is dark, that little cell phone light is really irritating, distracting and sometimes blinding! Do not check that text, respond to an email, update Facebook or answer a call. Just turn the stinking phone off and put it away until intermission. Remember how we used to live just fine before cell phones?
Ah! I feel better already! Time to go run some kids off my front lawn.