MIKE’S MUSINGS: ‘Common courtesy’ is maybe not so common

Just a short list of things that bother me about the way some people behave in public places

In this edition of Mike’s Musings, I’m going to hop up on my soapbox and lecture.

I’m going to pretend like I’m so much better than other people like some kind of egocentric megalomaniac, when I’m actually just as full of flaws as anyone else on this spinning rock we call home – maybe more so.

Now that you know that I recognize what I’m about to do, let me just jump right in.

This column is about things that bother me in terms of pubic etiquette.

It’s spurred by the behaviour of a few select members of the audience at Monday night’s Matt Good concert.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, just know that some people decided to act like a concert at the Tidemark Theatre by a long-time Canadian rock icon was actually an opportunity to have a drunken (I hope, anyway) conversation with a musician by yelling at him between songs.

He took it all in stride, but many in the audience, based on the conversations around me and the comments online following the show, thought it was an embarrassment.

So that can be the first thing on my list of “maybe don’t do this, because it’s rude and it bothers people.”

Now that the impetus for the column is out of the way, let’s move on to some others.

Number two: Casual grocery shopping

When I’m at the grocery store, I want to get in the door, get my stuff, pay for it and get out. I’m not there to hang out.

Some people, it seems, are perfectly content to stand around and lackadaisically linger in front of shelves, or hang out with friends in the aisle with their carts perfectly positioned to make it so that others can’t get by with theirs.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend a few minutes to catch up with your old friend that you haven’t seen in a while. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take your time to pick out the exact box of cereal that you want. What I am saying, however, is have some awareness of what’s happening around you and if someone’s trying to get by or clearly knows what they’re trying to grab off the shelf, maybe get out of their way, just for a second, and let them do their thing, and then you can go back to yours.

It should be common courtesy.

Number three: Bad parking lot etiquette

I’m going to lump a couple of ideas into one category, because they’re at least somewhat related.

First, parking lot aisles are not major city thoroughfares. You shouldn’t be driving in even the main lanes, like the one along the storefront(s), at the same rate of speed that you were traveling on the road to get to the parking lot. People need to be inching out slowly – trying to see around the vehicle parked next to them as they do so – and you tearing up the lane way at 50 km/hr, honking at them for trying to leave isn’t helping anyone.

Second, take one parking spot – and park in the middle of it.

“Well, I’m between the lines,” doesn’t matter. We all know that they squish those parking spots into those lots like sardines in a can so they can get in as many as possible, so when you park right up against your driver’s side line, it means my passenger can’t get out comfortably if I park in the middle of mine.

Again, common courtesy.

And last but certainly not least, we come to number four.

If you’re using a public facility, flush the toilet when you’re done, would ya?

Maybe that should have been number two.

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