Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Thoughts on being Rude

Are you a rude person? I'd like to think that I'm not, but I make more than my fair share of disparaging remarks about other drivers. A couple of days ago, though, I met my limit. The following is probably going to be a fairly long and somewhat boring story that ends in a morale. Fair warning. I was biking, as I often do, after work. The weather was beautiful and it's a great way to get some exercise. I'm not the fastest biker in the world, averaging 8-10 miles per hour. Keep in mind, however, that I am also pulling a 35 lbs kid and a 10 lbs carrier. I think that I'm doing pretty good. Oshkosh is not laid out for commuters on bikes. Neenah has bike lanes, even on some of their busiest streets. In Oshkosh bikers are forced to stay on the sidewalk or risk their life on the road. I see other bikers doing both, probably 50-50 each. I choose the sidewalk, not only because of my speed, but for the safety of my child that I'm towing. Sidewalks are designed for pedestrian traffic and don't leave much room for passing. So I object to the nasty comment "Thanks for moving over" from the headphoned teenage boy that was behind me. Some lessons in manners are needed, I believe. Playhouse Disney has them, young man. Perhaps you've heard of Manners with Max. No? Let me instruct you, then. When you want to move around someone, "Excuse me" is going to get you further than your silent sulking behind me. Secondly, "Thanks" is a more polite response to a person in your way, even if they gave you no help. I realize, young man, that you are most likely still trapped in a stage that has a strong egocentric force, but get over it. When biking down 9th St, in Oshkosh and traffic is whizzing by, no one is going to hear you coming up behind them when you also are moving under your own force. Last, a sarcasm tone is not your strong point. Next time, try a little inflection. Then be man enough to stay so I can teach you the manners that my 5 year old has.

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