Maybe it was the intimidation factor of a man in uniform sitting in a squad car, but it was rude, nonetheless. It was a beautiful Saturday morning in the Holy City as I sat there in a rocking chair on the gracious front porch. The streets were relatively quiet. The sun was beaming down and a gentle breeze rustled through the magnolias flanking the front steps. It was as near to perfect a day that I’ve found. There was a police car parked on the street directly in front of the house and just a few feet away from me. So close in fact, that I pondered offering the officer inside a cup of coffee. I am feeling very neighborly these days.
As I was about to put down my newspaper and walk back inside, a car slowed down to talk to the policeman. Without so much as a how do you do, the driver barked at the office. “Is there a Walmart around here?” There was no “Excuse me, officer.” Or “Pardon me, sir,” just a barking order and an expectation of delivery. And then, to put the arrogant icing on the rude cake, he drove off without a thank you.
How many times does this happen to you? How many times do we make this mistake? I must admit, I have been guilty on occasion. Often when asking for directions, the time, a light, sometimes even for a cigarette, we forget the necessary civilities. Although, I’ve noticed when someone bums a cigarette they employ the extra nicety. The same goes when begging for money. Please and excuse me are de rigueur when the thing sought is of monetary value, it seems. But aren’t time, directions, even a light worth the same to us when we need these things that someone else may have to offer?
Needless to say this got my dander up because here I am posting about it. Hey, it’s what I do. I actually yelled thank you as the driver pulled away. The officer looked at me nonplussed, not overly concerned but perhaps wondering if I were a bit crazy. Wouldn’t that just be fitting if I got into trouble for barking at an officer of the law?
It’s the little things that matter as we toil the mortal coil. It is not just for children to say and practice. Please, Excuse Me and Thank you will take you far in life, even – it seems — to Walmart.
and register to win a bow tie.
You know the drill. Advertisers want to know your business before they give us business.