The fickle finger award goes to…

March 8, 2014

The fickle finger

award goes to…

I’ve experienced several “firsts” recently.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I’d never attended a live musical. Clumsy one-act high school plays don’t count. A production of “Ghost” at Bass Hall in Fort Worth was far more enjoyable than I expected, thanks to outstanding special effects and a female lead actress from Wisconsin with a beautiful voice.

On another recent weekend, I viewed works by Picasso and Matisse that were temporarily on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. I’ve never had much appreciation for such things, so this was my first time to see a major art exhibition in person. For some people that might be equivalent to getting front-row seats for the World Series or the Super Bowl. For me, not so much.

At least now I have a claim – however shaky – that I’m “cultured” and maybe even “sophisticated.”

Another recent “first” came while I was driving on a large parking lot and a man flipped me off for driving friendly.

That’s right.

Our vehicles came to a standstill, with his van to my right. I motioned with my arm for him to go ahead, since he clearly had the right-of-way.

Ordinarily, I might have assumed I’d just done something terribly wrong, like run over his mother elsewhere in the parking lot.

People have flipped me off before, but not usually for trying to be polite while driving. On many of those previous occasions, I likely deserved the honor.

Whatever thoughts were going through the man’s mind, chances are he wasn’t having a great day. Or a great week. Or a great life, for that matter.

A growing portion of our society has no manners. Many people have not been brought up to have even a basic respect for other people. In grocery store aisles, people will practically run you over with their shopping carts and never say “Excuse me” or “Sorry.”

One recent incident involving children out of control made me wonder if they had been taught anything by their parents about how to behave in public.

I was waiting to get my hair cut when a man with three young boys was called for his turn with one of the stylists. The boys, ranging in age from about 6 through 12, went on a rampage after the dad went to the back.

It was like I was in the middle of a pro wrestling event – except there were no folding chairs handy for the kids to smash over each other’s heads. The oldest boy dominated the other three, of course. At one point during their ongoing scuffles they even bumped the front glass of the business hard enough that it shook.

Did the dad tell the boys to simmer down now? Nope.

I had enough, so I got in my car and took a brief drive. I returned, but waited in my vehicle to go back in until after they walked out. I wasn’t in the mood to put up with that chaos after a stressful day.

It seems in today’s world there are no apologies, no discipline, no patience, no respect, no common sense and no shame.

And, as I learned from the fickle finger award-winner, there is also no appreciation when someone tries to be nice for a change.

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