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SPACE HOG VOMIT THREAT

Cathy Seipp on modern manners:

A couple of years ago on an airplane, the girl sitting in front of me became bizarrely enraged that my knee prevented her from reclining her seat back as far as it could possibly go. Usually, it’s the person whose knees are getting smashed to complain in these situations, but in this case it was the knee-smasher that called over the flight attendant, who basically shrugged. So then the frustrated space-hog threatened to vomit on me if I didn’t uncross my leg to allow her even more reclining space.

“With your head turned all the way round, like in The Exorcist?” I said brightly. “Can you really do that?” And so on and so forth, all the way from Winnipeg to L.A. This is why I never fly coach if I can possibly help it.

Read the whole thing; killer final line. Then add your own bad manners stories in comments.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/02/2005 at 10:01 PM
  1. To list all the bizarrely rude moments I’ve encountered in my life would take… well… a lifetime, probably, so I’ll relate just one, and it didn’t happen to me but to a coworker.

    She was the contracts coordinator in our office (the Graduate School office of a minor mediocre Midwestern university), and it was her job to handle finalizing contracts for graduate assistants and researchers.  She had the bad luck to have to tell one graduate assistant (a young lady from some Caribbean island) that her faculty boss had declined to renew her contract.  There ensued a very loud argument (on the young lady’s part; the contracts coordinator happened to be an ex-nun, if that tells you anything).  The CC was, in fact, saintly in her restraint and tone.  Finally, the young woman leaped to her feet and screamed:  “Don’t you take that reasonable tone with me!”  before storming out of the office.

    That was one of our oft-recounted legendary ones.  The other one was the Russian we came to call Alexander the Terrible, who threatened to kill us all.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 02 at 11:53 PM • permalink

  2. This is why I so rarely leave the house.

    I’m at a Shakespeare in the Park production. Mom behind me figures there’s nothing a five-year-old enjoys better than three hours of the Bard, so she brings her moppet. Moppet runs around acting moppety and making noise - just what we all came to see, hang the actors - and bangs into my folding chair for about the fifteenth time in as many minutes. I turn my head slightly and give a gentle look. Didn’t even qualify as a glare. It said, nicely, “Ahem, don’t mean to be a bother, but perhaps your lovely daughter might wish to sit quietly for a spell. Thanks so much.”

    Mom glares at me and says to moppet, “Come here, Kaylee, you’re bothering Mr. Perfect.”

    OK, not a great story, but I’ve only lived in Buffalo and Maine, and they’re two fairly polite places.

    Generally impolite things that piss me off - telemarketers (may they burn in Hell), people who put flyers under my windshield wipers (thanks for the litter I need to dispose of, asswipes) and the barbaric Call Waiting (which should properly be called Call Interrupting. Rude on many levels, since it (1) interrupts your conversation, (2) tells you exactly how important you are depending on if you’re the “ditcher”, the “ditch-ee”, or the “keeper”, and (3) turns YOU into a rude interrupter when you innocently call and interrupt a conversation.)

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 02 at 11:59 PM • permalink

  3. A few years back, I lived in Hawaii and traveled frequently to the mainland, often getting enough frequent flyer miles to upgrade to business class or first class.  On one flight from Chicago to Honolulu, with a plane change in LA, an extremely rude and drunk (and getting drunker) passenger in coach insisted he had an upgrade to business class.  Since business class was full, he made himself a complete nuisance to everyone on the plane.  While the plane was making the approach in LA (just before it touched down) he got out of his seat, took his luggage from the overhead and started making his way to the front of the plane, all before the wheels hit the ground.  As we pulled into the gate, he was shoving his way past other passengers, claiming he had to make his flight to Hawaii (the same plane the rest of us were on).  Total jerk.
    As he made his way towards me, I stuck my big country ass in the aisle and he commenced to shoving me with his carry on.  I’m 6’2”, 260, he’s all of 5’5”, 150.  The law of gross tonnage was in effect.  Not to be outdone, he threw his carry on over the seat to the left, climbed over (there were passengers in the seat) and proceeded to push his way forward.  In the course of all this activity, it seems his tickets and boarding pass were slipping out of the jacket pocket he had slung over his shoulder.  As he muscled his way past a young college girl, they fell out on the floor.  She picked them up and tapped him on the shoulder and before she could say anything, he turned around and snapped at her, telling her to “eff off bitch.”  She got a little red, but said nothing.  I followed her off the plane and watched her dump his tickets and boarding pass to Hawaii in the first trashcan she passed.

    Damn, that was one fine day.

    Posted by Holden McGroyn on 2005 12 03 at 12:05 AM • permalink

  4. I followed her off the plane and watched her dump his tickets and boarding pass to Hawaii in the first trashcan she passed.

    It’s golden moments like that which make life worth living. My congratulations, sir.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 03 at 12:12 AM • permalink

  5. Well, civility is a device used by the wealthy and intelligent against the poor, oppressed, and ignorant dontcha know…

    Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 12 03 at 12:26 AM • permalink

  6. I was seated on a flight to Hong Kong adjacent to an Aussie smoker who was obviously having problems not smoking for the flight. He was rude, aggressive, irritable and continued snorting without a hanky.

    After an hour of snort, snort… I offered him a tissue. He glared at me and continued to shoot me dirty looks (in between snorts) for the remainder of the flight. Whatever, I could deal with that.

    When he shoved my coat out of the way, crushing it in order to recover his luggage however I’d had enough.

    On the way off the aerobridge, he started coughing so I tapped an official on the shoulder, pointed to the man and said “I’m a doctor. Trust me, that guy has SARS”.

    Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 12 03 at 01:03 AM • permalink

  7. I have lived all of my life in Florida, most of it in Miami, the world capitol of rudeness (when I went to Paris, I felt right at home, never a good sign). So it will take all weekend to sort out the many, many examples of horrible behavior I have seen over the years.

    Orlando isn’t much better. It’s after midnight here, and some dinkwad just shot off a some fireworks. For no reason that I am aware of, as it’s not a holiday.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 03 at 01:18 AM • permalink

  8. When I read the title of this post, I expected an article about the danger of alien pigs destroying us all with their radioactive chunder. Boy, was I disappointed.

    Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 12 03 at 01:19 AM • permalink

  9. It takes a while to set this story up so please be patient.

    I used to be a UN nuclear inspector.  Late one afternoon in Vienna I was asked to fly to Finland and cover a “core control”. My bit was just to serial number identify the fuel assemblies.  It is the type of job that has to be done perfectly first time - delaying a reactor start up by one hour can be a $1million decision (I did end up holding one up by 24 hours once but that is a different story).

    Anyway, I flew to Finland, drove to the facility (3 or 4 hours), did the core control (if I remember correctly 934 assemblies in just under 12 hours) and drove back to airport in time for a flight back to Vienna (wanting to get back for my youngest son’s birthday). 

    By that time I had been awake since Monday morning and it was around noon on Wednesday when I got on the plane - the first opportunity to have some down time.  Unfortunately I was seated to a man who believed that I was actually obliged to talk to him for the entire trip.  He was a Finn and he was obnoxious - he also was trying to set some sort of record for the amount of brandy consumed on a three hour flight.  I explained that I needed to sleep so he called me a racist and started abusing me.  When I put on the earphones he ripped them off to attract my attention.  The plane was completely full and there was no other seat to move to.

    You may wonder why I didn’t physically shut him up - I seriously considered it, but legal consequences tend to go in line with the degree of injury (regardless of the degree of provocation) and it was clear that nothing short of killing him was going to shut him up.

    When the time came to get off the plane he started to insist that we would share a cab into Vienna - I simply walked away.

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 01:28 AM • permalink

  10. Dan Lewis
    Consider yourself lucky you didnt wind up next to me on one trip.
    Huge night on the turps, brothel then straight to the airport for 3 hours of funny noises, smells and snoring before arriving back in Oz.
    I was a bad, bad, man.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 03 at 01:46 AM • permalink

  11. When I was 18 or so, I was at Nordstrom during Christmastime, when I stepped ahead to open the door for a middle-aged woman absolutely laden with packages.  She step halfway through the door and gave me this condesecending glare and a sneer.  “I am perfectly capable of handling the door myself.”

    Apparently not, because when I let the door drop back on her, she dropped everything.

    Posted by Andrew on 2005 12 03 at 02:09 AM • permalink

  12. I may as well tell the story of holding up the syncing of a reactor to the grid by twenty-four hours - since it also involves massive rudeness.  I am obliged to obscure nationalities to protect the guilty.

    I was travelling through a country that was notorious for excitable people - I was originally meant to do my third core control in a week at about 2:00am Sunday - but I received a message saying that it was delayed and that the facility did not want me to do my part until 9:00am Monday.  Very civilised - I had the weekend off.  I met the man that was to be my partner on this core control at the bar of the hotel and we had a pleasant Saturday evening meal that was well lubricated with local beer.  When I was walking back to my room I got trapped by lights that were on an auto turn-off switch and ended up walking into a wall and seriously breaking my nose (I have a very big nose - I went from looking like a Scot, which I am by ancestry, to looking Korean or Kazakh).  I set and dressed it myself and then went to bed.

    My partner and I turned up at the facility at 8:00am on Monday morning.  We had a lot of trouble getting in as I looked nothing like my ID documents (I was still looking Korean from my broken nose).  There was big, unexplained kerfuffle as we tried to get into the facility and then we were ushered in to the director’s office and told that the reactor had been closed up and that we had turned up too late to do a core control - the people were very smug about it and trying to pick a fight about what had happened - blaming it on us.  This was effectively an unprecedented situation.

    I deferred to my partner (who was a lot more senior than I was) and I asked the shouty and rude facility people if my partner and I could have a quiet moment to discuss the issue.  They left us alone and at that moment by nose and facial bones popped back into shape - I went from looking like a badly beaten up Korean to looking like a not quite so badly beaten up Scot - it hurt more than hitting the wall in the first place.  My partner checked I was OK and then told me that basically, apart from making a few phone calls back to HQ we should do nothing.

    We walked back to the facility managers (who were freaked out and the change in my appearance) and my partner just said “This is a very serious situation!”.  The facility people freaked out and started shouting and getting very offended.  My partner remained very calm and stroked his beard and said, very calmly, “This is a very serious situation.”  I just nodded and said nothing (actually the lower half of my face had gone a bit numb and I was not certain I could talk).  The facility people started making phone calls and trying to pick a fight with us.  My partner refused to say anything other than “This is a very serious situation.” - for four hours.  Eventually the facility people cracked, reopened the reactor and we did our job.

    The facility people still tried to wear us down - but it was clear that we had won. We did our job and they ended up getting the reactor onto the grid 24 hours later than they would have if they had just left it open in the first place.

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 02:26 AM • permalink

  13. his is a very serious situation.

    That’s beautiful.  I’ll have to remember that one.

    Posted by Pixy Misa on 2005 12 03 at 03:08 AM • permalink

  14. Dang, I only usually drop my aitches.

    Posted by Pixy Misa on 2005 12 03 at 03:09 AM • permalink

  15. Don’t get me started on the good old days…

    Hey, would it have killed her to uncross her legs?

    Posted by slammer on 2005 12 03 at 03:28 AM • permalink

  16. It was a dark and stormy night… Sorry, wrong story.

    A couple of years back, my daughter and I were returning from a visit to the big city. It was early evening and the traffic was moderately heavy.  As we approached a queue of cars wanting to turn at the lights I went to change into the inside lane. When I checked the mirror I noted a Landcruiser well back in the inside lane but approaching rapidly – the guy was obviously going pretty fast because I was speeding myself.

    Anyway, I put on my indicator and slipped into the inside lane with plenty of room to spare – I didn’t cut the guy off. Within a few seconds the Landcruiser was right on my arse; when I looked in the mirror I could see him and his skanky passenger shaking their heads and mouthing disapproval.  Using my smaller car’s agility to advantage, I worked my way through traffic to put a few cars between me and the moron. Watching the guy in the mirror I could just tell he was determined to hassle me in some way.

    With traffic thinning as we left the city behind the Landcruiser guy gradually worked his way closer to me.  As we approached a large roundabout my radar detector alerted me to a speed camera ahead – I figured it would be hidden amongst roadside bushes about 200 metres past the roundabout. So, as the Landcruiser guy and I exited the roundabout – he was in the inside lane, just a bit behind me – I accelerated heavily and the Landcruiser guy, obviously determined to get ahead of me, did the same. I waited until the radar detector let me know I was really close to the speed camera and then rapidly decelerated. The moron went flying past and my daughter and I had the great pleasure of watching the speed camera’s strobe flash the Landcruiser. It cost the guy $100 to get in front of me. Not wanting to become a road rage statistic I quickly turned off, taking back streets the rest of the way home.

    Posted by J F Beck on 2005 12 03 at 03:38 AM • permalink

  17. #16- Damn, that guy fits my Landcruiser-driver stereotype exactly.  And I had almost convinced myself it was unfair to stereotype them as jerks…

    Posted by slammer on 2005 12 03 at 03:48 AM • permalink

  18. I had an absolute penis breath seated behind me on the way from Brisbane to Los Angeles in about March 2002.  He got on in Auckland and proceded to to the fella beside him, as well as the entire cabin, about how 911 was an inside job and the ‘Merrikuns had it coming.

    Needless to say, after several hours of this, I told him that I hoped he would one day be decapitated by a acolyte of the Religion of Peace and he should STFU before I clobbered him myself.  His response was typically pissweak: “I’m entitled to my opinion.”

    On my way thru LAX I pointed him out to the INS officer who processed me.  The INS officer seemed particularly interested.  Not sure if anything happened.  Hopefully he had an encounter with a rubber glove and a tube of KY.

    Posted by murph on 2005 12 03 at 05:03 AM • permalink

  19. A few months ago, a man sitting a three feet away from me was reading a novel while picking the lice from his hair, chewing them, then flicking the husks to the carpet.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 08:27 AM • permalink

  20. Kindness went out when leash laws came in and all the dogs were tied up, making them unable to do their jobs.

    ``It may be that you are one day approached by a Ghetto Dweller, or some other sort of Inhabitant, and a pit bull.  If this happens, the thing to do is to ask the Dweller the dog’s name. The Dweller will promptly say ``Fido,’’ because it takes a seasoned professional handler to resist the opportunity to say a dog’s beloved Name.  When the Dweller says his dog’s name proudly, Fido will as likely as not look up at him and wiggle, releasing the pressure on the leash.  This will give the Dweller a chance to straighten up and relieve his aching back.  It will be a kindness.

    And kindness - dear reader!  Kindness these days is everything.’‘

    Vicki Hearne _Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog_ p.231-23

    Posted by rhhardin on 2005 12 03 at 08:29 AM • permalink

  21. Last year, a man came in, sat down at a table, took of his shoes, and proceeded to clips his toenails, letting the nail trimmings fall to the carpet.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 08:38 AM • permalink

  22. At least one hundred times, I’ve walked over with police to point out some man masturbating. Sometimes the guys put it away when they see the cop, sometimes they keep going. Sometimes it’s scummy-looking guys doing it, sometimes it’s men in business suits.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 09:11 AM • permalink

  23. #22 - damn, Donnah, you’re either very unlucky, or very hot.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 03 at 09:23 AM • permalink

  24. Central Florida rudeness update: I wasn’t planning on waking up at 3:30am, but the people upstairs had another idea, because I was awakened to the sound of loud “alternative” rock music. There is very little insulation between apartments in this building. (And I can’t move—the condo frenzy has taken over Orlando and I doubt I’ll be able to find another apartment ever again.) Anyway, they turned the music down for a while and I fell back asleep. Obviously the low music palled because I was re-awakened at 5:30am by another loud song. Eventually they turned the music off. But they must have left the house, because not five minutes later their freaking alarm came on and stayed on for two hours.

    I’m ready to kill someone.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 03 at 10:06 AM • permalink

  25. I was on a flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis, which may come as a surprise to James Lileks, is not the center of niceness in the universe.

    In the seats behind me was a couple with their toddler who proceeded to kick the back of my seat. After several minutes of this annoyance I turned around and asked the parents politely to restrain their child from continueing this obviously highly entertaining activity.

    The parents of course were shocked at this request and the father smugly replied, “I’m a lawyer, go ahead sue me”, after which he and his wife heartily laughed.

    I just smiled and offered the two people sitting in the seats behind the lawyer and his wife 20 dollars if they would exchange seats with my wife and me.

    They did, and my wife, a real trooper, and I spent the remaining 90 minutes of the flight kicking the back of the seats of Mr. “I’m a lawyer” and his wife.

    Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2005 12 03 at 10:08 AM • permalink

  26. There’s a lady who constantly urinates in our chairs. Once when I had asked her to leave, she took off her urine-soaked pantyhose and left them next to my telephone.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 10:13 AM • permalink

  27. One time I watched as a Bermuda-shorts-clad man was asking my friend, a genteel elderly lady, a question. As she answered, he first dug his right arm into the back of his shorts up to mid-forearm and scratched one side of his ass, then repeated the process with his other arm to give the left side a good, long, thorough scratching as well.
    Afterwards I told her that if I’d been in her place, I would have walked away. She just shrugged.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 10:31 AM • permalink

  28. I know this guy who wears baggy pants.  As he is quite overwieght, the pants don’t go all the way down, but when he isn’t wearing a coat or tuck in shirt, everyone gets an unhealthy view of the top of his butt cheeks.  He won’t wear a belt or suspenders; people have gone out of their way to give him those, and he bluntly rejects them.  So he knows that he has a problem.

    The community is grateful for cold weather, and he has to wear something other than a t-shirt.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 03 at 10:55 AM • permalink

  29. Okay Donnah, it’s on.

    While waiting for a prescription to be filled I was killing time by looking at sunglasses. I had stooped down so that my head was at waist-level, as I checked out the glasses toward the bottom of the rack. An elderly gentleman walks up abreast of me, stops about two feet away, farts, stands there for a few seconds and then walks off without saying a word. It wasn’t a particularly loud fart, it was one of those wet spurters.

    Posted by J F Beck on 2005 12 03 at 10:57 AM • permalink

  30. When did parents become such narcissistic fuckheads? The calmest request for the minimum level of acceptable public behavior by their precious tots is taken as if you urinated on the little angels.

    People I know think I hate kids. I don’t. I hate parents.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 03 at 11:16 AM • permalink

  31. #29
    Farters? I get farters almost every day, including the kind that bend at the waist a little bit before cutting loose.

    I prefer them over the ones that either a)crap on the carpet b)crap on the chairs c)repeatedly write on the bathroom walls in crap.

    One time I heard the ding of the elevator, looked up, and saw the man we called “Diarrhea Man” departing.  The backs of his jeans were drenched and stuck to his legs; there was liquid crap dribbling over his tennis shoes, and he’d left a trail from the yet another chair that he’d ruined, to the elevator.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 11:22 AM • permalink

  32. Many years ago I lived in a small outback town. Rough diamond type guys were a dime a dozen. One night at a dance, this guy named Stan crapped himself on the dance floor while dancing. He was so drunk he had to be told.

    Posted by J F Beck on 2005 12 03 at 11:35 AM • permalink

  33. Geez, Donnah, where the heck do you work?

    I’ve got a crap-on-the-carpet story from when I worked at a movie theater during the launch of Star Wars Episode I. Every three feet (the length of the guy’s stride), for about 85 feet total.

    The final straw was when the manager started chewing me and the other minimum-wage usher out for taking too long to remove diarrhea from carpet using nothing but paper towels and Windex, not to mention the women that informed us about the mess complaining about our poor attitudes when we were told exactly how we’d be cleaning it up.

    Those were the days.

    Posted by david on 2005 12 03 at 11:41 AM • permalink

  34. I think Donnah must work in a mental hospital.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 03 at 11:55 AM • permalink

  35. JF, Donnah, I for one concede that you both have great stories of really rude people.  So, can we avoid a game of one-upmanship on the improper disposal of human feces?  I believe Tim asked for rude behavior.

    For clarification, I do not mean farting; God knows people have cut loose in the most inappropriate locations, and that is considered rude behavior in some quarters.  I’ve known some people who find it funny.  Indeed, there’s a entire industry for this, an old one.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 03 at 12:02 PM • permalink

  36. No more crap stories from me; I’m out of ammo.

    What’s interesting about this guy Stan, and his mates and most of the poeple in the town, is that this sort of behaviour didn’t bother them one little bit. They just didn’t give a damn.

    One of these jokers once took me out fishing in a very remote spot. While out in the boat he drank the best part of a flagon of wine, refused to head to shore when it got dark, had a game of chicken with another boat and hit a kangaroo on the way home, tearing a huge hole in the radiator, stranding us in the middle of nowehere after dark. This was “normal” behaviour for that time and place.

    Posted by J F Beck on 2005 12 03 at 12:23 PM • permalink

  37. Once I looked up to see a crowd of men staring at something, grinning.  I went over to check from their vantage point, and found myself looking at the anus and vagina of an extremely pretty young woman in a short skirt and no underwear, who had draped her torso across a stand, and was having a chat with a young man standing next to her.

    At first I was embarrassed for her and wanted to whisper to her a girly heads-up about the situation, as if the edge of her skirt were caught in her pantyhose or something.
    Then I thought, hey, if it were a guy exposing his genitals in here I’d call the cops on him in a heartbeat.  So I did.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 12:26 PM • permalink

  38. Then I thought, hey, if it were a guy exposing his genitals in here I’d call the cops on him in a heartbeat.  So I did.

    HAH!  Equal rights!  I love it.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 03 at 12:32 PM • permalink

  39. Again, Donnah.

    For those of us not in the know. Where do you work?

    I’m fascinated and repulsed at the same time.  Not by you, just the situations that you describe, except that is for the young lady

    Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2005 12 03 at 12:38 PM • permalink

  40. That’s privileged information, Joe.  I will say that I use the word “Shhh” in a professional capacity.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 01:23 PM • permalink

  41. Good, God, Donnah, you work in a public library?

    My husband had died the night before, and some of our friends had come by to bring me food and comfort.  One asked me, “So, when are you going to move?  You can’t possibly afford this place by yourself.  You had better get started on moving right away!”

    One crisis at a time, please.  But she had brought a lasagna…

    Posted by ushie on 2005 12 03 at 01:58 PM • permalink

  42. Pet peeve #1) Cell phones. You cannot use a cell phone while driving and still maintain travel speed and lane control. You think you can, but you’re wrong!

    Shut the fargin’ phone off in theaters, meetings, restaurants, ect. Use your inside voice, you don’t need to shout. Remember that we can’t tell if you’re using a handsfree or just talking to yourself. So it takes a second or third look to determine if you’re a crazy person. If you’re in a queue, stop the conversation long enough to complete the transaction. And what the hell is wrong with you people who use your phone in public restrooms? Not only is this unnerving to others, but the mics in today’s devices pick up everything!!!

    Pet peeve #2) There’s a high pressure sales technique being taught to today’s salespeople and phone solicitors: “If the prospect is still there (or still on the phone), they’re interested.” BS. But this makes it impossible to end the exchange with “Thanks, but no”, they must persist until you are screaming profanities. Neither salesperson nor prospect is allowed to depart with dignity intact.

    Posted by nofixedabode on 2005 12 03 at 02:49 PM • permalink

  43. #42, nfa, hear hear!  I’ve had to forcibly restrain myself from ramming people who are driving and talking on cell phones.  Especially after they’ve nearly run over me and not even noticed I was there.

    As for telemarketers, the solution for that is to say very rapidly:  “I’mnotinterestedbutthanksanyway” and hang up before they can take a breath to speak.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 03 at 03:12 PM • permalink

  44. Oh.  Perhaps the telemarketer thing is rude.  But I don’t care.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 03 at 03:13 PM • permalink

  45. That’s the meta-rudeness of telemarketing - it forces you to be rude. They forcibly drag you down to their level.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 03 at 03:27 PM • permalink

  46. Russell — And then those damned Israelis flew in the next day and bombed the damn thing.

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 03 at 03:53 PM • permalink

  47. #46 - Naah! - I wouldn’t make it that easy to figure out locations.  A lot of countries with excitable people get inspected.  Also we are talking nineties not eighties.

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 04:20 PM • permalink

  48. 45. Dave, I am never rude to telemarketers. I make a point of letting them know I’m not interested, and then advise them that I’m hanging up.

    Even in a screaming match on the telephone with someone, I warn them before slamming the phone down.

    I once got a phone call at 2am from a ‘business associate’ who was in the States abusing me because another of his partners was pissed off with him over finances. After an ugly call I told him I’d had enough of his crap and would talk to him at a decent hour.

    Got that sorted, then a couple of weeks later this idiot ‘business ass’ is back in Oz. By this stage, I refused to have anything to do with him, and any communication went via China even though he was 5 minutes around the corner.

    Then the worst happened, and I had to speak directly with him. Needless to say, he started in on me again, and this time I let fly.

    After a few minutes of my trying to reason with him (apparently I was an example of why women shouldn’t be in business. I was wounded, wounded I tell you). I told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t allow me to speak then I’d hang up on him. He kept on, and I warned him again, then hung up.

    He called back 5 minutes later and started in on me again, I told him where to get off and that I was hanging up. I hung up.

    He called back for another serve, then stopped and said ‘You’re not happy with me, are you?’ And invited me to dinner with him and his wife. WTF? Needless to say, I declined and hung up on him again.

    Never spoke to him again.

    I did hear that someone of his name was in Cabrini with cancer, and I confess to hoping it was him, but it wasn’t. Bummer about that. What a wanker.

    And just for some light relief, when I was about 7 months pregnant, my housemate’s boyfriend was drunk. By that I mean totally trashed, and he urinated in the hallway in his sleep at 4am. It woke me up, but I couldn’t figure out what the noise was until I stepped in it.

    That relationship didn’t last much longer after that.

    Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2005 12 03 at 04:43 PM • permalink

  49. Russell — Should we be concerned that you left a working reactor in the hands of people who run it based on their mood of the moment? “These damper rods are an affront to the dignity of my manhood!  I will not pull them!”

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 03 at 05:27 PM • permalink

  50. #49 - well it was not actually like I could have put it in my pocket and taken it back to Vienna with me.

    It was more a display of machismo than anything else - a pissing contest.  They resented having to interupt the smooth flow of their jobs to wait for us to do our jobs. 

    Some bright spark in line management at the facility got the brilliant idea of forcing a confrontation with the inspectors figuring that it would show us who had the real power.  It could of ended up very tense and very nasty but my senior colleagues handled it brilliantly with nothing more than calmness and a worried expression.  They expected us to yell and threaten - he just let their imagination do all of the work. Excitable people tend to have very active imaginations.

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 06:01 PM • permalink

  51. Just last week, my wife and I were trying to drive into a shop’s parking lot, but a Landcruiser was parked across two spots, and completely blocking access to the area beyond.  I got out to investigate and found an overweight female (think Kim Day-Knight, just not so charming) in the passenger seat, her bare feet up on the dash, yakking on a mobile phone, ample rolls of abdominal fat protruding from her babydoll shorty tee.  I very politely asked her to shift the car - she turned towards me, no doubt glaring death behind her mirrored wrap-arounds, and didn’t even pause in her inane conversation.  She did move the car, but with the studied slowness of a well-fed heifer returning from pasture.

    Posted by cuckoo on 2005 12 03 at 06:55 PM • permalink

  52. Telemarketers take advantage of our politeness that’s why you keep them on the phone for as long as possible then just hang up without saying anything.

    My 8-year-old niece just starts talking about how well she did at soccer that week and they hang up on her. Came up with that idea on her own. When she answers the phone and it’s a telemarketer, she asks her mother if “she can do it” then starts rambling on about her soccer exploits for that week.

    Google search for “excitable nationals”


    Russell,

    Your post here made it onto the 1st page of results.

    Posted by zefal on 2005 12 03 at 07:13 PM • permalink

  53. 1 angry arab and 1 mental story then.
    We had a chap going off his tits because he didnt like his food one night. (made by and for detainees). I was supervisor and was attempting to calm him down, after about 3 minutes of his shouting 6 inches from my face he tried this line ” I would not let my servants eat this food”. I laughed, couldnt help it.
    Another time i was posted at greylands mental hospital with a detainee. We had a chap come into the ward from prison for treatment. He called himself lonnie and within less than a day had EVERYONE, staff, and patients wanting to cave his head in. He was a convicted rapist (multiple) who for some reason thought that i was there to listen to him brag of his exploits. Im normaly quiet and this only encouraged him, to elaborate on how they had “loved it” and so on. When he got to their ages was when i finaly snapped and told him if he didnt fuck off Id cut off his dick. Seemed to work.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 03 at 07:17 PM • permalink

  54. Russell,

    How many countries have un inspections of their nuclear facilities? Iran, North Korea, Russia?

    Posted by zefal on 2005 12 03 at 07:19 PM • permalink

  55. #54 - The UN IAEA inspection system is effectively universal.  Every country with any nuclear activities accepts some form of inspection (except for the DPRK which threw out the inspectors in December 2002).  Three countries are outside the NPT system (India, Israel and Pakistan) but they accept limited inspection of foreign supplied facilities.  The five recognised nuclear weapon states (US, UK, France, Russia and China) accept limited inspection of civil facilities.

    Australia is currently inspected an average of about three times per year.

    You can look up the details at http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/index.html

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 07:32 PM • permalink

  56. #52 - zefal:

    I like your neice’s approach! Think her parent’s would be willing to let me adopt her?

    Posted by nofixedabode on 2005 12 03 at 07:42 PM • permalink

  57. Russell,

    Thanks for the link.

    Posted by zefal on 2005 12 03 at 07:45 PM • permalink

  58. And now I can’t get the image of RebeccaH in restraints outta my mind. It’s gonna be a long night! ;-)

    Posted by nofixedabode on 2005 12 03 at 07:47 PM • permalink

  59. Zefal - odd little point of interest - the white guy in the picture at the link is the last UN inspector thrown out of the DPRK.

    Posted by Russell on 2005 12 03 at 07:51 PM • permalink

  60. Donnah: You might be able to relate to this.

    Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 12 03 at 10:31 PM • permalink

  61. Words to live by:  “It’s not much of a crime to whack a surly bartender”
    Augustus McCrae

    Posted by Carl H on 2005 12 03 at 10:35 PM • permalink

  62. Yes, I could, Jim. Thanks.  That dog made for a very interesting page.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 03 at 11:52 PM • permalink

  63. On the flipside of rudeness and indulgent parents, a couple years back me and the Mrs. were flying home from Heatrow to SFO—my wife and I were across the aisle from one another and in front of her were a man, a woman, a three year old and an six year old. Whatever reason, the six year old was in the seat in front of me.

    The lady was very obviously a cancer patient—not only from her balding head, but from the fact that she was chatting with the flight attendant about what she might need and that she was on her way to California for a specialized treatment.

    Somewhere over northern Canada, the kid in front of me started running down the aisle and jumping, full force, into the seat in front of me, making rest impossible.  After about 30 minutes of this, I *very gently* asked the Dad that, look, I’ve overheard that you guys are on your way to California and it sounds like its hard on the kids and would it be possible to ask your kid to just ease down a tad.

    The Dad looked at me for a long moment and said, basically, “manners don’t rest” and proceded to put an immediate stop to it and not only did he apolgize, he had the kid apologize and the mother came out of her seat and apologized for not keeping the squirt under control.

    Needless to say, I felt like a turd after that for even asking given these people were so damned polite, but it gave me a bit of hope for humanity.

    Posted by Andrew on 2005 12 04 at 01:12 AM • permalink

  64. That dog made for a very interesting page.

    22 pages! My favorite part is the magazines with all the eyes in the photos cut out.

    Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 12 04 at 02:43 AM • permalink

  65. Telemarketers take advantage of our politeness

    See also charity collectors in the city and Mormons…

    They know we are programmed to stop and respond when confronted with “hello, how are you” as we would have been told as youngsters that “fuck off and die, parasite” is not an appropriate response.

    It’s similar programming which causes me to cringe whenever I instinctively say “thank you” to whoever just handed me a speeding ticket, or instinctively say “I’m very well thank you” to anyone who asks me “how are you” at a funeral.

    Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 12 04 at 06:24 AM • permalink

  66. You’re teasing me. The dog’s job title was ‘page’.
    The eyes thing allowed him to adapt to his environment. ;)  Beats losing your mind out in the stacks and killing yourself, which one page in our department did.

    Posted by Donnah on 2005 12 04 at 08:57 AM • permalink

  67. Needless to say, I felt like a turd after that for even asking given these people were so damned polite

    That’s the other great thing about politeness - it can be a devastating weapon.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 04 at 01:38 PM • permalink

  68. Getting aboard a bus, there were some teenagers ahead of me.  When a couple of the guys pushed in front of one of the girls, she complained “hey, whatever happened to ‘ladies first?’ ... f**king a**hole.”

    My brother’s technique with telemarketers is to say “Oh yes, I’m very interested.  Hold on a second.” Then he puts the phone down and walks away.

    Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 04 at 03:58 PM • permalink

  69. My first trip to Sydney.  Coming out of Myers on to the Pitt St Mall.  Opened the glass door (remember the old Myers front) as a woman advanced towards it.  Stood back to let her in.  She stepped through, turned and abused me for being a pig and that she did not need any man to open a door for her and than stamped on my foot with the heel (high) of her shoe.  And walked off.  A pox upon her!

    Posted by stickit on 2005 12 04 at 07:15 PM • permalink

  70. It is true that many people are rude and obnoxious.  Luckily for the survival or our species, many more are delightful.  Nevertheless, while reading all of the above, I thought through my examples of rudeness and the one that stood out was the following.
    As a young man I was on a training course in Manila with a large international bank.  I was considerably younger than the other participants and so was a little intimidated.  On our Sunday off I used my contacts with the local office to borrow a car and a group of us set out to go to a beach resort.  There was a Swiss in our group and he loudly insisted on driving.  As I said I was a little intimidated and let him do it something that wouln’t happen today.
    On our way to the beach we got slightly off course and ended up travelling on a back road.  Up ahead a farmer had spread his crop out on the road presumably to dry.  My complete lout of a Swiss driver sped up and trashed it despite all of our protests.
    Fast forward a couple of days and I am in a girlie bar (the Bottoms Up for those who knew it) and it is closing time.  Two ladies of the night approach us and ask me if I want to take them home on a 2 for 1 price.  I point to my wedding ring and say thanks but no thanks but my Swissman would certainly be in it.

    They look him up and down and say “no thanks”.  Needless to say I showed no discretion at all with this story next day.  He had been judged unfit by a Manila whore!

    Posted by allan on 2005 12 04 at 11:31 PM • permalink

  71. Rudeness #1
    Waiting to board the Express Mt Gravatt bus from the middle of Brisbane, I was second in the queue, and a toad in a suit pushed past us and climbed onto the bus as the bus doors opened. The buses aren’t supposed to stop until they reach their first stop, several kilometres from the city. At the end of the street, near the Duty Free, the toad approached the driver, he’d barged onto the wrong bus, and the driver let him off. I wish the lights had been green and that arsehole would have been getting off at Greenslopes, some kilometres out of the city!!

    Rudeness #2
    In my early 20s I was seeing a chap who drank at a certain army wet-mess. (I had a lot of friends there, too.) I used to have a shower and go out with wet hair, sometimes the shampoo had a strong perfume. A friend of mine was with a rude, smart-arsed bastard who, when he saw me made some remark about my perfume. Taking it politely, I said it was probably my hair because I had just shampooed it. He made some remark about it being my ‘femfresh’. My reply was that he should know what that smelt like as he was the biggest c*** in the place.
    My friends had to stay between me and him, but he asked for it.

    Posted by kae on 2005 12 05 at 12:42 AM • permalink

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