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  • Nicole Sherwin

Bad Manners

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

A comprehensive guide to follow if you're looking to be more despised than an anti-masker.

Source: Imgr

This week we asked you in our Large Almond Latte Facebook group, What are the immediate signs of bad manners?

Since we live in a world full of unconscionable idiots that can’t follow an instruction so simple such as ‘stay the fuck inside,’ it’s no surprise you were all thrashing the keys with examples of bad manners. And look, it feels imperious and a bit uppity to create this list of uncivilised, Neanderthal behaviours, but I think I should acknowledge that we’re probably all guilty of one or two, I’ll just never admit which ones I’m guilty of.

I don’t think we’re asking that much. We’re not asking that deportment or social etiquette be included as a mandatory in the school curriculum, although Ladette to Lady was top quality reviewing if you remember that show, and now that I think about it it’s not the worst idea...but we’re just asking that when you’re in a social setting you display a set of polite and agreeable mannerisms. Basically, showing that you weren’t raised in the wild like Robin Williams on Jumanji. So if you’re sitting on a train with your legs wide open listening to this on the loudspeaker, while chewing on a dim sim with your mouth open, listen up. These is what you need to stop doing immediately, please.

Public Transport Etiquette

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If you’re having a really shitty time at work, you should take public transport to get there. Because taking a train to work ensures that your day cannot get any worse. It’s a breeding ground for inconsiderate mouth breathers. First up, in the hygiene aisle at Coles there is quite an extensive section for antiperspirants. Please make this purchase part of your regular grocery buy. Of your regular trip to Woolies, Lynx is not an antiperspirant, it’s like masking the smell of dog poo with horse poo. I think Lynx must have some Harry Potter magical property whereby it casts a spell over boys to think the scent makes girls want to put their face in their pants, but I can categorically confirm we feel the exact opposite. We feel the same way about men who wear Lynx as we feel about men who have dead fish and Commodores in their profile pictures. So what I’m saying is, get yourself some Rexona before you get on public transport. If you want a scent, pop into Chemmy Warehouse and get yourself some Acquadiggio or some Tommy Girl like everyone else.

Source: GIPHY

I don’t care how hungry you are, you may not eat on the train. Especially not hot food. Nobody wants to see your mouth full of hot chips, with crumbs and tomato sauce dribbling down your chin like a barbaric animal tearing apart its prey.

I know it’s really hard sometimes to tell if a woman is pregnant or not, especially if it’s the middle of winter and she’s wrapped in coats. But when it doubt, just stand up. There’s nothing worse than being 15 months pregnant and standing next to some inconsiderate schlep who hasn’t even noticed you huffing because they haven’t looked up from their game of Candy Crush since you got on the train and stood beside them.

Next up, there is a time and a place for me to listen to your conversation. It’s when the other person is present, I can see the body language and really get the whole context in order to silently judge and form opinions about you both. For example, when you’re sitting next to me at dinner, when I’m with my boyfriend and we’ve been dating so long we have nothing left to talk about, we’re going to listen to you. Even if you’re on the train with a friend, I’ll tune right in. But when you are on your phone and I can’t see the other person, I’m not interested, nobody is interested. So why are you on loudspeaker?! Your inconsiderate behaviour is interrupting my benign train thoughts. Get your earbuds in like a regular asshole that talks too loudly on the train.

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If a pandemic hasn’t taught people to stay home when they're sick, I don’t think anything will, but if you must be a discourteous gruff, as fan Sarai says, do not sniffle on the train. And if you’re going to sneeze, as fan Gerard says, cover your face. If you’re going to spray your snot particles at me and give me your disease, at least add in a ‘Bless you.’ Offering God’s protection is the least you could do for the inconvenience. That’s what ‘Bless you’ is for, right?

Keep 'em right away. Source: GIPHY

And finally in public transport etiquette, please do not cut your claws on the train. I don’t know why this even needs to be said, but it does, because I’ve seen it happen, twice. What kind of person is so busy at home, they’re like, ‘The only three minutes I have spare is on my way to work, I’ll take the clippers and cut my nails on a crowded train on my way to work.’ And what other things do they do in their life that they think are totally respectful, but in fact, are uncivil and unpalatable to the masses. Personally, I find this deplorable behaviour is unpardonable and I think anybody that gets their claws out on public transport should receive a lifetime ban.

Driving Etiquette

Looks familiar. Source: GIPHY

Public Transport is bad, but nothing triggers a Titanic episode of momentary rage in us like an egregiously mannered driver. You’ll be driving along, in your small SUV of course, singing along to some Dua Lipa, ‘Did a full 180, crazy...’ when as fan Michelle says, some inconsiderate fucker pulls out in front of you and you lose your shit, all ‘What the fuck are you doing, you piece of shit?! Did you get your license from Microsoft Paint?!’ then immediately go back to singing. ‘I’m all good already, so moved on it’s scary...’ Unless you’re already in a bad mood, then they’re in trouble.

Over Christmas, boorish behaviour is at fever pitch. I had to venture into the wild, which I dislike at the best of times, then an Audi cut me off, which also obviously lead me to assume this was an entitled, middle-aged white man, so my rage outburst was even more energised. After the obvious long horn response, I followed him for 15 minutes with an occasional long horn. I only stopped when he pulled over ready for a face to face confrontation, which I, of course, was not. There’s also the slightly less infuriating, but much more common occurrence of audacious driving. As fan Lucy suggested, the person that doesn’t thank you for giving way in a narrow street. You literally have to lift one finger of the steering wheel to say thank you, one fucking finger. You lazy shit. I hope karma is your car getting stolen, because your behaviour is not welcome on our roads.

Courteous behaviour on public transport and roads are something I think you really learn by seeing what not to do, but I think the manners you display at someone’s house or when you’re at a restaurant are taught. So maybe this should be mandatory at schools because you all had a lot to say!

House Guest Etiquette

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Everyone is late sometimes, sometimes it just happens, but if you’re late, explain yourself and apologise, says fan Stephanie. If you’re meant to be at dinner at six, (which is what time I host dinner parties to ensure I’m in bed by nine), for every minute after six I wait for you, I’m unnecessarily adding more minutes to my already unconscionably high screen time because I had everything read for six, so when you arrive pull out your words and explain yourself and there better be the world ‘sorry’ in there. Plus, when you arrive, you better have something with you.

The number one rule of visiting friends is to never turn up empty-handed, brought to you by fan Karina. As you should know if you live in Australia, even when you're told not to bring a thing, you still turn up with a box of Favourites. But it doesn’t end there, what you bring has to be served and you absolutely cannot take it home with you. If it’s in a doggy bag fine, but if you bring a bottle of wine, no you cannot take that half a bottle of wine back home with you. If you do this, I can guarantee your friends have a separate group chat without you in it and they’re talking about your amiss social etiquette.

Source: GIPHY

Next up, dinner chat. It’s two way, three-way, however many people at the table-way, what it’s not is one way. Poor conversational manner is when you don’t ask about the other person, according to fan Grace. That means you also have to listen. So no, you can’t sit there while someone else is talking, just watching and waiting for them to take a breath so you can start talking again. As fan Gabbi says, you absolutely cannot interrupt them. It will inevitably happen that two people might speak at once, in which case the courteous thing to do, and you may have heard this before is a “Sorry, you go.” But cutting someone off is hard, inconsiderate, no.

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You also can’t participate in dinner chat if you’re on your phone, says Jackie. It’s the summit of all insults to the host. Why are you even there if you’re just messaging dick for later in the evening? My girlfriend keeps her phone charger in her bedroom when people come over, so when guests need to use it, she’s like sure and takes it into her bedroom.

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Now, I know it’s surprisingly difficult for a lot of people to do things at once, so at the dinner table just don’t. If you’re eating, keep your mouth shut, you untamed boar. Fan Laura also urges you to never bite down on your fork or spoon and once you’re finished, do not lick your knife. I know that’s a challenge if you’ve had a bloody 'lish meal, but if you do this, she’ll be like a duck, calm on the outside but fuckkkking screaming underneath the water. Once the meal is done, always offer to clean up. The host will probably say no, but it’s a courteous offer of thanks for them having you over and slaving over a meal for you. Never, ever expect the woman to clean up, as Jess says. That’s a one-way ticket to never being invited over again.

Maybe that’s a lot, if you’re an uncivilised animal, so for a much more simple route to courteous behaviour, as fan Emmalee says, just say ‘Please and ‘thank-you.’

Thirsty for more? Listen to a new ep of the Large Almond Latte Podcast every Tuesday.


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