Commentary

Mr. Manners guides you in social circles

Originally Published: July 8, 2011
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

Summer is upon us, and the weather is heating up. But don't let them see you sweat, for a person of manners does not perspire. Ever.

Mr. Manners

It's time for another edition of Mr. Manners.

Dear Mr. Manners,
I recently got stopped for speeding, and officers found 16.2 grams of marijuana under the passenger's seat of my car. I swear it wasn't mine. The weed belonged to a friend of mine whom I had just dropped off. But I got busted anyway. Did I do something wrong? I felt that giving a ride to a friend was showing good manners.
-- Michael B. (Minneapolis)

Dear Mary Jane'd in Minnesota,
I will take you at your word that the marijuana was not yours. It would be uncouth not to. As to your question: Yes, you behaved properly in giving a ride to a friend. Your biggest issue is that your friend is not as refined as you are. Many other athletes seem to have this problem, too.

No one can tell you whom to be friends with. However, for your own protection, after giving a friend a ride, make sure he takes all his drugs and drug paraphernalia with him -- especially if you plan to greatly exceed the posted speed limit on the way to your next destination. This is how such a conversation usually goes in my car.

You: "Here we are. I hope your ride was most pleasant."

Friend: "Oh, yes. Thank you greatly for the ride. You have impeccable manners."

You: "Well, thank you, old chum. I am glad I could aid you in your transportation needs."

Friend: "That you did, friend. 'Til we meet again ... "

You: "Just a minute. If you don't mind, before you go, can you double-check to make sure you didn't leave any large quantities of drugs behind in my vehicle? I may do some speeding upon departure and I don't want any unnecessary troubles with the authorities."

Friend: "Ah, yes! The large bag of cannabis! How could I have almost forgotten it? Here it is beneath the seat I just sat upon! Thanks for the reminder, mate."

You: "It was my pleasure. Anything else? A crack pipe beneath the floor mat, perhaps?"

Friend: "Not this time. Just the cannabis."

You: "All right, then. A good evening to you and yours."

See? Just a few seconds of pleasant conversation, and you avoid an unwarranted drug citation. And, remember, as the old saying goes: The best friends are those who don't forget their drugs in your car.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I started my NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last week -- after a few years away from North America playing hockey in Russia -- I signed a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh's biggest rival. Pittsburgh, as well as Detroit, also had offered me a contract, and my decision upset many people. However, the Flyers offered me more money, although I said that money wasn't an issue. When people said that I was interested in only money, I said that a fourth team, which I did not disclose, offered me even more money than Philadelphia. I also said that I could explain myself better if I spoke English as well as I do Czech and Russian. Then I said, after taking Philadelphia's money, that I'm not sure how effective I'll even be in the NHL at my age. Did I do anything wrong?
-- Jaromir J. (Philadelphia)

Dear Self-Reflection in the Jaromirror,
Thank you for your letter. And thanks to my beautiful Czech intern, Brigita, for translating it for me. It seems she may be more than just a pretty face, although that's all I hired her for.

Now, I don't follow sports very closely -- and hockey even less so because of its unnecessarily brutish nature -- but I am not familiar with any other athletes named "Jaromir" who played in Pittsburgh. So, if I recall, Pittsburgh once traded you. Therefore, you owe it no loyalty and should feel no guilt over your decision.

That said, it's probably best you stop talking for a while no matter the language you use. You seem to be putting your foot in your mouth. That's especially bad for a hockey player, as you could cut your whole head off.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
So there was this girl I liked. I decided to ask her to marry me. Unfortunately, she wasn't with me when I thought of this. Therefore, instead of waiting until I saw her next, I decided to drop the $76,600 engagement ring I bought her in the mail.

When going through her mail later that week, she decided to decline my hand in marriage but keep the ring. Now I'm suing her to get it back. Is she rude or what?
-- Roy W. (Dallas)

Dear Deliveries In Dallas,
First of all, I appreciate the gold brick you sent along with your letter. All those who send correspondence to me in the future, be advised: I will respond to your letters if you give me stuff. It's not bribery. It simply would be impolite to ignore those who show initiative. Plus, I like to have nice things on hand to give to Brigita as a sign of my affection.

As to your question, yes, it is quite rude of your former lady friend to keep the ring. However, the legal system does not always operate in step with the manners system. For example, imagine that specially marked boxes of Frankenberry cereal had gifts inside. If you don't like the taste of the cereal but keep the secret decoder ring that came with the box, could Frankenberry demand you give the ring back? No court -- human or monster -- would side with Frankenberry in such a case.

The parallels are obvious. So although she loses in Manners court, don't expect to get your ring back.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
Give me my gold bar back. Your Frankenberry analogy was stupid and I got my ring back.
-- Roy W. (Dallas)

Dear Deliveries in Dallas,
It is no longer mine to give back. And I doubt you want to disappoint a beautiful Czech girl.
-- Mr. Manners

DJ Gallo is the founder and editor of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "A View from the Upper Deck," is available at fine discount book retailers. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.


Back to Page 2


• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen