Commentary

Mr. Manners is needed once again

Originally Published: April 28, 2010
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

It's spring. Nature is changing all around us.

But there is one thing that must never change: proper manners. It's time for another edition of Mr. Manners.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,
I am the general manager of a football team. In a recent pre-draft interview, I asked a player if his mom is a prostitute. Bad form?
-- Jeff I. (Miami)

Dear Miami Mommy Issues,
Whether we like it or not, there are many gray areas when it comes to manners. In some cultures you shake hands. In others, you bow. Sometimes it's difficult to remember which fork is to be used when. Dress codes can present a challenge. Whom to tip and how much to tip them. The etiquette for thank-you cards. All of these things keep me employed.

But there is one thing I think we can all agree on. It's my Rule No. 1 of manners: Do not ask someone if his mother is a lady of the night.

Remember that one, and everything else will pretty much fall into place. Good luck!
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I was on first base in a recent baseball game. I took off as my teammate made contact, but it was a foul ball. So on my way back to first I cut across the diamond, ran through the pitcher's mound and stepped on the rubber. The pitcher freaked out, saying I broke some sort of etiquette. But I was just screwing around. We centaurs are known for being mischievous. Was I in the wrong? (Note: The pitcher isn't very good.)
-- Alex R. (New York)

Dear Alexiquette Breach,
First of all, it doesn't matter whether the pitcher is any good. Everyone deserves respect. Second, I cannot speak to specific centaur-related manners; I did not take that elective at Manners School but, if you'd like, I can refer you to a manners colleague who specializes in centaurs and mythological manners.

That said, while living in the world of 100 percent humans, you need to follow human rules, laws and customs. And, yes, human etiquette, too. When in Rome, etc. What you did went against baseball etiquette -- and I think you know that. It is time for some self-reflection, Alex. What kind of person/mythical beast are you? Stare into your mirror and be honest about what you see.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
Before a recent game against the Montreal Canadiens, I purposely sprayed a kid with snow while sliding to a stop on the ice in front of him. Here -- check it out. I thought it was hilarious. Others didn't. And my team apologized for it. What do you think?
-- Alex O. (Washington)

Dear Alex-O-Snow,
No. Under no circumstances is it appropriate for a grown man to do that to a kid. However, just like with centaurs, I am not an expert on Canadian etiquette. Perhaps covering someone with snow there is a sign of respect. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
In recent months my reputation has been forever tarnished. But I want to stop hiding and start living my life again. So last week I went to a Nickelback concert. They rocked! Do you think it's OK for me to keep doing this?
-- Tiger W. (Orlando)

Dear Terrible Tiger,
I can't help you because your letter is confusing. Your letter says your reputation was tarnished months ago. But then that just last week you went to a Nickelback concert. I assume this was a typo and that you went to a Nickelback concert months ago, which was what originally tarnished your reputation. Assuming that's the case -- sure, keep going to Nickelback concerts. You've already destroyed your reputation by going to one. Going to more can't destroy it more.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I've been behaving poorly lately. Nothing that caused me to get charged with a crime, but I have really hurt my reputation. I recently gave a public statement to apologize about my behavior. I sported a long mullet. I like to wear a mullet because I feel it protects my head from sustaining more concussions. However, my appearance only raised the public's level of disgust toward me. So I shaved it off. Now, while I try to restore my reputation, I am worried about the protection of my head. What should I do?
-- Ben R. (Pittsburgh)

Dear Bad Ben,
You are correct. Mullets do protect. They protect the person sporting one from ever being respected by anyone in the non-mullet community.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I am the commissioner of a large, collegiate sports conference in the Midwest. We currently have 11 teams, but would like to expand to as many as 14 so we can make even more money. However, this would likely lead to the demise of other conferences around the country. What should I do?
-- Jim D. (Park Ridge, Ill.)

Dear Gym Jim,
Greed is never an appropriate goal. That said, expansion is not necessarily wrong. What you need to do is expand your conference to include all the FBS schools. Then, at the end of the year, have a conference tournament. You would make the money you desire -- and much more -- while also becoming a national hero.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
So I stared into my mirror like you asked. Great advice! Thanks! I love staring into my mirror. Here is what I discovered: I am crazy hot. No one ever rocked a fade this hard for this long. Not even Derek Jeter. I am the greatest.
-- Alex R. (New York)

Dear Alexiquette Breach,
I am referring you to my manners colleague who specializes in centaurs. You show traits of megalomania, and you need help. Also, I am sending you a card for a hair stylist. You'll want to address that issue, too. I wish you the best.
-- Mr. Manners

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.


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