Commentary

Mr. Manners is needed once again

Originally Published: July 12, 2010
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

In the heat of the summer, it is easy for us to get lazy and flustered and forget to use our best manners. But we must be even more refined and vigilant than ever. Don't be the overweight person in a skimpy bikini on the beach of good behavior.

Mr. Manners

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

Dear Mr. Manners,
I am the owner of a basketball team. The best player in franchise history just signed a contract with another franchise. Shortly after he announced his decision, I posted a letter on our team's website accusing him of being a fraud and a quitter. I am starting to wonder now if maybe I should have waited to cool down first. What is the protocol for such a scenario? Did I let my emotions get the best of me?
-- Dan G. (Cleveland)

Dear Distraught Dan,
Great questions. Humans are emotional beings. It's easy for us to let our passions get the best of us. But we must try to keep our outbursts to ourselves. Once we mail an angry letter, send a mean e-mail, or make a bitter, petty post online, there is no turning back. Those words are forever.

That's why I have a special trick for such circumstances. When I become enraged and want to fire off a missive, I type it up in blue, size 14 Comic Sans. I find it looks so hilariously ridiculous on the page that it instantly lightens my mood and causes me to see the situation with greater perspective.

I encourage you to give this trick a try sometime. No way you'll still be able to go through with your letter with that absurd font staring back at you. Only an insane person could!
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I just took a job in a new city. I am making less money there, but I will be working with some good friends for an organization I think can be very successful. However, the people I left behind are very disappointed that I am moving on. They are questioning my loyalty. What do you think? Did LeBron James do the right thing?
-- The King (Miami)

Dear Miffed In Miami,
It sounds as though you did what was best for you. As much as we would like to, we can never please everyone with our decisions. We can only make decisions we think are the wisest and then defend our reasoning if need be, as you have clearly done. You have nothing to feel bad about.

As for your question about LeBron James, which was a bit of a non sequitur, it's incredibly obvious that he did not do the right thing. His decision was fine and understandable, but the circumstances around it were disrespectful to the people of Cleveland. Also, it's incredibly annoying how he keeps referring to himself in the third person.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I was recently arrested for shoplifting a man's carry-all. I am innocent, but I fear my career coaching college basketball is over. What do you think?
-- Bobby G. (New Jersey)

Dear Robby Bobby,
It is not good manners to speak about an ongoing criminal investigation, so I won't. However, I will say this: You need to be honest with yourself. And with others. You and I both know what a "man's carry-all" is. It's a murse. Don't try to cover that fact up. It makes you appear deceitful. Whether you stole it or not, there's one thing we do know: You willingly had a murse. There is no reason ever to have such a thing. And for that you will always be guilty in the court of public opinion.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I was a respected athletic director at a university. But I recently resigned after getting a DUI. The situation was even more embarrassing because when I was stopped by police, between my legs I had the red underwear of my female passenger. What can I do to restore my reputation and my career?
-- Damon E. (Athens, Ga.)

Dear Drinking Damon,
I can't believe I am saying this, but there's only one thing that can help you going forward: Buy yourself a murse. A murse can conceal many things. An unused pair of red, women's underwear, for example. Or a phone book with the number of local cab companies. Or both.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I am a FIFA referee. I made a call at the World Cup that took a goal away from the United States and prevented them from winning a match. Everyone watching the game was confused by the call and seemed to think it was a terrible mistake. So instead of explaining myself, I went silent. What are proper manners for this situation? Please let me know. The stakes are high. Thank you very much.
-- Koman C. (Mali)

Dear Whatever Your Name Is,
Your letter is full of typos and errors. I am just going to throw it out. My decision is final.
-- Mr. Manners


Dear Mr. Manners,
I am in charge of a large international governing body for the sport of football. We just completed a tournament in which our referees made numerous poor calls or missed calls completely, most notably missing an obvious England goal in their match against Germany. I feel kind of bad about this. All of these mistakes could have been fixed by instant replay. But I just don't feel video replay has a place in the sport. What do you think?
-- Sepp B. (Zurich)

Dear Head Sepp-elin,
Please, do not feel bad about the errors. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. And no World Cup is complete without England getting screwed.

Manners, like the great sport of football, are steeped in tradition. So I understand where you are coming from. However, instant replay is a great technology that you should embrace. Trust me on this. I videotape all of my dinner parties so I can critique the manners of everyone in attendance. (Also, it's given me some great footage of people falling down, getting hit in the face and crotch, picking their nose, and the like. My Mr. Manners You Tube channel had, like, 700,000 views last week. Which is awesome!)
-- 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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