Curmudgeon Public Service Announcement: The Thoughtlessness Radar

Don't do this

Image by Martin Deutsch via Flickr

Why is it that certain rotten behaviors reach, for some, a level of acceptability in their own minds? Why do certain behaviors blip off the courtesy radar into “Well, everyone does it! Why shouldn’t I?”  Daily I see thoughtless acts by otherwise good people because they have become blind to what they’re doing (or not doing).  Here’s a list I’ve been compiling of what I’m talking about broken down in to categories:


  • Not putting your empty shopping cart in the parking lot corrals…especially when the darn thing is five feet away!
  • Throwing your cigarette butts on the ground (and especially near MY car!), often within twelve inch radius of a disposal receptacle.
  • Not bussing your table at fast food restaurants or picnic sites
  • Leaving your clothes in the dressing room in crumpled heaps on the floor
  • Leaving your shopping cart wherever you like when grabbing items from the shelf or yacking with your friends
  • Talking on your cell phone while your groceries are being rung up…and beyond


  • Driving your car up on the sidewalk to get to the mailbox unit (especially YOU dear neighbor who almost ran into me as I stood there getting my own mail);
  • Idling and blocking traffic while waiting for me to vacate my parking spot when there are many other spots a few feet away.  Double GRRRR if you honk at me too;
  • Not having a clue what you want at a fast food drive-through by the time you get to the ordering station;
  • Idling your cars along the curb so your precious darling doesn’t get cold waiting for the school bus but making it harder for drivers to spot children who might dart out between them;
  • Sidling along in the left lane (not a passing lane) until the last second then insisting on being allowed into the slower moving right lane to make a right, no turn signal on, of course, because that would tip me off to your nefarious plan!
  • Parking your car in front of MY house instead of my neighbor’s whom you are visiting, especially if you’re facing the wrong way (Ok, so I’m VERY territorial!)


  • Urging your dog to pee in my yard instead of yours; double grr if they poop and you don’t pick it up right away;
  • Blowing your nose at the table;
  • Abandoning your laundry at the coin-op once you’ve gotten your clothes into the dryer; No, I will NOT fold your clothes if I get sick of waiting for you to remove your items (thank goodness I don’t use coin ops anymore!)
  • Texting during movies–those ads at the beginning telling you to turn off your cell phone?  They mean YOU!
  • Leaving your trash behind in the movie theatre (I must confess to being blind to this until I met my husband.  No more.  Pack it in; pack it out.)
  • Breaking the spine on a paperback in a bookstore while you peruse / read it then leaving it behind or grabbing a “fresh” copy to buy;
  • Insisting on bringing oversized luggage as carry on so you’ll get free gate check-in while the rest of us paid $20-25 to check ours at the ticket counter;

It’s this type of thoughtlessness, and I might add in some cases, sense of entitlement, that drives me bonkers.

People…please don’t do these things!  We must nip them in the bud and reinforce for our children’s sake at least, WHY these behaviors are rude and inconsiderate.

~A Public Service Message from your darkly romantic curmudgeon.

Your turn.  Please share in the comments any thoughtless behaviors that drive you bonkers.