Joyce Minor

Rude behavior is always in season

This time of year, when the only place busier than U.S. 27 is the toy aisle at Walmart, we all tend to get a bit testy, especially with people who get in our way or do something thoughtless.

It's easy to lose your temper and say or do something you'll eventually regret, because the person who tops your boiling point may be simply the 20th one today.

But then there are the folks for whom rudeness seems to be a way of life, in every season. They behave as if they were never taught to care about anyone but themselves, never noticing or caring if their behavior inconveniences or endangers others.

Here are just a few of these folks who, frankly, need a good slap upside the head:

Drivers who hold up traffic, waiting to pull out until they can shoot across all three lanes, instead of turning into the near lane, then across the other two lanes, one at a time.

Drivers who swing out to the left in order to turn right. Don't they know that can scare drivers in the left lane causing them to jerk the wheel to avoid an accident and might even cause a chain reaction that could be catastrophic?

Drivers who stop at a traffic signal leaving several car lengths between them and the car ahead, especially those who do this in a turn lane. What are they thinking? They obviously don't care that their selfish behavior may make it impossible for drivers behind them to even get into the turn lane.

Drivers who pull across one side of the highway into the break in the median when another car is already there, thus totally blocking the view of the driver who was there first.

People who pass on a double yellow line because they are too impatient to follow a driver going the speed limit. People do this to me all the time on Memorial Drive where curves and small hills make it extremely dangerous.

And, by the way, all of these actions are actually illegal ticket-able offences. Where is a cop when you need one?

Now, lest I leave the impression that people are only rude behind the wheel, here are a few of the boors I've observed in other venues:

People who leave their shopping carts crosswise of the isle in the grocery store while they stroll off to find what they need.

People who bring six children to the store then allow them to chase each other up and down the aisles, pull things off the shelves and drop them anywhere they please, scream at the top of their lungs, etc.

People who help themselves to a grape or a cherry tomato, ostensibly to see if they're ripe, but actually just because they can get away with it. I'm tempted to embarrass them by asking out loud, "Did you pay for that? Because, if you didn't, it's shoplifting."

People who abandon their shopping carts everywhere except the cart corral. This week I watched while a man who was parked directly next to a corral, gave his cart to his son so the kid could run behind it then jump aboard and see how far it would roll behind the row of parked cars backing out.

I breathed a sigh of relief when the kid survived, then gritted my teeth as he pushed the cart onto a landscape island and left it there. His father just hitched up his sagging pants, spit a wad onto the pavement, and cussed at the kid to hurry up.

Guess who will be the boor when he grows up.