There I am, face down in four feet of water and I notice, among the worms and bugs on the bottom of the pool, a partial band aid. Now, we've all forgotten that random bandage now and then, so I can't fault anyone for losing one in a public pool. I mean even I, Crabby Appleton of all times, would not assume someone just peeled the sucker off before a flip turn and let it float into deeper water. But damn, if the chick who tossed her gum on the locker room floor and then purposely chose to not throw it away, wasn't swimming one lane over. I'll be honest, I hate her sleek style. I hate her absence of fat. I hate the size of her speedo and the way she slices through the water. But as I pushed off the wall, I hated even more the fact that I'd decided the skank probably HAS separated a soiled band aid from her skin and let it float where it may. I may be fat and a floater, but like all good Berkeley-ites, I recycle
Okay, you know something? Here's the thing: if you've put your fork in your mouth, I don't want it any where near my food. Got that? So, in other words, let's just say there's only one serving spoon for dishing out the vegetables. And someone, say, someone I don't know very well, is sitting at the communal table dishing out the veggies to himself and notices that there should be one more utensil. But there isn't. And he's too lazy to go get one from the kitchen. So, he takes his own fork and uses that to help dish out his food. When he's done, he then offers ME some veggies. "Would you like some?" he blinked. "Ah no thanks, I'm good," was all I could muster. At least he coughed repeatedly into his hand after I witnessed this lazy display. Honestly now people. Your mouth and my food? I don't think so. Don't put what's been in your mouth near the food the rest of us have to eat. And damn, I was kinda hankering for some of those veggies too.
I swear to God some days you could set my ass with linen, fine china, crystal and sterling silver and sail me to England. It would be a bumpy ride, but I can assure you, I float. So, last week I’m in the swimming pool at the local middle school where Zach is an A Student (brag, brag) and I’m enjoying a few lunch-time laps before I put lunch in my lap. When I’m done marveling at the sound of my own thigh rubbage underwater, I haul butt up the ladder and unload my sorry self in the communal shower. Who else is in there but a certain skank who weighs next to nothing and wears even less for underwear. We don’t talk and rarely make eye contact because she’s usually too busy pondering her glory in the mirror. But today I notice her looking around as if lost. I lifted my armpit in her direction, ready to lather, when I wondered if I should inquire as to her perplexity. But she of the perfect complexion solved the problem. She took the wad of gum she’d been masticating out of her mouth and walked a few feet to the pool door. With nary a thought, the crazy bitch dropped her gum on the floor, right next to the frickin’ door and shashayed her bony white ass onto the pool deck. While pushing soapy hair out of my face, I reported this near criminal and outright disgusting behavior to a few of the flabby old bags who joined me following their swim. After a collective “ewwww”, I decided to toss a paper towel over the gum as a reminder to the crazy bitch to scoop her own goop when she finished slicing through the water in her Speedo. Problem is? I just found out today that when she returned from the deep, she took one look at the paper towel and walked right over it. Left it for the Vietnamese janitor to clean up, I s’pose. (Memo to Zach: don’t use the girl’s locker room.) And a post-it note for the skank: you might swim in water, but you don’t walk on it. Don’t do that again you disgusting hussy.
I know I've said it before and I'll say it again before this life is over: COVER YOUR MOUTH! I mean, what does it take, people? Last month I was working at a writer's conference, handing out papers while waiting for the speaker to begin. As I passed a man - a grown man in his 50's - he lifted his hand to receive the paper I held out, then he opened his mouth, WIDE, like a lion, and let rip a long, loud yawn. Right into my face. I could see all the way to Cincinnati and I'm not even sure I know how to spell that correctly. I got a glimpse of the man's tonsils, his larynx and his duodenum. I might have counted his fillings had I not turned hastily in disgust. Really, there's not much to it. Lift your hand, cover your mouth, rinse, repeat. This simple act of civility does not take effort, education or angel investors. Just simple etiquette and dignity. So, next time you yawn, do as my very proper mother always said: cover your mouth!