Welcome Wednesday guests for July: Edith Maxwell 7/2, Kendel Lynn 7/9, Leslie Budewitz 7/16, Krista Davis 7/23, Janet Simpson 7/30.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.


Congratulations to four of WWK’s bloggers whose books were released in the last two months. Look for Jim Jackson’s second Seamus McCree novel, Cabin Fever; Linda Rodriguez's new Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear; KM Rockwood's new Jesse Damon novel, Brothers in Crime; and Gloria Alden's third Catherine Jewell Mystery, Ladies of the Garden Club. All of the novels are available at bookstores in print and ebook.

Paula Gail Benson's short story "Confidence in the Family" is featured in the Mystery Times Ten 2013 anthology, which can be bought at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Times-2013-Linda-Browning/dp/0984203583/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1387240857&sr=8-2

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Missed Yer Manners


Missed Yer Manners; Etiquette for Writers

Writers have an unusual job and they face unusual challenges in the area of etiquette. Therefore I have asked Missed Yer Manners to answer questions about situations unique to the authorial-inclined.

Dear MYM:

I was seated in restaurant the other evening with my wife attentively but unobtrusively eavesdropping on a group at a table across the restaurant discussing the dope dealer on their block when a couple came in and sat at the table next to ours. They had the bad taste to start a boring conversation about how well their children were doing at school and how much they liked their work. I could no longer hear the interesting discussion going on across the restaurant over their meaningless chatter. I could not think of an acceptable way to get Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary to shut up. What would you recommend I do next time this situation occurs?

No super ears

Dear No,

It is important to remain polite despite the provocation of those who do nothing to contribute to culture and civilization through the arts. To be fair we should not discount people who support activities of secondary importance such as medicine, theology, family, teaching, business, science, engineering, sewage removal and other necessary but not artistic endeavors. Along those lines, I cannot support suggestions made by other advisors like Emily Postal of jumping on the couple’s table and screaming at them while kicking their food and drink into their laps. (Besides, such actions tend to distract the people you were listening to and tabletops can be slippery.)

It is better by far to politely sneeze, cough, and gag while mentioning loudly that you cannot guarantee you are not still contagious with the Black Plague. You could suggest that they might feel more comfortable sitting farther away. Roll on the floor and regurgitate only if necessary. We do not want to cause the wait staff unnecessary work.

Dear MYM,

I was with a group of people working quietly on laptops in a coffee shop when a woman entered blathering loudly on a cell phone. After she picked up her order she sat at a table and continue to half-shout her end of the conversation into the phone. The coffee shop staff said nothing and one by one the quiet customers left. What could we have done?

My ears are still ringing

Dear My,

Oh, my. I am forced to admit that I find such rude behavior really annoying, even though it can inspire one to invent clever ways to murder and dispose of bodies. If this is a regular occurrence you might be able to convince the staff to add something extra to her drink, i.e., a laxative if she is moderately annoying or cyanide if she is intolerable. Note: Placing a partially eaten croissant covered in almonds next to the body is always a nice touch.

But be considerate. The first time it happens you might persuade the other customers to read aloud from their work and to move slowly to surround her table, increasing their volume as they get closer. They could politely explain that the volume of her speech meant they could not hear themselves think so they had to read out loud.

What other situations are handled best by courtesy?

20 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

When you are explaining to friends the plot of your paranormal mystery plot and they make snide comments about your sanity, avoid telling them about that big, snarling demon that is hovering over their shoulders. They may question your sanity further and cause the demon to disappear before biting their heads off.

Warren Bull said...

Excellent point. It is also wise to set up an alibi before setting fire to their car.

E. B. Davis said...

Oh boy, I just reread my comment. Gotta get some coffee!

I've had other situations. I'm somewhere with friends and a plot occurs to me, which I'd like to mentally work-out. Would duct tape over their mouths be appropriate or should I just work them into the plot making them all victims of a slasher, MYM?

Pauline Alldred said...

When a group of seemingly intelligent people said they don't read but wait for the movie to come out, I accidentally blinded them with pepper spray. Since they knew me, thay accepted my explanation that I saw a B movie actor wearing a mask, standing behind them, about to rob them at the point of a gun. I'm only slightly upset that the group no longer invites me to Friday evening eating out sessions.

Anita Page said...

Warren, I have been in the restaurant situation you describe, and very appreciate the gagging advice, which I think might be especially effective if you have a mouthful of ketchup and fries.

Marian Allen said...

I particularly like MYM's solutions to the annoying cell phone talker, since one of my daughters works in a coffee shop. I'm passing the suggestions on to her. Thanks for providing a valuable public service.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Red Tash said...

That is hilarious! Can't tell you how many times I've longed to interrupt the loud talkers and ask them to please be considerate of others. Is it cowardly that I started taking headphones to the coffee shop, instead? It was the only way I could work.

Also, WHY would you be tempted to allow the entire coffee shop into your conversation in the first place?

Donnell said...

Warren, this is so great, thank you! Wouldn't that be hysterical if people had the nerve to surround someone talking obnoxiously loud on a cell phone. That is a great scene. Yes, write that one

Warren Bull said...

Dear EB,

Invite them home where you keep a supply of dried oleander leaves and make them a nice tea. Note: it requires a lot of sweeting to kill (he he) the taste.

Warren Bull said...

Pauline, That just goes to show they weren't really your friends.

Warren Bull said...

Anita,

Thank you so much for that idea. I bet it will work.

Warren Bull said...

Marian,

You're very welcome. Um, the coffee ship isn't in the city I live in is it?

Warren Bull said...

Dear Red,

I've never understood why cell phone talkers let the entire world know about their medical conditions, love life, and legal issues. The world has become a playground for blackmailers.

Warren Bull said...

Donnell, you're welcome. Thank you for your great interview on WWK.

Morgan Mandel said...

Funny! Some people lead such mundane lives, kind of like mine in the real world!

Morgan Mandel
http:/www.morganmandel.com
http://facebook.com/morganmandelauthor

Warren Bull said...

Morgan, Isn't that part of what makes writing fun?

Margo Carey said...

Missed Yer Manners, Thank you so much for your creative solutions. The dreaded cell phone serenade stirs my homicidal instincts. What a shame there isn't a device that would send an electric shock to the phone while these people are polluting our space. I'd have so much fun in the grocery store.

Warren Bull said...

Margo, What a wonderful idea. I'd use it in airports for passengers who flip out their phone and narrate every step through the terminal. — I'm off the plane now. I'm headed toward the escalator. I just passed Starbucks etc.

Ellis Vidler said...

Wonderful! I loved it. Reminds me of Miss Manners.

Warren Bull said...

Ellis, She was my inspiration.