Wouldn’t you like to tell some people off? Just once?


Our Midwestern parents and grandparents taught us to be polite and friendly and that has generally served us well. Sometimes, however, that mild Midwestern demeanor leaves us defenseless against the seemingly growing number of people who don’t play by the same rules.


Just once wouldn’t you like to tell off the bozos who talk all the way through a movie? Imagine leaning forward and whispering, “Look here, Mr. and Mrs. Popcorn Breath, I paid a good price to watch this flick and if you can’t keep your yaps shut until the movie is over I will personally drag you by your wagging tongues to the lobby where you can gab all you want. Do you understand?”


Those “Don’t be a Litterbug” ad campaigns of the 1950s left a lasting impression on me. I really burn when I see someone throw trash out a car window or leave a (chock-full) disposable diaper in a parking lot. Just once I’d like to pound on their car roof and shout, “What do you have for brains, cottage cheese? For pity sake, if you don’t have enough sense to keep your litter inside your car then stay home and wallow in your mess.”


In that same league are people who, while walking their dogs, stop to let the animal defecate on someone else’s lawn. I realize Fido is just doing what comes naturally but I resent stepping in the results. Just once I’d like to look Fido’s master in the eye and exclaim, “Does this bluegrass look like a puppy potty to you?” (Kudos to dog owners who pick up their dog’s poop!)


I love children but my blood boils when parents of little hellions let them run unrestrained, interrupting conversations and tearing things apart. All the while the parents smile and coo, “Isn’t he cute?” Just once I’d like to say, “You’ll think he’s cute 14 years from now when you get called at 2 a.m. to bail his cute little buns out of jail!”


I am equally frustrated when someone mistreats an elderly parent. Just once I’d like to look such an individual in the eye and say, “Life is awfully short, buddy. Hug ’em and love ’em while you’ve still got ’em!” Same for parents who mistreat their kids.


My patience runs thin with the negative ninnies who can find nothing good to say about their community. They bad mouth everything about their town and anyone who tries to do something positive. Just once I’d like to confront one of these fools and shout, “For crying out loud, if you really think it’s that bad why don’t you pack your bags and move?” Of course, they won’t move because anywhere else they would go would be just as awful. That’s how it is when you’re a negative ninnie.


I have no time for bullies. People who use their size, strength or position in life to hurt, humiliate or push around innocent folks make the veins stick out on my head. Just once I’d like to grab a bully by the collar and say, “Look, Muscle Head, no matter how tough you are there’s always someone tougher. Let’s go find him (or her) and see how tough you really are!”


Have you noticed that some people cannot stand it when someone else enjoys a stroke of success or good luck? While they may show a pleasant face to their more successful acquaintances, their envy shows through in nasty, behind-their-back remarks. Just once I’d like to say to these folks, “Grow up; you’re acting like a kindergartner who’s afraid the next kid got a bigger lollipop.”


Then there are the people who are afraid the folks they do business with might make a profit. They will make complete asses of themselves haggling to save a buck. Just once I’d like to stomp my foot and bellow, “Get a life! How much work would you be willing to do for nothing? You give frugality a bad name.”


Unfortunately, such responses usually have little effect on these types and, frankly, such a response would lower us to their level. Our parents and grandparents were right in teaching us good manners.


Still, wouldn’t it feel good to unload? Just once?


Okay, Doctor, I’ll take my medicine now. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow.